August 26, 1967. 
1 PM. Lady Bird leaves Kerrville, TX, where she has attended the dedication of the Butt-Holdsworth Library. 
1:30 PM. Lunch at the Ranch. Work with decorators. 
10 PM. Leave Austin for Washington, DC, with stopover in Dallas. 
3:30 AM. Land at Friendship Airport (now BWI). Travel to Mt. Vernon, then ferry to the yacht Sequoia, anchored on the Potomac. 
4:30 AM. “And with a few muffled word of greeting, I sank wearily into bed. It was 4:30 AM, and it was the morning of Lyndon’s fifty-ninth birthday.”
-A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 620-621. Photo via Boy Scouts of America, York-Adams Area Council,

August 26, 1967. 

  • 1 PM. Lady Bird leaves Kerrville, TX, where she has attended the dedication of the Butt-Holdsworth Library. 
  • 1:30 PM. Lunch at the Ranch. Work with decorators. 
  • 10 PM. Leave Austin for Washington, DC, with stopover in Dallas. 
  • 4:30 AM. “And with a few muffled word of greeting, I sank wearily into bed. It was 4:30 AM, and it was the morning of Lyndon’s fifty-ninth birthday.”

-A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 620-621. Photo via Boy Scouts of America, York-Adams Area Council,

It’s strange. You feel soothed and happy by the companionship of your daughter and your son-in-law, and the fine young people who are their friends and the members of your staff. And the cool, brisk, shiny beauty of the day. But simultaneously, you are way down and grieved, emotionally wearied by the troubles that you must try to solve—the growing virus of the riots, the rising list of Vietnam casualties, criticism from your own friends, or former friends, in Congress—and most of the complaining is coming from the Democrats.

August 13, 1967. Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 611.

August 2, 1967. A doting grandma (Lady Bird) pushes her grandchild (Lyn Nugent) in front of the White House. As peaceful as this image is, Lady Bird was never far from constant concerns of her family’s public position: 

“They [Luci and Pat Nugent] will go to the Bahamas sometime this week, just when I don’t really want to know. I understand Luci’s reasoning for not wanting to give out this information. In the climate of the day, with bitterness and riots, as carefree a little soul as she is, she does not want to advertise the time when both she and Pat will be on a plane.”

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 606.  Photo c6157-6a, public domain. 

August 2, 1967. A doting grandma (Lady Bird) pushes her grandchild (Lyn Nugent) in front of the White House. As peaceful as this image is, Lady Bird was never far from constant concerns of her family’s public position: 

“They [Luci and Pat Nugent] will go to the Bahamas sometime this week, just when I don’t really want to know. I understand Luci’s reasoning for not wanting to give out this information. In the climate of the day, with bitterness and riots, as carefree a little soul as she is, she does not want to advertise the time when both she and Pat will be on a plane.”

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 606.  Photo c6157-6a, public domain. 

A subject that had been very much on my mind over the weekend was our ‘coming down off the mountain’—our departure from this place. On Sunday there was a poll that showed a distinct downward trend in the number of people who approved of Lyndon’s handling of the war in Vietnam. Our own decision, our hope, our determination, is to leave when this term ends. but how to tell it to the world, and when—in the fall, as John Connally suggested? Or not until March 1968—my own idea? Nevertheless, it does seem the leaves of autumn are falling rather early, since there are eighteen months left of this term.

 Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 605.  July 31, 1967. 

July 7, 1967. Lady Bird records a trip to Lockhart, Texas (self-proclaimed BBQ capital of the world) in her diary:

"The whole visit to Lockhart filled me with pride, that this little Texas town of of six thousand population had the spark and the get-up-and-get to make the most of its Court House square. The focal point of the square is the old white limestone Victorian-style Court House, described by Mr. Zisman, the restoration architect, as ‘a structure ugly enough to be beautiful.’ There must be at least one hundred Court Houses in Texas of this vintage, built in the 1890s—unbelievable accumulations of turrets, towers, domes, gingerbread, columns, and carvings."

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 597.  Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
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July 7, 1967. Lady Bird records a trip to Lockhart, Texas (self-proclaimed BBQ capital of the world) in her diary:

"The whole visit to Lockhart filled me with pride, that this little Texas town of of six thousand population had the spark and the get-up-and-get to make the most of its Court House square. The focal point of the square is the old white limestone Victorian-style Court House, described by Mr. Zisman, the restoration architect, as ‘a structure ugly enough to be beautiful.’ There must be at least one hundred Court Houses in Texas of this vintage, built in the 1890s—unbelievable accumulations of turrets, towers, domes, gingerbread, columns, and carvings."

