LBJ love letters released on Valentine's Day


by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist DOUG NAUGLE

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Posted on February 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 13 at 11:56 PM

AUSTIN -- Just in time for Valentine's Day, the LBJ Presidential Library is releasing courtship letters written between Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson. The handwritten notes date back to 1934.

They document the weeks that Lyndon Johnson was living in Washington D.C. and working as a congressional aide, and Lady Bird was living in Texas.

The two met in September 1934 in Austin. The had their first date at the Driskill Hotel, and that same day LBJ asked Lady Bird to marry him. She said she needed more time to make a decision. The letters document their 10 weeks apart before they got married on November 17, 1934.

"We frequently don't have much insight into presidents when they are very young," said LBJ Presidential Library archivist Claudia Anderson."These are a real window into that time period."

In the letters, Johnson wrote, "You are the greatest girl in the world." "How helpless I've been here thinking of you." "Write me that long letter, tell me how you feel, give me some reassurance."

Lyndon was anxious to get married, but Lady Bird was not. In a letter she wrote about the time he met her father, "He thinks you are going far, and that you love me, and that you'll be good to me. But even he is a little grave about it being so soon."

She also wrote him sweet notes. "Goodnight and many kisses to the one I love most, and many ardent wishes for the day I shall see you again. When will it be?"

Starting Thursday the letters will be on display at the LBJ Presidential Library on the University of Texas campus.

The 90 letter collection will also be available online starting at 9 a.m.