How incredibly appropriate that the President Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at the University of Texas in Austin is making the former president’s love letters public on Thursday - Valentine’s Day.
A collection of approximately 100 love letters written between President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the former First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson - during their extremely brief courtship in 1934, is going on display.
The two-and-a-half-month courtship between the 26-year-old congressional aide – at the time – and 21-year-old Claudia Alta Taylor – known as “Bird” back then – is followed through the letters, showing that “Lady Bird” – as she later became to be known – was hesitant to agree to marriage after such a brief courtship.
However, the future president was quite persistent and prevailed in getting the woman he wanted to marry him.
During their courtship, Johnson was an aide to United States Rep. Richard Kleberg of Texas. At his political peak, he was the 36th president of the United States from Nov. 22, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated until Jan. 20, 1969 after personally choosing not to run for president another term.
According to the letters, the president proposed just days after meeting his future bride. They ended up getting married at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio on Nov. 17, 1934 – four days after the last letter in the collection of letters being released. The former president died in 1973 at the age of 64, and Lady Bird passed in 2007 at the age of 94.
The entire collection of love letters will eventually be posted online.