All of the images in this exhibit are in the public domain and most are available for download by serial number in our photo archives.
Born August 27, at Stonewall, Texas. The first child of Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr., and Rebekah Baines Johnson was born in a small farmhouse on the Pedernales River.
This photograph (right) pictures Lyndon Johnson's parents Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines Johnson, along with Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr., and Eliza Bunton Johnson in front of Samuel Ealy Johnson Sr's. house in Stonewall. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown, ca. 1910. #10-13-4]
At the age of four, Lyndon Johnson began running to the nearby one-room "Junction School" daily to play with his cousins at recess.
His mother persuaded the teacher, Miss Kathryn Deadrich, to take him as a pupil, and he would sit in his teacher's lap and recite his lessons. His school term was cut short by whooping cough.
Pictured in this photograph with Lyndon Johnson (right) are three of his four siblings (L-R) Josefa Hermine Johnson, Rebekah Luruth Johnson, and Sam Johnson. Not pictured is his older sister Lucia. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown, ca. 1914. #14-13-1]
In 1913, the family moved to nearby Johnson City, named for Lyndon's forebears, and the young Lyndon entered first grade.
His fourth grade report card (right) shows high marks in every subject except "deportment," or conduct. [LBJ Library photo by Johnson City Public Schools, 1917. #B10417]
On May 24, at the age of fifteen, Lyndon graduated from Johnson City High School.
Lyndon attended Johnson City High School in Johnson City, Texas. This group photo (right) features him (5th from the left) with his classmates. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #24-13-1]
Lyndon decided to forego higher education and instead made his way to California with a few friends. There he performed odd jobs, including one as an elevator operator. A year later, he returned home where he worked on a road construction gang.
Borrowing $75, Lyndon Johnson enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University) at San Marcos, Texas. He earned money as a janitor and as an office helper.
In this letter to his grandmother, Ruth Huffman Baines, (right) he writes, "I am enclosing a clipping from the paper which will speak for itself. I am not going to be the black-sheep of the family after all." [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #27-2-1]
In 1928, Lyndon dropped out of school for a year to serve as principal and teach fifth, sixth, and seventh grades at Welhausen School, a Mexican-American school in the south Texas town of Cotulla. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown, 1928. #28-13-4]
After witnessing the poverty of the children in his class, Johson wrote a letter to his mother that included this request: "I want 200 pkg. [packages] of toothpaste. We soon will have over 250 in school. They are all rather small and I think they would appreciate it very much."
During his year as a teacher, he still had time to be a leader in many extracurricular activities, editing the school paper and starring on the debate team.
On August 19, 1930, Lyndon graduated with a B.S. degree in Education. He taught for a few weeks at Pearsall High School, in Pearsall, Texas, and then took a job teaching public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston, Texas. In the spring of 1931, his debate team won the district championship.
Following his election to the House of Representatives in November 1931, Congressman Richard Kleberg asked Johnson to come to Washington to work as his secretary. Johnson held the job for over three years and learned how the Congress worked.
In 1933, Lyndon was elected speaker of the "Little Congress," an organization of congressional workers.
In the fall of 1934, Lyndon briefly attended Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C.
On a trip home to Texas, Johnson met Claudia Alta Taylor. He decided almost instantly that she should be his wife. Two months later, Lady Bird, as she was known to her friends, agreed, and on November 17, 1934, they were married in San Antonio. They honeymooned in Xochimilco, Mexico and visited the Floating Gardens, where this snapshot (right) was taken. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown, 1934. #B9798]
Johnson resigned as Secretary to Representative Kleberg to accept President Roosevelt's appointment on July 25 as the Texas Director of the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Roosevelt program designed to provide vocational training for unemployed youth and part-time employment for needy students. At 26, he was the youngest state director to have filled this position.
Johnson resigned as Texas Director of the National Youth Administration to enter the special election for the 10th Congressional District called after the death of Representative James P. Buchanan. Nine other candidates also entered the race. He backed Roosevelt 100% and handily won the election on April 10.
In Congress, Johnson worked hard for rural electrification, public housing, and eliminating government waste. His work resulted in the nation's first and still largest electric cooperative (Pedenales Electric Company) and the first federal public housing project (Austin's Santa Rita Courts).
He was appointed to the House Committee on Naval Affairs at the request of President Roosevelt.
(Right) Lyndon Johnson presented the commencement address at Southwest Texas State Teacher's College in August of 1938. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown #38-8-3]
On June 21, 1940, Johnson was appointed Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Johnson ran for the remaining term of Senator Morris Sheppard upon Sheppard's death. On June 28, he lost a hard-fought race to conservative W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel by 1,311 votes. In this photograph (right), U.S. Senatorial candidate Lyndon Johnson (at microphone) addresses a crowd in Johnson City, Texas, LBJ's boyhood home. His mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson, and Lady Bird Johnson are seated behind him on the porch. [LBJ Library photo by Austin American-Statesman. #41-6-113]
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, Johnson became the first member of Congress to volunteer for active duty in the armed forces (U.S. Navy), reporting for active duty on December 9, 1941. Lady Bird Johnson ran the Congressional office while he was overseas.
