Several years before Little Miss Red, I traveled for weeks at a time in Bess, a 2002 Honda Odyssey Van. During one such trip I happened upon the Harry S Truman Presidential Library. I just had to stop. I had never been to a presidential library and I was definitely curious. My curiosity turned into a full-blown WOW! Standing in the replica oval office was transfixing – atomic bombs, ending of World War, all before my time, all defining my time. At that moment I vowed to myself to always go to a presidential library when the opportunity availed itself.
Well, avail itself it did. Right smack dab in the middle of Austin, Texas is the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Unlike Truman’s presidency, I was alive for this presidency, all of ten years old at the start of his presidency. A child participant of the duck and cover campaign, and a viewer of the fire hoses and dogs set against civil rights activists, my fear for our safety only increased, horrified as we waited for my brothers’ draft numbers in the lottery to feed the Vietnam war our young men. And because of these experiences, I was far more aware of threats to our security, both internally and externally, and acts of violence against Blacks, than I was of the massive legislative achievements ushered in under the “Great Society: Head Start, National Public Radio, Medicare or Clean Water Act are but a few. When I saw the list of LBJ’s legislation I was astounded! Just look at them all!
Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing, Immigration Law, War on Poverty, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Aid to Appalachia, Indian Vocational Training, Aid to Education, Higher Education, Teacher Corps, Guaranteed Student Loans, Clean Air, Wilderness Areas, Clean Water, Redwoods Park, Scenic Rivers Scenic Trails, Medicare and Medicaid, Heart, Caner, Stroke Program, Child Health, Narcotics Rehabilitation, Criminal Justice, Drug Controls, Juvenile Delinquency Control, Truth in Packaging, Child Safety, Traffic Safety, Highway Saftey, Product Safety Commission, Kennedy Cultural Center, Arts and Humanities Foundation, Public Broadcasting, Tax Reduction, Farm Program, Aide To Small Businesses, Inter-American Development Bank, Arms Control, Food for India, Outer Space Treaty, Department of Transportation, Cold War, GI Bill, Urban Mass Transit, Federal Highway Aid, Freedom of Information Act, Vietnam Veterans Benefits
Having his library in Austin supports my feeling of a bit of confusion in Austin. https://simplycoaching.com/austin-oh-austin…ou-confuse-me-so/ Johnson had amazing legislative achievements, joining both Republicans and Democrats to support a great society. Meanwhile, the Vietnam war was tearing the country apart and he was unable to resolve the conflict at home or in Viet Nam. This devastated his presidency and he stood down.
Of course he wasn’t a favorite of everyone, but I think it is appropriate to give him credit for making us a better, more caring and accepting society.
For now, I would like to focus on how he contributed to making us a kinder and more generous society.
Kindness: First to yourself and others!
What’s your kind of quotient today?