Dec 28, 2008

First Lady a Day: 1965

Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson, best known as Lady Bird. Today, she would be called an environmentalist. She was active - big supporter of Head Start and Vista. Lady Bird was made of sturdy stuff. To be married to LBJ, and survive with personality intact, one would have had to be. I always though she got a bum rap. Being First Lady after Jacqueline Kennedy was a tough act to follow under the best of circumstances, and she got the worst possible.
Now the Dress:

from Life Archives: Pres. Lyndon Johnson (R) dancing w. wife Lady Bird (L) at his inaugural ball. Location: Washington, DC, US Date taken: 1965 Photographer: Stan Wayman



also from Life Archives: Pres. Lyndon Johnson (C) dancing w. wife Lady Bird at his inaugural ball. Location: Washington, DC, US Date taken: 1965 Photographer: Yale Joel

from : http://news.bbc.co.uk
from http://siris-collections.si.edu : Lady Bird Johnson recently visited the National Museum of American History to show her inaugural gown, on view in the First Ladies Hall, to her granddaughter, Claudia Nugent. Pictured here, with the mannequin wearing her gown at left, are granddaughter Claudia, Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Social and Cultural History Department curator Edith Mayo and Manuel Melendez (Public Programs Department). Also visible is the mannequin wearing Jacqueline Kennedy's gown...”


I assume this is a coat and dress ensemble. Not crazed about the mink cuffs. But love the gold. It works beautifully for her complexion and hair. Look at the color photos from Life - she is the focal point of the room, one aim of such a dress for such a figure. I do like the neckline in the close-up. I wish I could find a better view of the dress alone, but such is life. This dress was compared negatively to Jackie’s Inaugural Gala and Ball gowns, but I think it holds up well.

1 comment:

wes207 said...

I'm an admirer of Lady Bird too -- she certainly had her challenges (the main one being her husband!) but seems to have dealt with them with a lot of grace, courage, and compassion. And she often looks beautiful in her "event" dresses -- I like to see what she's wearing when she was Second Lady, usually half-hidden behind the Kennedys but always in a lovely gown. I'm reading her "White House Journals" now and recommend it.