2012 45¢ Lady Bird Johnson
The nation’s interstate system tripled in size during the 1960s. Roads were constructed with little regard for their impact on the environment. Lady Bird Johnson witnessed the results when she traveled with her husband during his presidential campaign. She used her position as First Lady to improve the landscape of U.S. roadways and change the way Americans think about conserving nature’s beauty.
Lady Bird employed her quiet Southern charm to influence legislators and the media to see the importance of beautifying the country. She was the force behind the planting of thousands of trees and flowers in Washington, D.C. Each spring, the colorful tulips and daffodils are a reminder of the work of Lady Bird’s Society for a More Beautiful National Capital.
Perhaps Lady Bird Johnson’s most important contribution is one that is taken for granted. Because of her support for the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, traveling the nation’s interstate is more pleasant. The roadsides are no longer littered with junkyards and billboards. Instead, travelers experience artistic landscaping and wildflowers in bloom.
When Lady Bird returned to her home state of Texas after her husband’s presidency, she continued her work promoting nature. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is an international resource for organizations wanting to plant native wildflowers. Highways, commercial landscapes, and neighborhoods are more attractive and easier to maintain because of the center.
In the 1960s, stamps were issued to encourage the beautification of America. The artwork from those stamps, as well as Lady Bird’s White House portrait, were the inspiration behind the stamps which commemorate her 100th birth anniversary. The original engraved stamps with art by Walter D. Richards and Gyo Fujikawa were adapted for printing in offset lithography.
Value: 45¢ 1-ounce first-class rate
Issued: November 30, 2012
First Day City: Austin, TX
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Perforations: Die cut 10 3/4
The stamps these that inspired the 2012 Lady Bird Johnson issues are U.S. #1318 and U.S. #1368-68.