Posts Tagged ‘President Johnson’

[edited 8.7.09 to correct typos I made to Carolyn’s letter. Sorry, Carolyn!]

Carolyn Lipka from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, North, in New Jersey, one of our researchers who worked with Barbara Cline, received 1st place in the National History Day senior individual documentary category for her documentary:  “Legislation By Johnson:  Man and Moment.”  She received a gold medal and the History Channel Prize of $5,000.00; she has sent us a DVD of her documentary.

It’s easy to see why she won! Unfortunately, copyright laws prohibit me from posting her winning video, but trust me when I say that her documentary is a testimony to the importance of this event and the LBJ Library’s annual participation every February. Check out the extensive resources made available by the LBJ Library’s Education Specialist who does a yeoman’s job every year as host of the Central Texas Region History Day Competition!

Here are some snippets from her letter to LBJ Library Archivist Barbara Cline notifying her about winning the prize.

In my time at the LBJ Library I learned more than in the entirety of my other research.  I was afforded the opportunity to interview Luci Johnson; I was granted access to innumerable boxes of original archives, including daily diaries and oral histories.  One of my favorite things to do while I was there was looking through the extensive collection of political cartoons…”

“The taped conversations of Lyndon Johnson are a truly unique resource, but one which can be overwhelming.  Your assistance, in particular, helped me make sense of the voluminous recordings.  They wound up forming a vital part of my documentary.  My experience working with a generous and extremely knowledgeable staff of dedicated archivists such as your self gave me a great appreciation for the work of the LBJ Library…

“Because I am now aware of the great and important work of the Library, I plan on making a contribution to the LBJ Library.  I have used many research facilities over the past several years, and I came away from the LBJ Library with a feeling of gratitude that I was able to experience it.”

“I really appreciate all that you have done for my project, and I hope you enjoy ten minutes all about the immensely complex, fascinating giant that was Lyndon Johnson.”

Congratulations Carolyn. Please come back anytime and keep making those documentaries. We expect to hear more great things from you in the future!

Anyone else out there want to use our resources to tell a story? Check out our resources for researchers.

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Date: May 15, 2009
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Place: LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, a landmark law that profoundly changed how citizens can learn about their government.

On May 15, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas
at Austin, in co-sponsorship with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will co-host this free, one-day conference with speakers and panelists interacting simultaneously, through videoconferencing, in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Innovations in fiscal transparency online
  • Technologies for monitoring legislation and spending
  • The “right-to-know” agenda for the 21st century
  • Innovation in the states
  • The future of “i-government”
  • Citizen participation online
  • How technologists can help

This event is meant for public sector managers and leaders, elected officials, nonprofit advocates, technologists and developers, and citizens interested in transforming government with new online tools.

President Barack Obama’s “Day One” action, on January 21, 2009, emphasized his commitment to open and free government information, spelled out in his Freedom of Information Act Memorandum, the very first order the new President issued from the White House.

Already there is an explosion of new tools on the Internet to access government information in innovative ways.

The one-day conference, “Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of
Transparency,” will look at these developments through the eyes of nationally prominent speakers and the participation of the audience.

Featured speakers include

  • Bill Bradley, The Hon. Former Senator
  • Vivek Kundra, White House Chief Information Officer
  • Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller
  • Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation Director

For more information and to register…

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Over the past three years, the E3 Alliance and Texas Forums have joined forces to engage communities across Central Texas in deliberating education issues and implementing changes that will align our educational system, close education gaps, enlist the talents and energy of the entire community, and provide our students with a foundation for ongoing educational and career success. This has been a remarkable endeavor involving thousands of parents, educators, business leaders, students, policy-makers, school administrators, university presidents, non-profit organizations and policy think tanks.

This effort has even been recognized by the Kettering Foundation research organization that explores what it takes to make democracy work as it should. Headed by Dr. David Mathews, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and author of several books about the public’s role in public education, the Kettering Foundation invited us to be part of their research project on how people in communities are talking about education. We prepared a report to the Kettering Foundation in December 2007 and continue to address questions jointly prepared by us and their research team. This post is a brief description of the project with links to some of the resources we created over the past three years.

In the fall of 2007, Texas Forums trained 120 moderators to work in six communities. To ensure that we had involvement from young people both as participants and as community engagement leaders, we worked with Austin Voices for Education and Youth to recruit and train students to serve as co-moderators. Over 600 people in six communities – Bastrop, Manor, San Marcos, Eanes, Austin and Round Rock – spent three evenings discussing how to close the education gaps within our school districts and across the region. All of the forums were organized by local community champions. At the end of the series of forums in each community, participants signed up to work on action items.

