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In Their Own Words Lecture Series - Conversations with Lady Bird Johnson

Tuesday, April 09, 2013,  6:00 pm

The Museum is pleased to present a multi-part lecture series featuring Texas women describing their impact on the state in their own words. Covering the fields of education, preservation, business, and the arts each program will feature strong Texas women who have shaped and continue to shape the state of Texas. Please call (512) 936-4649 to RSVP.

Conversations with Lady Bird Johnson
Dr. Michael Gillette, Humanities Texas

Explore the warmth, independence, and wit of one of Texas's finest daughters. Michael Gillette, former director of the LBJ Library's Oral History Program, will present insights into the life of Lady Bird Johnson and her lasting legacy on the state of Texas. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

About Dr. Michael Gillette

Michael GilletteMichael L. Gillette has been Humanities Texas's executive director since 2003. His former positions include directing the LBJ Library's Oral History Program from 1976 to 1991 and serving as director of the Center for Legislative Archives from 1991 to 2003, with responsibility for the official records of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives at the National Archives.

Gillette serves on the advisory board of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, the board of directors of the Congressional Education Foundation, and the board of visitors of Southwestern University. He is a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and served as its president in 2009. His previous affiliations include the board of directors of the Everett Dirksen Congressional Leadership Center and the Law Library of Congress's National Digital Library Program.

Gillette is the author of Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History and editor of Texas in Transition. His newest book, Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History, was released by Oxford University Press in December 2012. He received his BA in government and his PhD in history from The University of Texas at Austin.

About Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History

Lady Bird Johnson An Oral HistoryOver a span of eighteen years, Lady Bird Johnson recorded forty-seven oral history interviews with Michael Gillette and his colleagues. These conversations, just released in 2011, form the heart of Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History, an intimate story of a shy young country girl's transformation into one of America's most effective and admired First Ladies.

Lady Bird Johnson's odyssey is one of personal and intellectual growth, political and financial ambition, and a shared life with Lyndon Baines Johnson, one of the most complicated, volatile, and powerful presidents of the 20th century. The former First Lady recounts how a cautious, conservative young woman succumbed to an ultimatum to marry a man she had known for less than three months, how she ran his congressional office during World War II, and how she transformed a struggling Austin radio station into the foundation of a communications empire. As a keen observer of the Washington scene during the eventful decades from the 1930s through the 1960s, Lady Bird Johnson shares dramatic accounts of pivotal moments in American history. We attend informal dinners at Sam Rayburn's apartment and opulent social events at grand mansions from an earlier age. Her rich verbal portraits bring to life scores of personalities, including First Ladies Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Pat Nixon.

An informal, candid narrative by one of America's most admired First Ladies, this volume reveals how instrumental Lady Bird Johnson's support and guidance were at each stage of her husband's political ascent and how she herself emerged as a significant political force.