The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful part of Texas and the lifelong home of Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th president of the United States.
A driving tour took us around the 2,800-acre LBJ Ranch, where the president spent 474 days, or 25 percent, of his presidency. We caught a glimpse today of Lucy Baines Johnson, who was visiting the place where her father was born and she grew up.
A tour of the home showed its unpretentious, relatively small rooms where the president hosted chiefs of state. He signed many bills on the front porch. Several rooms featured three televisions where the president could monitor news reports from CBS, NBC and ABC.
John F. Kennedy visited as president-elect and would have spent the weekend with First Lady Jackie after their Dallas visit were it not for his assassination on November 22, 1963. As requested by JFK, a pecan pie baked by the ranch chef awaited his stay. He had remembered the dessert from his first time there in 1960.
LBJ hosted many barbecues on the front lawn leading to the Pedernales River. He also presided over countless meetings under a 400-year-old oak tree in front of the house. He died at the home in 1973 at the age of 64. Lady Bird lived at the ranch until 2006 and died in Austin the following year.
An aircraft hangar houses a small jet used by the president to get back and forth from Austin or San Antonio during his 74 presidential trips to his beloved ranch. The ranch landing strip was too small for the 707.
A modest white building housed Secret Service agents and an adjoining “LBJ green” structure was home for the flight crew. It doubled as a communications center.
The Johnson family cemetery is the final resting place for many family members. LBJ and Lady Bird lie beneath the largest two headstones.