Kurt's Historic Sites

Texas Trip 256

Lyndon B. Johnson

Interment Location Visited Sequence in Graves I Have Visited
Stonewall, TX April 19, 2012 38th President visited; 2nd Senate Leader visited; 35th Vice President visited

Photographed April 19, 2012.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, one of the most consequential politicians of the twentieth century, spent much of his life in Texas Hill Country, which he described as a place “where people know when you are sick, love you while you are alive, and miss you when you die.” His birth, death, and burial all occurred in Stonewall, Texas, on land that constitutes the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.

This plaque is affixed to the pillar on the right-hand side of the entrance to the Johnson Family Cemetery. It contains the words to the first stanza of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” a poem written by English poet Thomas Gray in the 1750s.

Photographed April 19, 2012.
Photographed April 19, 2012.

According to the National Park Service, the Johnson Family Cemetery was established in 1905 when a storm caused the nearby Pedernales River to flood. This prevented the Johnsons from taking the remains of the recently-deceased Priscilla Bunton, LBJ’s great-grandmother, from the west side of the river to the east side, where Stonewall Community Cemetery is. As an alternative, they selected a grove of oak trees that belonged to Bunton’s son-in-law, Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr. Other relatives buried in the same row as former President Johnson include Sam, Sr. and Eliza — his grandparents — and Sam, Jr. and Rebekah — his parents.

Former First Lady Claudia Johnson, nicknamed “Lady Bird,” outlived her husband by 34 years. She was laid to rest beside him on July 15, 2007. Her headstone matches the president’s in size and material. Whereas his has the presidential seal etched into it, Mrs. Johnson’s bears a Texas bluebell. This was Lady Bird’s favorite flower. As first lady she devoted herself to highway beautification and the planting of flowers.

Photographed April 19, 2012.
Photographed April 19, 2012.

Apart from the cemetery, features of the national park include the Lyndon Johnson birthplace, the Texas White House, an airplane hangar, the junction schoolhouse, and many acres of land. The property continues to operate as a working ranch.

Fast Facts

Born: August 27, 1908 in Stonewall, Texas

Spouse: Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson (m. 1934-1973)

Political Affiliation: Democratic Party

House Tenure: 1937-1949

Senate Tenure: 1949-1961

Senate Democratic Caucus Leader Tenure: 1953-1961

Vice Presidential Tenure: 1961-1963 under John F. Kennedy

Presidential Tenure: 1963-1969

Vice President: Hubert Humphrey (1965-1969)

Presidential Medal of Freedom: Awarded by Jimmy Carter (1980)

Died: January 22, 1973 in Stonewall, Texas

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

Age: 64

Last Words: “Send Mike immediately!”

Interment: Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, Stonewall, Texas

"This is the richest and most powerful country which ever occupied the globe. The might of past empires is little compared to ours. But I do not want to be the President who built empires, or sought grandeur, or extended dominion. I want to be the President who educated young children to the wonders of their world. I want to be the President who helped to feed the hungry and to prepare them to be taxpayers instead of tax-eaters. I want to be the President who helped the poor to find their own way and who protected the right of every citizen to vote in every election. I want to be the President who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races and all regions and all parties. I want to be the President who helped to end war among the brothers of this earth."
- Lyndon B. Johnson
March 15, 1965 in a speech before a joint session of U.S. Congress, urging the passage of voting rights legislation
Photographed March 25, 2024.

Civil rights activists effectively mobilized in the fight for enfranchisement and leveraged the brutality used against them to push politicians to pass legislation to protect their right to vote. After the televised violence inflicted upon marchers in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, President Johnson urged Congress to pass a voting rights bill to prevent disenfranchisement based on race. Both houses of Congress approved such legislation in summer and Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law on August 6th at the Capitol. This image shows the pen Johnson used to affix his signature on display in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Johnson, Lyndon B. “Speech Before Congress on Voting Rights,” March 15, 1965. Transcript. From University of Virginia, Miller Center. https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/march-15-1965-speech-congress-voting-rights.

National Park Service. “Family Unveils Headstone Marking Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Grave.” Updated February 24, 2015. https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/learn/news/mrsjohnsonheadstoneunveiled.htm (accessed December 31, 2021).

National Park Service. “Johnson Family Cemetery.” Updated March 31, 2012. https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/planyourvisit/johnsoncemetery.htm (accessed December 31, 2021).

Robenalt, James D. “Ginni Thomas would not be the first Supreme Court spouse to imperil a justice.” Washington Post. January 26, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/01/26/abe-fortas-ginni-thomas/.

Join a community of water activists
Join a community of water activists