Five Good Things About Lyndon B Johnson

8 Sep

LBJ, his autobiography, and his stetson

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States.  I to only think about him in relation to Vietnam (which doesn’t yield the most flattering image ever) but he was a lot more than Vietnam. 

1.) Out of all the presidential libraries, only one is free.  It’s (obviously) LBJ’s because he said that if they wanted to put his name on a museum, they were not going to charge people to enter it.  I think that is fantastic: knowledge ought to be free.  That LBJ thought to specify such speaks volumes.

2.) Even the parking at the museum is free!    

3.) While it’s common to focus on Johnson and international affairs, he did a fantastic job domestically: medicare, food stamps, public television, head start, environmental protections, civil rights, aid to education, “war on poverty,” “Great Society” – he had a pet country, versus a pet project.

4.) The dude was a sort of acowboy, yet his wife went by the name “Lady Bird.”  (Her real name was Claudia.)  So, he would come in from the ranch, all muddy and macho, and then have to be all like, “Um, excuse me please, Lady Bird.  Do you happen to know where my slippers might be?”  I cannot even conjure up dialogue for potential intimate moments, but he probably still had to call her Lady Bird.  (They had two kids.)

5.) He taught poor Mexican-American kids in the late 1920s.  As a teacher, he was conscious of the lives of his students outside of the classroom and got toothbrushes and such donated to them.

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