Celebrating the legacy of Lady Bird Johnson

Devoted wife of the 36th president, environmentalist and revered first lady, the woman who became known as Lady Bird Johnson walked the crowded corridors of power with grace and uncommon courage. Her warmth, graciousness and Southern courtesy helped her beloved husband, Lyndon Baines Johnson, negotiate a difficult path as president after John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.

She would say later that her joy and her solace came from her connection to nature, and that her life's work sprang from a hope that future generations could experience nature's beauty as she had.

Her legacy to us is wildflowers and wilderness. She lives on in Texas bluebonnets and native plants along the nation's roadsides, urban parks and trails and an unprecedented portfolio of legislation devoted to clean air, clean water and the conservation of our magnificent natural heritage. As Lady Bird Johnson noted in 1967, "The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become."

In honor of Mrs. Johnson's 100th birthday, centennial celebrations have been planned throughout the year.

From March 17 to May 28, "A Bouquet for Mrs. J," an outdoor sculpture exhibit of giant metal wildflowers by Logan Stollenwerck will be on display in the gardens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Stollenwerck created this exhibit in loving tribute to Lady Bird Johnson to commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday year.