October 20, 1967.  Across the US people are responding, especially on college campuses, to the escalation of protest and conflict over Vietnam. This clipping from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper was sent to LBJ by old friend—now Congressman—Jake Pickle.
It describes the efforts of eight “long-haired, casually attired” University of Texas students on motorcycles as they attempt to recruit students from Southwest Texas State College (LBJ’s alma mater. now Texas State University). The “UT peaceniks” are turned away by the SWT dean, to the delight of Cong. Pickle, and, presumably, the President. 
Note, Jake Pickle to the President, 10/20/67, Ex HU 4, WHCF, Box 60, LBJ Library.

October 20, 1967.  Across the US people are responding, especially on college campuses, to the escalation of protest and conflict over Vietnam. This clipping from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper was sent to LBJ by old friend—now Congressman—Jake Pickle.

It describes the efforts of eight “long-haired, casually attired” University of Texas students on motorcycles as they attempt to recruit students from Southwest Texas State College (LBJ’s alma mater. now Texas State University). The “UT peaceniks” are turned away by the SWT dean, to the delight of Cong. Pickle, and, presumably, the President. 

Note, Jake Pickle to the President, 10/20/67, Ex HU 4, WHCF, Box 60, LBJ Library.


"In August of last year, a demented sniper sat with an arsenal of weapons at the top of a University tower and coldly and systematically killed and maimed 44 Americans.
"The horror of that senseless slaughter shocked the entire Nation. Yet, today, 13 months later, Congress has failed to enact a gun control law. In those intervening 13 months, guns were involved in more than:
6,500 murders
10,000 suicides
2,600 accidental deaths
43,500 aggravated assaults
50,000 robberies.
"FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has just reported that the use of firearms in dangerous crimes is on the upswing. For the first six months of 1967 there was a:
24 percent rise in the use of guns in aggravated assaults.
37 percent rise in the use of weapons in robberies.
"A civilized nation cannot allow this armed terror to continue."

-Lyndon B. Johnson: "Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Urging Enactment of Gun Control Legislation," September 15, 1967. 
Photo of UT Tower by daleexpress

"In August of last year, a demented sniper sat with an arsenal of weapons at the top of a University tower and coldly and systematically killed and maimed 44 Americans.

"The horror of that senseless slaughter shocked the entire Nation. Yet, today, 13 months later, Congress has failed to enact a gun control law. In those intervening 13 months, guns were involved in more than:

  • 6,500 murders
  • 10,000 suicides
  • 2,600 accidental deaths
  • 43,500 aggravated assaults
  • 50,000 robberies.

"FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has just reported that the use of firearms in dangerous crimes is on the upswing. For the first six months of 1967 there was a:

  • 24 percent rise in the use of guns in aggravated assaults.
  • 37 percent rise in the use of weapons in robberies.

"A civilized nation cannot allow this armed terror to continue."

-Lyndon B. Johnson: "Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Urging Enactment of Gun Control Legislation," September 15, 1967. 

Photo of UT Tower by daleexpress

June 24, 1967. This photograph is taken of the future site of the LBJ Library & Museum, where we are now. This is the intersection of Oldham Street and Manor Road, looking northwest. The University of Texas Tower can be seen at left behind Texas Memorial Stadium. 
See what it looks like now via Google Maps or Bing Maps.
LBJ Presidential Library photo C5779-4, image is in the public domain.

June 24, 1967. This photograph is taken of the future site of the LBJ Library & Museum, where we are now. This is the intersection of Oldham Street and Manor Road, looking northwest. The University of Texas Tower can be seen at left behind Texas Memorial Stadium.

See what it looks like now via Google Maps or Bing Maps.

LBJ Presidential Library photo C5779-4, image is in the public domain.

May 13, 1967.

“Many months ago I set March 1968 in my own mind as the time when Lyndon can make a statement that he will not be a candidate for reelection.  I was following the pattern of President Truman, and I have counted first the years and then the months until that time.  Now it is ten months away.  For the first time in my life I have felt lately that Lyndon would be a happy man retired.  I feel that there is enough at the Ranch to hold him, keep him busy, and that he can pour himself into some sort of public teaching work at the University of Texas—in the Johnson School of Public Service, perhaps, with maybe an occasional lecture at his alma mater in San Marcos. 

