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Christmas at LBJ's White House

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Lady Bird Johnson and the President (center) at Christmas 1967 Lady Bird Johnson and the President (center) at Christmas 1967

President Johnson and his family did not usually celebrate Christmas at the White House, but his wife Lady Bird persuaded him to do so in 1967. The charm of that event is currently on view in two display cases at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.

The Johnson family Christmas stockingsThe Johnson family Christmas stockingsTwo Christmas stockings, a gift from a friend and first used in '67, show memorable moments from their lives. The President's stocking shows a little boy under the sign Johnson City, signifying he was born there. Air Force One, and a map of Texas, also adorn the stocking. A smaller map of the state appears on his wife's stocking, emblazoned with the place Karnack, where she was born. She is also depicted as First Lady in a yellow gown.

Lady Bird's gold brocade outfit from 1967Lady Bird's gold brocade outfit from 1967The actual gold brocade outfit she wore in the lead photo with this story, as she looks at her grandson Patrick, is also on display. Several of the ornaments from the White House tree are also being shown, along with a photo of their dog Yuki sitting under the White House Christmas tree.

While much scholarly work goes on here, and most of the exhibits focus on the serious issues of his presidency, this little glimpse into a happy day of a turbulent period is most welcome at this time of year.

The LBJ Library and Museum is open daily throughout the year. Visit their website:


Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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