In November 2007, delegates from the community forums met at the LBJ Presidential Library atrium to refine their community action plans and combine their ideas into a regional map using a graphic template. Meanwhile community leaders met in the Brown Room of the LBJ Library to learn about the deliberative forum process these delegates had experienced. The two groups were then combined for a large group discussion that was graphically recorded.

Eleven regional goals emerged from this conversation:

  1. Children Enter Kindergarten School Ready
  2. Every 5th grader has mastered reading and math at or above grade level
  3. Central Texas schools foster a culture of learning through high expectations and strong leadership
  4. Central Texas closes Achievement Gaps for all students while improving overall performance
  5. English Language Learners reach their highest potential in education regardless of when they come to Central Texas
  6. Central Texas Students Set the Standard for Excellence in Math & Science
  7. Students graduate high school and are prepared to succeed in life
  8. 20,010 more high school graduates are prepared for and enroll in college by 2010
  9. Central Texas Higher Education Institutions increase regional success rate by 50% by 2015
  10. Central Texas is world-renowned in target fields, both in higher education and in industry
  11. Central Texas as a community works with regional educators to prepare all children to succeed in life

We prepared a handout (available here) describing each of these goals along with additional data about each goal and how it applies to Central Texas.

While all eleven of these goals will be needed for systemic and sustainable change in how we think about and approach education in Central Texas, we knew that it would be important to establish priorities and recruit volunteers to act on the most important goals. In January 2008, we convened a Summit of business leaders, community representatives, non-profits and policy-makers to deliberate and further refine these eleven goals. They prioritized the top four goals that became known as The Blueprint for Educational Change.

The top four goals are:

  1. All children enter kindergarten school ready.
  2. We eliminate achievement gaps while improving overall student performance.
  3. All students graduate college-and-career ready and prepared for a lifetime of learning.
  4. Central Texas as a community prepares children to succeed.

Participants at the 2008 Summit (cajoled by Senator Kirk Watson known for inspiring people to act!) signed up to be Blueprint Champions. There definitely was a sense at the Summit that real educational change was possible as it had never been before. The Blueprint Champions worked through 2008 to prove it!

In the fall of 2008, we continued engaging new communities in educational dialogues. At the request of three communities not included in the first year – Pflugerville, Hutto and Leander – we organized a second round of dialogues in the fall of 2008. Recognizing that The Blueprint for Educational Change is dynamic, ambitious and will evolve over time, we engaged members of these communities in a dialogue about what The Blueprint for Educational Change would look like in their community. They also spent an evening using the discussion guide “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs” that we adapted from the National Issues Forums book. Each community developed action plans based on common themes that they heard in their deliberations.

Here are some ideas from the Hutto team working on the theme, “Make learning relevant to the real world.”

(For more action items from the Hutto community, see our YouTube stream on Education in Hutto)

pflugerville-education-clappingOnce again, delegates from the community dialogues (including a large representation of enthusiastic students) community leaders and The Blueprint Champions came to a Summit in February 2009. At the Summit, we updated and refined The Blueprint Action Plans, launched The Blueprint for Educational Change website, and the delegates met over lunch to work on their community action plans and to share their plans with each other. We are continuing to meet with the local community champions and superintendents as they work to implement their community action plans.

There was much to celebrate at the second Summit. The Blueprint for Educational action teams had scores of items that they could cross of their “to do list” even as we added more actions and volunteers to work on each of the four goals. Now it’s time to go back to work on the regional plan as we continue to support the community-driven plans. I’ll be meeting with the Hutto School Board on March 31st to help them set priorities for their community. We met with Leander last month and did the same. In addition, E3 is connecting teachers and superintendents to resources they are developing in partnership with UT.

The Blueprint for Educational change aims to address the needs across the entire educational continuum from kindergarten through post-secondary and on to career and lifelong success across Central Texas. The scope is ambitious, but achievable if we all roll up our sleeves and contribute our time and talents. To make a formal commitment, Join the Blueprint for Educational Change and download these ideas for ways you can support the four goals!

President Johnson was an educator long before he was President and some of his proudest accomplishments were programs like Head Start, a nation-wide effort to give pre-schoolers from poor families the nutritional and other attentions they need to begin first grade on a par with other children – an early effort to meet our own Blueprint Goal #1. So it is appropriate that the LBJ Library’s initiative, Texas Forums has been involved in the project with E3 Alliance. We are proud to be their featured partner and look forward to another year of collaborating to align regional education efforts and strengthen community involvement to meet the needs of our youth in Central Texas.

