Lady Bird Johnson: Preserving Nature’s Beauty
Lady Bird Johnson was born Claudia Alta Taylor on December 22, 1912. She was born in Karnack, Texas to Thomas Jefferson Taylor and Minnie Lee Pattillo.  She had two older brothers named Antonio or “Tony” and Thomas Jefferson Jr., or “Tommy”.  When she was a baby her nursemaid declared she was “purdy as a lady bird”, otherwise known as a lady bug.  From that day forward “Lady Bird” became her nick-name and would essentially replace her given name. When Lady Bird was only five years old her mother fell down a flight of stairs while pregnant with her fourth child. She passed away after suffering complications from a miscarriage.  Her father was born to a sharecropper and would inherit 15,000 acres of cotton. He increased his wealth through opening general stores. After her mother passed away her mother’s sister, Effie Pattillo, moved to Karnack from Alabama to help care for Lady Bird. Her brothers were sent to a boarding school in New York.  Although she never considered herself lonely, Lady Bird spent much of her time alone taking in nature.  Her father gave her ample freedom to roam the town as she pleased growing up and she took advantage of this by exploring her surroundings. She enjoyed walking in the woods, fishing, and swimming.  She spent every summer throughout her childhood visiting her mother’s family in Autauga County, Arkansas. While there she enjoyed picnics by the creeks and entertaining company every Sunday.  Since her town was small, she had to stay with friends in Jefferson, Texas during week days to attend public school.  In 1928 she graduated third in her class at the age of fifteen from Marshall Senior High in Marshall, Texas. Later she enrolled in a strict Episcopal girl’s boarding school called St. Mary’s Episcopal College for Women. She graduated from St. Mary’s in 1930 and then went to the University of Texas.  In 1933 she received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree...
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