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 518. LBJ Presidential Library photo C5309-4a, public domain.

May 13, 1967.

“Many months ago I set March 1968 in my own mind as the time when Lyndon can make a statement that he will not be a candidate for reelection.  I was following the pattern of President Truman, and I have counted first the years and then the months until that time.  Now it is ten months away.  For the first time in my life I have felt lately that Lyndon would be a happy man retired.  I feel that there is enough at the Ranch to hold him, keep him busy, and that he can pour himself into some sort of public teaching work at the University of Texas—in the Johnson School of Public Service, perhaps, with maybe an occasional lecture at his alma mater in San Marcos.

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 518. LBJ Presidential Library photo C5309-4a, public domain.

April 2, 1967. The Johnsons are on their way from San Antonio to Austin: 

"While flying over San Marcos, the President had the chopper divert off regular flight pattern and circle over the college (Southwest Texas State College)…
Arrive Balcones Research Center, landing in a field of bluebonnets which afforded much delight to the President and Mrs. Johnson.”

They are shown possible materials for the exterior of the LBJ Library, on the University of Texas campus. One type is emerging as a favorite: 

"Several buildings are made, around the University and Austin, of the shellstone — the museum of history, etc. Mrs. Johnson said she favored this, for it has such as interesting texture and history since ‘it once lived on the floor of the ocean.’ Mrs. Johnson seemed to lean toward a shellstone with the Italian travertine floors….
The President said that all three — the shellstone and the New Mexico and Italian travertine—should be bid for the sake of good business. Thus also it could be justified that the reason a foreign product was imported was for economies sake, since a State Institution (The University of Texas) must take the most economical route.”

—The President’s Daily Diary, April 2, 1966. Pg. 4.  Photo of UT via Wikimedia Commons.  

April 2, 1967. The Johnsons are on their way from San Antonio to Austin: 

"While flying over San Marcos, the President had the chopper divert off regular flight pattern and circle over the college (Southwest Texas State College)…

Arrive Balcones Research Center, landing in a field of bluebonnets which afforded much delight to the President and Mrs. Johnson.”

They are shown possible materials for the exterior of the LBJ Library, on the University of Texas campus. One type is emerging as a favorite: 

"Several buildings are made, around the University and Austin, of the shellstone — the museum of history, etc. Mrs. Johnson said she favored this, for it has such as interesting texture and history since ‘it once lived on the floor of the ocean.’ Mrs. Johnson seemed to lean toward a shellstone with the Italian travertine floors….

The President said that all three — the shellstone and the New Mexico and Italian travertine—should be bid for the sake of good business. Thus also it could be justified that the reason a foreign product was imported was for economies sake, since a State Institution (The University of Texas) must take the most economical route.”

The President’s Daily Diary, April 2, 1966. Pg. 4.  Photo of UT via Wikimedia Commons 

March 18, 1967. Lady Bird records in her diary:

“This morning I went into the Yellow Oval Room to meet a student group from Texas, brought here by the Texas State Society for their annual brunch. Horace Busby was the entrepreneur and the purpose was to honor ‘the campus generation’ in Texas and especially the University of Texas. This provided an opportunity to show another face of our young people and another face of Texas.
The honor guests were the members of the University of Texas College Bowl Team, which has just won the championship on television in a contest of academic knowledge against teams from other major colleges. The competition was a cliff-hanging thriller. Dr. Harry Ransom, Chancellor of the University of Texas, ordered the lights on the Main Building tower turned orange when they won, just as for a triumphant football team.”

 Texas-Ex Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 503. Photo by Smarter Within via flickr.

March 18, 1967. Lady Bird records in her diary:

“This morning I went into the Yellow Oval Room to meet a student group from Texas, brought here by the Texas State Society for their annual brunch. Horace Busby was the entrepreneur and the purpose was to honor ‘the campus generation’ in Texas and especially the University of Texas. This provided an opportunity to show another face of our young people and another face of Texas.

