LBJ and Lady Bird Love Letters Released to the Public
5:45 pm, February 14th | by Colette McIntyre
In honor of some holiday I have never heard of called “Valemtime’s Day” (I think), the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin released the previously unseen love letters of Lyndon B. Johnson and Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson and let us just tell you: these are some spicy missives. On the Taco Bell Salsa Scale of Life and Love, these letters come in at an unprecedented “Fire.” But don’t start reaching for your smelling salts just yet, ladies of a gentler constitution; there is plenty of romance in these letters for you too. Put “Love Story” on repeat and get ready to be swept off your feet by the Joe Jonas/Taylor Lautner/Jake Gyllenhaal/John Mayer/Conor Kennedy of the White House: LBJ.
There are nearly 90 letters posted to the library’s website, all of which were written during LBJ and Lady Bird’s whirlwind 10-week courtship in 1934. The correspondence reveals a far more tender and sentimental side of Lyndon Johnson, then just a 26-year old congressional aide. In fact, LBJ asked Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor, 21, to marry him just days after their first date. While Lady Bird rejected his proposal, LBJ continued to woo. Boy, did he woo.
“Again I repeat — I love you — only you,” Johnson writes. “Want to always love — only you. It is an important decision. It isn’t being made in one night — it probably never will be yours — but your lack of decision hasn’t tempered either my affection, devotion or ability to know what I want.” OOOH, GIRL! LBJ has me acting like Lena Hyena in Who Framed Rodger Rabbit and that is something I never expected from the 36th President of the United States. To say I am deeply troubled and need a moment to think about my life and my choices is an understatement.
But Lady Bird was not one to be outdone. While she initially approached LBJ with hesitancy, she soon wrote of her own amorous feelings:
Dear, I am going to write you every day it looks like — or nearly! Unfortunately, I can talk much better than I can write…So many times I wish you were close enough for me to talk to you. I think of so much to say that eludes the written words.
Oh, I see you, Lady Bird. I know alllllllllll about the “words” that you can’t “write” that would be easier to “say” if LBJ were “close enough” to you. If I could include an entire paragraph consisting solely of winking emojis right here, I would.
“Goodnight, dearest. I love you, very much,” She ends one of her letters. “I wish you were here this minute because I feel silly and gay and I want to ruffle up your hair and kiss you and say silly things.” You were going to ruffle up his hair without a ring? Girl, you can’t let them get it that easily! No one is going to become an ornithologist when they already know why the caged bird sings, you dig?
Here’s hoping that the next presidential love letters to be released are from Ulysses S. Grant and his cross-eyed wife, Julia. That’s a historical romance that’s bound to have some steam.