LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto
We love it when "our" folks turn up in the movies! By this I mean we love it when one of the historical figures that is involved with our Pickle Pea Walks stars in a movie. It's like seeing a home movie right there on the big screen!
A few weeks ago we learned of a future movie about Theodore Roosevelt, father of "our" Quentin Roosevelt (and 5 other kids with Edith Roosevelt). And now it's LBJ's turn --- first Vice-President, then President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, with First Lady Lady Bird Johnson by his side all the way. The movie is called LBJ. It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Woody Harrelson as President Lyndon Baines Johnson and was directed by Rob Reiner.
"Our" Liz Carpenter, Lady Bird's press secretary is there too. She was first tapped by LBJ and Lady Bird to help with Mr. Johnson's run for the presidency in the 1960 election, before he accepted John F Kennedy's offer to be his vice-presidential running mate. Now that was indeed, as the movie portrays, a very interesting election!
Back to Liz --- Well, Liz was aboard Air Force One when LBJ was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States. In the movie she can be spotted among the crowd viewing the swearing-in. As a trained journalist and consultant to the campaign the task of crafting the new president's first address to the nation fell to Liz. Here are the words she wrote that were delivered by President Lyndon Baines Johnson as he spoke to the American people for the first time after the assassination of President John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
This is a sad time for every American. The nation suffers a loss that cannot be weighed. For me it is a deep personal tragedy. I know the nation, and the whole free world, shares the sorrow that Mrs. Kennedy bears.
I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask God's help—and yours.
Do see the movie. Then come take our White House As An Office Walk which is led by Liz Carpenter (a professional actor portraying Liz, of course). You can find out for yourself her feelings about writing these famous words and about working with the new President and First Lady.