The honor guests were the members of the University of Texas College Bowl Team, which has just won the championship on television in a contest of academic knowledge against teams from other major colleges. The competition was a cliff-hanging thriller. Dr. Harry Ransom, Chancellor of the University of Texas, ordered the lights on the Main Building tower turned orange when they won, just as for a triumphant football team.”

 Texas-Ex Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 503. Photo by Smarter Within via flickr.

February 15, 1967. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets briefly with his friend Jim Novy, a member of the Agudas Achim Congregation of Austin, Texas, and an important leader in the local Jewish community. His relationship with the President dates back at least as far as LBJ’s time as head of the National Youth Administration in Texas. 
LBJ Presidential Library photo #A3695-4a, public domain. 

February 15, 1967. President Lyndon B. Johnson meets briefly with his friend Jim Novy, a member of the Agudas Achim Congregation of Austin, Texas, and an important leader in the local Jewish community. His relationship with the President dates back at least as far as LBJ’s time as head of the National Youth Administration in Texas

LBJ Presidential Library photo #A3695-4a, public domain. 

Barbara Jordan recalls her first meeting at the White House on Feb. 13, 1967 (about 20 seconds from beginning of recording): 

"Of course, everyone in Texas knew that Lyndon Johnson was a premier political figure in Texas. But when I was in the Texas State Senate—I served in the senate from January of 1967 until 1972 when I went to the Congress—Lyndon Johnson was president of this country, and I received a telegram at my home in Houston from Lyndon Johnson. The telegram was to the effect ‘we are having a meeting at the White House’ or having several people to discuss the future of a bill which was pending in the Congress. This bill was regarding changes in housing legislation to infuse that legislation with a civil rights component. And this telegram asked if I would meet at the White House to discuss this legislation, and it concluded, ‘Present this telegram at’ some gate of the White House.

"Well, I was, of course, quite startled to receive a telegram from the President of the United States asking that I come to Washington to talk about anything! I said, “Well, I guess I will go.” And I took the telegram—I was in Houston when I received the telegram—came back to Austin for the senate and showed it to my colleagues in the senate. I said, ‘You see, I’ve got an invitation to go to Washington.’ They were kind of excited about just the prospect. Now at the time, John Connally was governor of Texas, and I hadn’t had very good relations with Mr. Connally, but here was this invitation to the White House, so I went. 

"At that time you would fly to Washington to Dulles Airport and then you would take a limousine, which is really a bus, to Twelfth and K Streets at the Albert Pick Motel or Hotel. Then you take a taxi to where you wanted to go. So I flew to Washington. I got the bus to the Albert Pick. I took my bag—I wasn’t staying overnight so I didn’t have much luggage, and I put whatever I had in a locker at the Albert Pick transfer point, got a taxi and went to the White House, presented my telegram and got in, just like magic.

"I went up to what I now know was the Cabinet Room. There were other people assembled, people who were active in the civil rights movement. We sat and waited around a table for the President and the Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, to arrive. Well, as I sat there really at the far end of the table, I still said to myself, ‘Now, Lyndon Johnson probably doesn’t know who I am or what I am about, and my name probably just slipped in somehow and got into that [list].’ So the President came in, everybody stood up. He sat down, we all sat down, and we started to discuss this legislation, fair housing legislation.

And the conversation was going around the table. The President would call on first one person for a reaction and then another person for a reaction. Then he stopped and he looked at my end of the table, he said, ‘Barbara, what do you think?’ Well, I just … in the first place, I’m telling you, I didn’t know the President knew me, and here he’s looking down here saying ‘Barbara’ and then saying, ‘What do you think?’ So that was my first exchange with Lyndon Johnson. I’m startled. I got myself organized, of course, not so that I wouldn’t stammer, since it is not my habit to stammer when talking, and I gave a response and then this conversation ensued.”