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 597.  Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

June 25, 1967. While Chairman Kosygin and President Johnson meet at Glassboro, Lady Bird. Liz Carpenter, and Lynda spend the afternoon with Mrs. Lyudmila Gvishiani, the daughter of Chairman Kosygin.  Mrs. Betty Hughes, the wife of the Governor of New Jersey, serves as hostess. Lady Bird recorded in her diary:

“As we flew along the Atlantic coast Betty showed her a public beach where anybody could come for twenty-five cents, with bath houses for changing clothes…and the long stretch of the Atlantic and the endless sandy beach.  There were thousands of people sunning and swimming.  It was a great sight.  We could see the boardwalk and the big hotels, and I was every bit as interested as Mrs. Gvishiana.

It was apparent from the beginning that Lynda Bird took to her and she, I believe, to Lynda.  They talked mostly to each other.  Betty Hughes, our official hostess, was an excellent, highly amusing talker.  I was rather quiet and so was Liz.  There was never any need for an interpreter.  Our guest of honor was indeed unpretentious and easy to be with.

Then the weathered, gray clapboard house right on the shore of the Atlantic came into view.  This house had been the New Jersey Governor’s summer residence for a number of years and at present it housed Governor and Mrs. Hughes and about seven of their ten children, not to mention the numerous visitors that are always in tow with children.”

—Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 537-538. LBJ Presidential Library photos C5810-3a, C5812-2a, C5812-31a, C5813-11, C5814-29, and C5829-4a; images are in the public domain.

June 10, 1967. Lady Bird Johnson and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall enjoy a Maine lobster feast. The two are Down East for the “New England: Then and Now” trip: you can watch the Navy Film of their travels for lots more. 

June 10, 1967. Lady Bird Johnson and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall enjoy a Maine lobster feast. The two are Down East for the “New England: Then and Now” trip: you can watch the Navy Film of their travels for lots more. 

(Source: lbjlibrary.org)

June 7, 1967. 10:11 pm. The President asked for Luci Nugent— she was reported out to dinner. The President looked at Mrs. Johnson and remarked that he thought Luci was having a baby, so shouldn’t she be staying home? Mrs. Johnson laughed and said that was some day soon, and she felt sure she would stay home that day!

The President’s Daily Diary, June 7, 1967.

June 5, 1967. Lady Bird records some of the thoughts about the chaotic day in her daily audio diary:

“Not since that day in October 1962 (during the Cuban missile crisis) had I felt so tense and strained, known such a feeling of foreboding…I remember that other day, when I stood in the bedroom at The Elms—a beautiful, clear, golden day—and looked out at the sunlight shimmering on the leaves of golds and crimsons and reds and wondered: ‘Is this the last beautiful October day we shall see?’ But there is nothing I can do about the great clash of powers—nothing at all, except be quiet and sympathetic and cheerful when Lyndon is home…

In this place there are thermometers of trouble somewhere in the world…the presence of TV vans by the West Wing is always one, and in the space outside the press lobby a commentator with a mike standing in the spotlight’s glare. Another is the sudden arrival of a fleet of limousines, some bringing Congressional leadership, and some Chiefs of Staff, to Lyndon’s office.

It was a little after 10 when Lyndon came home to dinner. He looked burdened and the lines in his face deeper, and I felt it would be the greatest cruelty for me to ask him to talk about the war in the Middle East. I tried some brisk, bright reports on what I had been doing today, and they sounded hollow.”

—Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, page 520-522 Photos LBJ Presidential Library 5608-8a, 5608-2a, 5608-3a, and 5608-14a; public domain.

This day began with the most dread and frightening sound that can happen in this house—the sudden ringing of the telephone in the middle of the night. It can never be good news.

War has erupted in the Middle East. Efforts by the President and others to prevent it have failed. 

Lady Bird Johnson, June 5, 1967. A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 572.

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.

I find myself enjoying every return to the Ranch more and more. And I do not know whether we can endure another four-year term in the Presidency.

Lady Bird Johnson in her diary, May 13, 1967. A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 569.

The Secret Service says that there is one woman in the audience who may arise and say ‘Stop the War in Vietnam.’ You had better be thinking about what you will answer.

Note, Liz Carpenter to Lady Bird, during dinner and reception at the Hotel Pierre in New York City for Citizens’ Committee for the Children of New York. May 10, 1967. The evening passed without incident. As relayed in Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 568.

May 3, 1967, Lady Bird Johnson shakes hands with Lassie as others look on at the Keep America Beautiful Poster Presentation. 
LBJ Presidential Library photo #C5290-28, public domain. 

May 3, 1967, Lady Bird Johnson shakes hands with Lassie as others look on at the Keep America Beautiful Poster Presentation. 

LBJ Presidential Library photo #C5290-28, public domain. 

May 1, 1967. A chef in the White House kitchen poses with one of their creations: desserts shaped like flowers in flower pots. 
LBJ Presidential Library photo #C5271-16, public domain. 

May 1, 1967. A chef in the White House kitchen poses with one of their creations: desserts shaped like flowers in flower pots. 

LBJ Presidential Library photo #C5271-16, public domain.