2012 45¢ Plant for a More Beautiful America
Lady Bird Johnson
Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson traveled America’s highways while campaigning for the 1964 election. At a stop in Oregon, Mr. Johnson told the audience the unsightly junkyards and billboards along the roads “are driving my wife mad.” When Johnson was elected, cleaning up the nation’s roadsides became a priority for both the President and Mrs. Johnson.
Lady Bird used her quiet strength and Southern charm to persuade government officials, the media, and the citizens of the U.S. that “to make the highways more beautiful would certainly add a lot to our pleasure in living.” Her diligence paid off when the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was signed into law.
The new law controlled the use of billboards along interstates, sought to reduce the number of junkyards along the roadways, and encouraged landscaping during construction to reduce erosion and make highways more enjoyable to travel. States that did not comply were at risk of losing 10 percent of their Federal highway funds.
Thanks to “Lady Bird’s Bill,” many of America’s roadsides are now a showcase of color and beauty, and Mrs. Johnson’s vision is giving pleasure to new generations traveling the nation’s highways.
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 that inspired the 2012 Lady Bird Johnson issues are U.S. #1318 and U.S. #1368-68.