January 27, 1967. A reporter learns that there is, well, no story to speak of about the creation of the LBJ Presidential Library. From the Daily Diary: 

"Andrew Glass of the Washington Post came into talk to the President about the Johnson library at Austin. He is doing a story for the Washington Post on the Johnson library, obviously inspired by the recent controversy in the Post over the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 
"Glass had been to Austin for four days talking to University officials and others concerned with the Johnson library. He asked the President whether any other sites had been considered for the library, and the President replied that consideration was given to a number of others, including Baylor, Johnson City, San Marcos, Syracuse University, and the Library of Congress. 
"The President described the reasons for the ultimate selection of Austin—the University of Texas provided important collateral sources for scholarly use and that as Mrs. Johnson’s and Lynda’s alma mater it had strong personal claim on the affections of the Johnsons. The President said the importance of the library to him was principally that it would house papers going back 35 years and encompassing many of the important public events of our times. Glass told the President that he had found—to his surprise—that there was no controversy over the library, no bad feelings or suspicion of any kind, and that he intended to write a story that would be favorable in tone.”

LBJ Presidential Library photo #d1773-3a, public domain. 

January 27, 1967. A reporter learns that there is, well, no story to speak of about the creation of the LBJ Presidential Library. From the Daily Diary

"Andrew Glass of the Washington Post came into talk to the President about the Johnson library at Austin. He is doing a story for the Washington Post on the Johnson library, obviously inspired by the recent controversy in the Post over the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 

"Glass had been to Austin for four days talking to University officials and others concerned with the Johnson library. He asked the President whether any other sites had been considered for the library, and the President replied that consideration was given to a number of others, including Baylor, Johnson City, San Marcos, Syracuse University, and the Library of Congress. 

"The President described the reasons for the ultimate selection of Austin—the University of Texas provided important collateral sources for scholarly use and that as Mrs. Johnson’s and Lynda’s alma mater it had strong personal claim on the affections of the Johnsons. The President said the importance of the library to him was principally that it would house papers going back 35 years and encompassing many of the important public events of our times. Glass told the President that he had found—to his surprise—that there was no controversy over the library, no bad feelings or suspicion of any kind, and that he intended to write a story that would be favorable in tone.”

LBJ Presidential Library photo #d1773-3a, public domain. 

November 4, 1966. Texas Governor John Connally (on the right) examines a turkey.  
Photo by Neal Douglass from the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, via The Portal to Texas History at University of North Texas Libraries. 

November 4, 1966. Texas Governor John Connally (on the right) examines a turkey.  

Photo by Neal Douglass from the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, via The Portal to Texas History at University of North Texas Libraries. 

October 10, 1966.  Austin’s first underground newspaper The Rag publishes its first issue.  Check out the oral history with founder Thorne Dreyer from the Houston Public Library and the rest of The Rag Archives online.

October 10, 1966.  Austin’s first underground newspaper The Rag publishes its first issue.  Check out the oral history with founder Thorne Dreyer from the Houston Public Library and the rest of The Rag Archives online.

August 1, 1966. From Washington, LBJ calls Paul Bolton and his daughter Beverly Sonntag, whose son Paul was killed by Charles Whitman in Austin.  He sends his condolences and tells Mrs. Sonntag that Lady Bird will call her soon.

Bolton was a long-time friend of the Johnsons and news director at KTBC-TV, which broadcast live a special program about the shooting on the evening of August 1st.  KTBC’s footage and reporting were seen all across the country.

August 1, 1966. The University of Texas at Austin campus becomes a scene of unimaginable horror when Charles Whitman opens fire from the UT Tower. This video is the feed that went out from the Johnsons’ television station KTBC, at that time the only TV station in Austin. 

What happened that day, from the Handbook of Texas Online article by Alwyn Barr:

"During the pre-dawn hours of August 1, 1966, Whitman killed his mother in her apartment and his wife at their residence.  Later in the morning he bought a variety of ammunition and a shotgun; about 11:30 A.M. he went to the university tower, taking with him a footlocker, six guns, knives, food, and water.  After clubbing the receptionist (who later died) on the twenty-eighth floor about 11:45 A.M., he killed two persons and wounded two others who were coming up the stairs from the twenty-seventh floor.  On the observation deck of the tower, at an elevation of 231 feet, Whitman then opened fire on persons crossing the campus and on nearby streets, killing ten more people and wounding thirty-one more (one of whom died a week later).  Police arrived and returned his fire, while other policemen worked their way into the tower.  Several of the dead and wounded were moved to cover by students and other citizens while the firing continued.  At 1:24 P.M. police and a deputized private citizen reached the observation deck, where police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shot and killed Whitman.  Altogether, seventeen persons were killed, including Whitman, and thirty-one were wounded in one of the worst mass murders in modern United States history.  An autopsy on Whitman’s body revealed a brain tumor, but medical authorities disagreed over its effect on Whitman’s actions.  His body was returned to Lake Worth, Florida, for burial."

Video from the Neil Spelce Collection at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Lots of primary and secondary resources on Whitman and the shootings, including police case files, photographs, newspaper articles, and oral history interviews, are available at the Austin History Center.

July 25, 1966. The White House issues a press release discussing the details of the preparation of the cake for the wedding of Luci Johnson and Pat Nugent, to be held on August 6. The cake is a seven-layer summer fruit cake, which allows White House pastry chef Ferdinand Louvat to prepare the cake well ahead of the event. The decorations for the cake include sugar swans, roses, and lilies-of-the-valley. This recipe is for the top layer of the cake, a small bride’s cake that the couple usually takes on their honeymoon. The recipe is one of Luci’s favorites from Mrs. Roy Folk Beal, a mother of bridesmaid Betty Beal. 
Chocolate cake recipe, “Luci’s Wedding (1966),” Reference File, LBJ Presidential Library.

July 25, 1966. The White House issues a press release discussing the details of the preparation of the cake for the wedding of Luci Johnson and Pat Nugent, to be held on August 6. The cake is a seven-layer summer fruit cake, which allows White House pastry chef Ferdinand Louvat to prepare the cake well ahead of the event. The decorations for the cake include sugar swans, roses, and lilies-of-the-valley. This recipe is for the top layer of the cake, a small bride’s cake that the couple usually takes on their honeymoon. The recipe is one of Luci’s favorites from Mrs. Roy Folk Beal, a mother of bridesmaid Betty Beal. 

Chocolate cake recipe, “Luci’s Wedding (1966),” Reference File, LBJ Presidential Library.

May 12, 1966. Lady Bird, President Johnson, Max Brooks, W.W. Heath, and Bill Moyers, among others, meet with architect Gordon Bunshaft to see his concept model for the future Presidential Library which will be built on the UT Austin campus.

 In his oral history, Bunshaft describes the presentation:

Bunshaft: The President walked in and he said, “Mr. Bunshaft, I only have five minutes.”  God, I ran him back and forth between these two things, and he stayed about fifteen minutes.  I didn’t ever figure out how he could understand what I was talking about.  This is a complex building, if you see it, especially on drawings.  I ran him back and forth.  That was a Friday.  He didn’t say a word [about] whether he liked it or not.  He left and Mrs. Johnson said, “Well, we’ll have to do a lot of thinking and talking about this.”  Then that was the end of it.  Monday the President called up Heath in Texas and said, “I approve the design.”

Mulhollan: From a lengthy fifteen minute briefing.

B: Yes.  That floored everybody, because we assumed it would take at least a month. […] Frank [Stanton] had thought that the President might talk of this.  He didn’t know about the approval.  In fact, I didn’t either Tuesday.  And [Johnson] described the building to his wife.  After dinner, President Johnson described every damned detail of this building to Mrs. Stanton.

M: And got it right.

B: Got the whole damned thing.  Now, how the hell he could have understood it and remembered it from fifteen minutes is beyond me.  In fact, the next meeting I had, I talked to one of the secretaries, Juanita Roberts, and I said, “Look, he must have come back and studied that model.”  The model was taken away the next morning, but he could have come back that evening.  She’s very close, not his secretary, she’s an assistant; she’s not out there, but she’s in Washington—anyhow, swore up and down that the President never went back.

— Transcript, Gordon Bunshaft Oral History Interview I, 6/25/69, by Paige E. Mulhollan, Electronic Copy, LBJ Library.