President Johnson and his family did not usually celebrate Christmas at the White House, but his wife Lady Bird persuaded him to do so in 1967. The charm of that event is currently on view in two display cases at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.
Two Christmas stockings, a gift from a friend and first used in ’67, show memorable moments from their lives. The President’s stocking shows a little boy under the sign Johnson City, signifying he was born there. Air Force One, and a map of Texas, also adorn the stocking. A smaller map of the state appears on his wife’s stocking, emblazoned with the place Karnack, where she was born. She is also depicted as First Lady in a yellow gown.
The actual gold brocade outfit she wore in the lead photo with this story, as she looks at her grandson Patrick, is also on display. Several of the ornaments from the White House tree are also being shown, along with a photo of their dog Yuki sitting under the White House Christmas tree.
While much scholarly work goes on here, and most of the exhibits focus on the serious issues of his presidency, this little glimpse into a happy day of a turbulent period is most welcome at this time of year.
The LBJ Library and Museum is open daily throughout the year. Visit their website: www.lbjlibrary.org