Collecting postcards of American Presidents, First Ladies and their homes offers an opportunity to relive or reflect upon major events in American history. It’s an affordable and fun way to learn about how our nation’s first families lived.
Johnson became the 36th President of the United States when John Kennedy was assassinated in 1962, and he served until 1969. Lady Bird Johnson was now in the international spotlight as the nation’s First Lady. She became known for her active role in the beautification of America. The Johnsons loved to spend time at their beloved Texas ranch. In fact, Johnson made 74 trips to Johnson City during his 5 years in office and world leaders were often entertained there.
A tour of the Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park, located in Johnson City, begins at the park visitor center. Exhibits highlight the major events of the 1960s. A popular attraction is an exhibit of famous guests at the nearby LBJ Ranch. The Great Society Wall highlights the major accomplishments of the Lyndon Johnson presidency. Film presentations and an audio and video time line chronicle Lyndon B. Johnson’s life, career, and 20th century world events.
One block from the visitor center is the home where Johnson lived from age 5 until he married Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor at age 26. This Victorian home was built in 1901 and purchased by Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr. in 1913. In 1969 Congress designated it as a Historic Site. The National Park Service restored the home to the way it looked during Johnson’s teenage years, and opened it for public tours in 1973.
The Johnson Settlement is about a ten-minute walk from the visitor center. (A road is available for use only by handicapped persons.) Johnson’s paternal grandparents, Sam and Eliza Johnson, lived here during the 1860s. Visitors may tour their original dog-trot cabin and a stone barn and see a corral of longhorn cattle, a windmill, and a chuckwagon.
The LBJ Ranch can be seen on a ranger-guided bus tour. Sites passed include the home of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, known as the Texas White House during his presidency. It was on this spacious lawn that world dignataries were served Texas barbeque. A short stop is made at Johnson’s birthplace. Lyndon Johnson was the only president to have his birthplace reconstructed and historically restored while he was in office. The journey continues as the bus travels through the working ranch and past the one-room Junction School he attended. The tour concludes with a brief bus stop at the Johnson family cemetery where Johnson was laid to rest in 1973 with four generations of his family. Lady Bird Johnson was buried here in July.
1) America’s first family from 1963 until 1969 included Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson and their two daughters Lynda (in suit, to her father’s right) and Luci (to her father’s left.) Chrome postcard by Alabama Postcard of Bessemer.
2) In Johnson’s family for many years, this ranch house made headlines worldwide when it served as the summer White House. Chrome postcard by Curteichcolor. Distributed by Burco Cards of San Antonio.
3) Lyndon Johnson lived here while attending school in Johnson City. Chrome postcard. Published by Anchor Publishing of San Angelo, TX.
4) The birthplace of Lyndon B. Johnson was reconstructed on its original site on the banks of the Pedernales River. Chrome postcard. Photo by Douglas Hubbard. Plastichrome postcard distributed by Awani Press of Fredericksburg, TX.
5) National Park Service tour buses leave the LBJ State Park at regular intervals for the LBJ Ranch and surroundings. Chrome postcard. Photograph by Douglas Hubbard. Plastichrome card distributed by Awani Press of Fredericksburg, TX.
6) Lyndon B. Johnson portrait, chrome postcard, one of series of oil portraits of presidents by Morris Katz of New York, copyright 1966.
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