|For Immediate Release:
||July 12, 2007|
|Contact(s):||David Barna, 202-208-6843
Gerry Gaumer, 202-208-6843
|National Park Service Mourns “Lady Bird” Johnson Strong Advocate for Conservation and National Parks
WASHINGTON, DC – A good friend of the National Park Service (NPS) has passed away. Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, known as “Lady Bird” to her friends, was a strong supporter of national parks and conservation. “The National Park Service family extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson,” said NPS Director Mary A. Bomar. “Mrs. Johnson’s strength and graciousness, and her contribution to conservation in this country will be missed by all. Our hearts go out to her family but we thank them for sharing her with us for so long.”
Mrs. Johnson traveled extensively to promote conservation issues and national parks. The greatest expansion of the National Park Service in 30 years took place during the Johnson administration; Mrs. Johnson is credited with providing steady support by calling attention to the beauty and the importance of natural areas.
She was responsible for the initial “beautification” of Washington D.C. In 1965, Mrs. Johnson and the First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital planted hundreds of dogwood trees and thousands of flowers on Columbia Island in the Potomac; renamed Lady Bird Johnson Park in 1968.
The LBJ Ranch house and property was given by President and Mrs. Johnson to the American people in December 1972, with the NPS designated as caretaker. Mrs. Johnson retained a life estate in the ranch home and after Lyndon Johnson’s death in 1973, she continued to donate additional acres to the park that bears his name.
It was her abiding commitment to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park over the past 30 years that will be remembered fondly by park staff. Her attendance at park events, from “Cowboy Songs and Poetry” to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting, held in conjunction with Lyndon B. Johnson State Park, was an indication of her devotion to her husband’s legacy and to the success of LBJ National Historical Park.