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On December 4, the LBJ Presidential Library released the last of the audio-taped conversations with President Johnson from May 1968 – January 1969, his last few months in office. The tapes begin with a conversation with Ted Sorenson asking him to convey his sorrow to the Kennedy family for the shooting of Robert Kennedy and President Johnson’s plans to provide special security for each Presidential candidate and their families. It ends on January 2, 1969 with his conversation with Russell Long from the LBJ Ranch in which President Johnson expressed concern that Senator Kennedy’s effort to replace Senator Long as the the Democratic WHIP would split the Democratic party.

1968 was a watershed year in American history, and the final months of President Johnson’s administration were filled with turbulence and crises. Here are some highlights:

  • discussions of the negotiations with the North Vietnamese at the Paris peace talks
  • the fight within the Democratic Party among the candidates for the presidential nomination
  • the decision on October 31, 1968–just days before the presidential election–to end all bombing of North Vietnam
  • the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in June 1968
  • the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968
  • dissension and rioting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago
  • the presidential campaigns of Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, and George Wallace

These events come to life in the recordings of his telephone conversations.

Below is the CBS coverage of the release

Text of the CBS coverage of the release of President Johnson Tapes

Watch the CBS Coverage

LBJ Tapes Show Frustration Over Vietnam
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2008

(CBS) New audio tapes were released Thursday from the final months of Lyndon Johnson’s presi-dency four decades ago. They reveal a leader wrestling with the Vietnam war – and very much in-volved in the 1968 presidential campaign, even after he decided not to run, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports.

Forty years before Democrats nominated their first candidate of color, President Lyndon Johnson told 1968 presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey that he should pick a Japanese-American as his running mate.

It was Sen. Daniel Inouye, who was awarded a silver star in World War II, and who lost an arm in battle.

“He answers Vietnam with that empty sleeve. He answers your problems with Nixon with that empty sleeve. He has that brown face,” Johnson said.

Humphrey, though he was one of the Senate’s foremost liberals, balked.

“I guess maybe, it’s just taking me a little too far, too fast,” Humphrey said. “Old, conservative Humphrey.”

The Vietnam War was tearing the country apart. Democrats wanted their convention platform to call for a halt to U.S. bombing.

From his Texas ranch, Johnson – whose son-in-law was serving in Vietnam – told an aide “no way.”

“I’m telling ’em what our position is as Commander-in-Chief that I’m not about to stop this bombing unless they arrest me and take my power away from me,” he said. “Because I’ve got some of my own right there and I’m not gonna shoot ’em in the heart. Not for a bunch of goddamn draft dodg-ers.”

Johnson got his way, but the convention in Chicago was a disaster. He listened without comment as his attorney general, Ramsey Clark, blamed the police.

“It was a very disgusting moment in my judgment, Mr. President,” Clark said. “I think it was caused by law enforcement.”

But Johnson, who sympathized with Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, was having problems with his attorney general.

“Well, he doesn’t see this as you and I see it,” Johnson said

Daley argued that his police had been provoked.

“What are you gonna do if someone hits you with human manure in the face, are you gonna stand there?” Daley said.

Johnson did halt the bombing just before the election, which was extremely close. The morning af-ter, Humphrey called to apologize for losing.

“I’m sorry I let you down a little,” he said.

Johnson replied: “No you didn’t, no you didn’t, it’s on a lot of other folks but not you. It’s our own people in the party that created all the problems.”

Today’s tapes were the final release of Lyndon Johnson’s phone calls – recordings that have pro-vided an extraordinary insight into his presidency. Since LBJ, no politician has controlled the party so completely – and none is likely to do it ever again.

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Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park News Release

President Johnson at the ranch he loved

President Johnson at the ranch he loved

Stonewall, TX – Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park invites everyone to come out to the LBJ Ranch on Wednesday, August 27 in celebration of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s life and legacy. On that date, our 36th president would have been 100 years old. In his honor, the annual wreath laying ceremony will be presented in the Johnson family cemetery on the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall. The public is invited to drive from the State Park to the ranch for this program, which will commence at approximately 10:30 a.m. Gates to the LBJ Ranch will open at 9:30 a.m. Drivers must display a permit to drive onto the ranch. Permits will be available at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site’s Visitor Center, one mile east of Stonewall or 14 miles west of Johnson City off U.S. Highway 290, where traditional old time games and refreshments will be served all day.

President and Mrs. Johnson’s daughters, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, will lay the wreath and share their personal reminiscences. Colonel Jacqueline D. Van Ovost of Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, representing the sitting president, will assist in laying the wreath and offer remarks suitable to the occasion.

