September 16, 1952. As LBJ traveled around Texas campaigning for Adlai Stevenson, Mrs. Johnson and the girls had a harrowing experience at the LBJ Ranch: surviving the most destructive flood in the Hill Country’s recorded history.
As historian Randall B. Woods tells the story,
“Lady Bird and Lucy, who dined in the dark on tomato soup and peanut butter sandwiches, could do nothing but watch the Pedernales rise, sweeping away topsoil, trees, and livestock. As the river approached the front porch, Lady Bird read her daughter stories by the light of a coal-lamp.”
(LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, 245)
Photo courtesy of the Lower Colorado River Association. See more photos of this flood, and others, on their Flickr collection.