Lady Bird Johnson Dies at 94
United Press International
Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. first lady and wife of late President Lyndon Baines Johnson, died Wednesday at 94 at her home in Austin, Texas.
Johnson was hospitalized in Austin for one week in June because of a fever, CNN reported.
Born Claudia Alta Taylor Dec. 22, 1912, in Karnack, Texas, she was given the childhood nickname lady bird -- which she used for the rest of her life -- by a nursemaid on her father's cotton farm who said she's as pretty as a little lady bird.
Johnson, who as first lady supported the 1960s war on poverty, the childhood Head Start program, and the beautification of the United States -- urging Americans to plant a tree, a shrub or a bush -- suffered a stroke in 2002.
Johnson traveled more than 200,000 miles on behalf of her beautification program, her love affair with nature, hiking through wildernesses, planting flowers and campaigning to abolish highway billboards and put automobile junkyards out of view.
On her 70th birthday in 1982, she provided seed money for what became the 63-acre Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center near Austin.
It's not the business of garden clubs anymore, it's the business of politicians and civic leaders, she said. I think the beautification and conservation movement has been useful and helpful.
She wrote the book, White House Diary, in which she described the dark day of Nov. 22, 1963, when her husband became U.S. president after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Lyndon Johnson died in 1973.
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