Texas White House

Texas White House

Immediately following the ceremony, the public is invited to enter the famed Texas White House for the first time to view the newly restored presidential office and enjoy National Park Service tours of the room and the grounds. Tours will begin in the historic airplane hangar, a short walk from the house and grounds. Additional rooms in the house will be furnished and opened to the public on future dates.

Lynda Robb, the elder Johnson daughter, is a self-proclaimed “professional volunteer.” She is currently President of the National Home Library Foundation and Chair Emerita of Reading is Fundamental. She has previously served as co-vice chair of America’s Promise, a board member of Ford’s Theatre, Chair of the President’s Advisory Committee for Women, a member of the selection board of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, Chair of the Virginia Women’s Cultural History Project, Chair of the Virginia Task Force on Infant Mortality and Commissioner on the National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and recipient of numerous civic awards and honors. She and her husband, former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Charles Robb, have three daughters and two grandchildren.

Luci Baines Johnson is Chairman of the Board of LBJ Asset Management Partners, Inc. and Vice President of BusinessSuites, a nationwide office business service center. Her diverse community commitments include board member of the LBJ Family Foundation, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. She is a co-founder of Children’s Hospital Grandparent’s Club, a board member of SafePlace, a Life Trustee of Children’s Hospital Foundation of Austin and the Seton Fund, a member of the advisory board of Trinity School, and a former member of the advisory boards of the University Of Texas School Of Nursing and the School of Communication. She has received numerous awards including the YWCA of Greater Austin–Women of the Year 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, the SafePlace 2006 Community Hero Award, the 2005 Girls Scouts of America’s Women of Distinction Award, 1997 Top 25 Women Owned Businesses by the Austin Business Journal and the Distinguished Service Award from Georgetown University School of Nursing (1996). She is married to Ian Turpin and has four grown children, one stepson, and ten grandchildren.

Colonel Jacqueline D. Van Ovost is the Commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing (FTW), Randolph Air Force Base. The wing maintains approximately 150 aircraft and includes an infrastructure worth more than $3.1 billion for a work force of about 8,000 active duty, reservists and civilians. The 12th FTW hosts Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, 19th Air Force, Air Force Personnel Center, Air Force Recruiting Service and 30 other tenant units, while supporting an estimated 51,000 retirees. Colonel Van Ovost is the recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.

President Johnson’s birth date has been celebrated with a wreath laying since August 27, 1973. He died on January 22, 1973, and the National Park Service has been conducting public tours using a bus fleet since then. In contrast to the park ranger-guide bus tours of the LBJ Ranch, this year the public will access the ranch in their own vehicles. The ranch will be open for touring by private vehicle beginning August 27 and continuing until September 30, when this vehicular access will be evaluated.

For further information or driving directions, and for additional upcoming events during 2008, Lyndon B. Johnson’s Centennial Year, please call (830) 868-7128, ext. 231 or 244, or log on to www.lbj100.org.

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For Immediate Release: June 12, 2008

* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *


logosAUSTIN, TX and SIMI VALLEY, CA – Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson have extended invitations to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama to speak at Town Hall meetings in July. These non-partisan meetings, to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California and at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, will provide voters with an opportunity to hear the presumptive nominees discuss the issues together prior to the two National Conventions later this summer and the start of the traditional series of Presidential Debates in September and October of this year.

“The Reagan Library is honored to participate in this historic bi-partisan dialogue,” said former first lady Nancy Reagan. “Ronnie always believed in the importance of face-to-face discussion on key issues that affect the American people.”

“My father wanted the LBJ Library & Museum to always be a place where leaders of the day would come and deliberate the great issues of our time in order that we might better serve future generations,” said Luci Baines Johnson.

Lynda Johnson Robb stated, “In the bipartisan spirit of the presidential library system, my father would be proud of this opportunity for Americans to embrace a Scripture verse he quoted often, ‘Come, now, let us reason together.'”

These forums will be open to all media outlets. A respected, independent polling organization will be brought on to ensure that the audiences will represent a cross-section of the American people. Candidates will be given equal access to address key issues through audience questions.

More details will be announced at a later date.

About the Johnson Library:

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum houses 45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photos, one million feet of motion picture film, and 5,000 hours of recording from the public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his associates. The museum provides year-round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits. President Johnson insisted that the library bearing his name exist for the people to visit free of charge.

About the Reagan Library:

Located in Simi Valley, California, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers, an extraordinary collection of photographs and film, and over 100,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Home to Air Force One 27000, it now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President.

Media Contacts:

Melissa Giller
Ronald Reagan Foundation
(805) 390-6405

Anne Wheeler
Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation
(512) 731-2351

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