Parks to celebrate LBJ’s 110th birthday
The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site will celebrate the 110th anniversary of President Johnson’s birth.
At 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 27, the National Park Service will host the annual wreath-laying ceremony at President Johnson’s gravesite on the LBJ Ranch. The ceremony continues a tradition that Lady Bird Johnson began in 1973.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman will help present the wreath and provide remarks.
Shirley James, who has a long history with the Johnson family, will be the keynote speaker.
Lenderman has served as the Commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing (ABW) and Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) since June 2018. Her responsibilities include overseeing projects, facilities and personnel.
She leads 8,000 personnel associated with the 502nd ABW and 80,000 personnel associated with JBSA. Prior to her current assignment, Lenderman served as Deputy Director (Military) of Strategic Plans, Policy and Logistics at the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
Shirley James became Lady Bird Johnson’s executive assistant in 1992 and remained in that position until the former first lady’s death in 2007. Her close association with the Johnson family began in 1974 when she became assistant to Luci Johnson, President and Mrs. Johnson’s younger daughter.
She helped plan many events at the LBJ Ranch over the years. One of James’s proudest achievements was conceiving the idea to create a U.S. postage stamp in 2012 honoring the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson’s birth. James has served for eight years as a board member of Friends of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.
To view the wreath-laying ceremony, visitors should stop first at the LBJ State Park Visitor Center to pick up a free vehicle permit and map.
Throughout the day on Aug. 27, the LBJ State Park will feature old-time games of marbles, tops, jacks and stick-horse races at the Sauer-Beckmann living history farm.
Birthday cake will be served at 1 p.m. at the state park’s visitor center. For more information, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-park/lyndon-b-johnson.
After the wreath-laying ceremony in the Johnson family cemetery, visitors can take the LBJ Ranch driving tour.
Due to the temporary closure of the Texas White House to public tours, park staff will instead offer periodic tours of the grounds around the historic home.
The LBJ Ranch hangar visitor center will be open, featuring exhibits, artifacts, an award-winning 14-minute film, and a Western National Parks Association sales outlet.
WNPA will offer 15-percent discounts in the park’s sales outlets on Aug. 27. To learn more about WNPA visit www.wnpa.org.