Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lady Bird

- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Complete guide, arrangements, bio, schedule, and tributes
- Link to Human Flower Project, "Lady Bird's Wild Highways"

Sadly, we, not only in Austin but all over this country have lost another great treasure in Lady Bird Johnson. She brought a lot of beauty into the world, beauty of the lasting kind. From her bio:
The Beautification Act of 1965 was one tangible result of Mrs. Johnson’s campaign for national beautification. Known as “Lady Bird’s Bill” because of her active support, the legislation called for control of outdoor advertising, including removal of certain types of signs along the nation's Interstate system and the existing federal-aid primary system. It also required certain junkyards along Interstate or primary highways to be removed or screened and encouraged scenic enhancement and roadside development.

It is part of that legacy that today the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 requires that at least 0.25 of 1 percent of funds expended for landscaping projects in the highway system be used to plant native flowers, plants and trees.

The term beautification concerned Mrs. Johnson, who feared it was “cosmetic” and “trivial.” She emphasized that it meant much more—“clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas.” Meg Greenwood, writing in the Reporter, noted the “deceptively sweet and simple-sounding name of ‘beautification’.”

There is a visitation for the public on Friday, and I believe that we just might go. She was well-loved in this town.


Peacechick Mary said...

Truly, Lady Bird did more for this country than her hasband did. Of course, that's coming from another flower lover.

Neil Shakespeare said...

I remember when some of those billboards came down. My mother was a Republican, but she was proud of old Lady Bird for that.

Mando Mama said...

We've had some pretty cool First Ladies. I've always been kind of fascinated by that "role" and the amount of impact it can have. Too bad some of these women couldn't have been President instead. Then again, I'm sure it's a bit more fun.

Blueberry said...

We did go to her visitation. I was a little hesitant because I was afraid they would have the casket open, but thankfully they didn't, so we paid our respects and decided that we need to go back to the LBJ Library sometime and give it a good look-through. I am ashamed to say that we have lived in Austin for ~7 years and had not been to the LBJ Library before. tsk tsk.

She was a good First Lady, but I'm very proud of the things she accomplished outside of that role.

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