On June 9, Johnson received the Silver Star from General Douglas MacArthur for gallantry in action during an aerial combat mission over hostile positions in New Guinea. President Roosevelt ordered all members of Congress in the armed forces to return to their offices, and Johnson was released from active duty on July 16, 1942.
On March 19, the Johnsons celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Lynda Bird. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #44-6/8-2]
On July 2, the Johnsons celebrated the birth of their second daughter, Luci Baines.
LBJ and Lady Bird gathered with family members for a Christmas celebration. [Front row: Becky Alexander, Cong. Lyndon Johnson, Lynda Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Rebekah Luruth Johnson Bobbit, Rebekah Baines Johnson]
After a dramatic campaign in which he traveled by "newfangled" helicopter all over Texas, Johnson defeated Coke Stevenson in the Democratic primary race to be the party's candidate for the Senate seat vacated by Senator W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel. Johnson won the primary by 87 votes and earned the nickname "Landslide Lyndon." In the general election, November 2, he defeated the Republican, Jack Porter, and was elected to the U.S. Senate.
This photograph (right) was taken in San Angelo, Texas as Congressman Lyndon Johnson addressed the crowd from his helicopter. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #48-6-23]
This family photo (right) was taken on August 28, 1948 during LBJ's Senate Campaign. [L-R: Lynda Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Luci Johnson, Cong. Lyndon Johnson. LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #48-8-22]
On January 2, Johnson was elected Majority Whip of the United States Senate.
On January 3, Johnson was elected Minority Leader of the Senate at the age of 44. He won national attention as chairman of the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee during the Korean War.
On November 2, Johnson was re-elected to the U.S. Senate for a second term by a margin of three to one.
Johnson was elected Majority Leader of the Senate on January 5. During his tenure as Senate Majority Leader, he served as Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, Democratic Steering Committee, and Democratic Conference of the Senate.
On July 2, while visiting George Brown's estate in Middleburg, Virginia, Johnson suffered a severe heart attack and entered Bethesda Naval Hospital. On August 7, he was released from Bethesda, and on August 27, he returned to the LBJ Ranch to recuperate. Johnson did not return to Washington and Capitol Hill until December.
Johnson was nominated for President at the Democratic National Convention as a favorite son candidate.
Johnson guided the passage of the first civil rights bill in 82 years, the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
(Right) Senators celebrate Johnson's 49th birthday. [LBJ Library photo by World Wide Photos. #57-8-15]
As Chairman of the Senate Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee, he began hearings on the American space program following the launch of the Russian satellite, Sputnik, on October 4.
Johnson considered the highlights of his Senate career to be the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the vitalization of the United States space program.
Johnson guided the passage of the first space legislation, the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. President Eisenhower designated Senator Johnson to present a United States resolution to the United Nations calling for the peaceful exploration of outer space.
In this photograph (right), Lady Bird Johnson and Senator Johnson are on the Pedernales River at the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall, Texas. [LBJ Library photo by Frank Muto, 1959. #59-12-91]
On July 13, Johnson was nominated for President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn; he received 409 votes. He was nominated Vice President by acclamation the next day. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #60-7-171]
On November 8, John F. Kennedy was elected as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon Johnson was elected Vice President. The Kennedy-Johnson ticket defeated the Nixon-Lodge ticket in one of the closest elections in American history.
Johnson was also re-elected to his third term in the United States Senate.
On January 3, Johnson took the oath of office for the full six-year term in the Senate and immediately resigned.
On January 20, Johnson was administered the oath of office as Vice President of the United States by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Sam Rayburn. As Vice President, Johnson was a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council, Chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, Chairman of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, and Chairman of the Peace Corps Advisory Council.
President Kennedy sent him on missions to the Middle East, the Far East, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and South Asia.
On April 20, the day Congress approved the amendment making the Vice President Chairman of the Space Council, President Kennedy sent Johnson a memorandum asking him to conduct an overall survey of the space program and to study the feasibility of going to the moon and back with a man before the Soviet Union could attain that goal.
After a careful study, Johnson replied on April 28 that a manned moon trip was possible, and "with a strong effort, the United States could conceivably be first in those accomplishments by 1966 or 1967."
On May 25, President Kennedy announced to Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth."
From May 11 through 13, Lyndon visited Vietnam while on a trip to Southeast Asia as President Kennedy's representative.
In August, construction began on the Berlin Wall. LBJ visited Berlin at John F. Kennedy's request and this photo (right) was taken as he addressed a crowd. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #61-8-239]
During the Cuban Missile Crisis Lyndon Johnson advised John F. Kennedy as part of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (ExCom).
On November 22, Lyndon Baines Johnson became the 36th President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. He was sworn in aboard Air Force One at 2:38 p.m.
On November 23, Johnson met with National Security advisors (L-R) Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Secretary Dean Rusk, Secretary Robert McNamara, and George Ball. [LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton. #CA3-4-WH63] On November 25, Johnson placed a call to Martin Luther King, Jr. and told him that enacting some of the "great progressive policies that [Kennedy] sought to initiate" was a way to honor his memory.
Listen to a recording of their conversation or read a transcript.