Lyndon Baines Johnson Day
This state holiday of Texas honors the 36th president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, on August 27th every year. The president is commonly known as “LBJ.” Special programs are held to honor the president across Texas and in other states as well. It is an optional work day for state offices.
Observers celebrate with memorial programs, educational activities, and commemorative parties. Many of these are held at the many monuments honoring LBJ. These sites include:
- The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, The Manned Spacecraft Center located in Houston.
- The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac.
- The Lyndon Baines Johnson National Grassland, LBJ’s memorial in Washington, D.C. The grove is on Columbia Island.
- The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, a University of Texas graduate school.
- The Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway in Dallas.
About Lyndon Baines Johnson
LBJ was born in a farmhouse in Stonewall, Texas on August 27. 1908. He participated in debate in high school and went on to enroll at Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College, which is now Texas State University. He took teaching positions in high schools teaching public speaking and political subjects.
His political career started with six terms in the Texas legislature. His career is unique in the way that he went to law school after he held political office, which he achieved largely due to his public speaking skills. However, this schooling consisted of attendance at the Georgetown University Law Center for a few months. LBJ was appointed to the Texas National Youth Administration in 1935, working to improve education and employment for youth.
LBJ’s next move was to Texas’s 10th congressional district in 1937. He then served in World War II as a surveyor of West Pacific conditions, visiting bases in Australia. In 1948, Johnson won a seat in the senate for the Democrats. He became the minority leader in 1952. LBJ became Vice President to John F. Kennedy, coming into office after Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963.
During his political career, Johnson is known for his work for civil rights, giving his support to legislation the protected rights such as voting. He also continued Kennedy’s agenda of education legislation. He is widely criticized for his management during the Vietnam War and is blamed for escalating the conflict. LBJ also promoted conservation efforts—wildflower fields all over Texas are the result of his beautification programs.
Johnson left the presidency for Johnson City, Texas, in 1969, writing and teaching during his retirement. LBJ passed away on January 22, 1973, and that same year the Texas State Legislature instituted Lyndon Baines Johnson Day.