A Pre-Presidency LBJ, Chasing Bird With Letters | KERA News

A Pre-Presidency LBJ, Chasing Bird With Letters

Feb 14, 2013

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Young love in the mail, American Airlines and U.S. Airways down the aisle, preschool and poverty on The Takeaway and more.

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson's stubborn pursuit of Claudia "Bird" Alta Taylor exists on paper, and now the world can see it for the first time. The lot of missives exchanged between the two lovers, then 26 and 21, has been released by the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.

The letters are impressive, not just because of Bird's spunky hesitance. The almost 100 letters were sent during a mere 2 1/2 month courtship in 1934 before the two married in San Antonio. Lady Bird would later refer to the act as "committing matrimony."

From Johnson, who asked Bird to marry him the day he met her:

"I'm sure that there is nothing that could be more distracting, disturbing and estranging tome than a continued evidence of indifference upon your part...I'm lonesome. I'm disappointed but what of it. Do you care?" Johnson wrote. [NPR]

Bird's reply:

“All I can say, in absolute honesty, is — I love you, I don’t know how everlastingly I love you, — so I can’t answer you yet.” [The Daily Texan]

Smitten with Lady Bird at this point? Revisit Think host Krys Boyd's talk with Michael L. Gillette, who wrote an oral history of the former First Lady.



  • If you have more questions about Tuesday's speech, you can ask President Obama himself. Google is trying an open forum akin to a Reddit AMA called a "Fireside Hangout." The president is the guest today at 3:50 p.m. Citizens should submit questions on the White House's YouTube Channel. Huh.


  • DART is looking far ahead at adding another downtown Dallas rail line. Why now? A $700,000 federal grant the agency got recently has the planning wheels turning. [Dallas Morning News]