6. LBJ and Lady Bird: America’s Power Couple – Mary Lee Fitzgerald




5 weeks, Wednesdays, February 1, 8, 15, 22, and March 1 from 2 to 4 PM. Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President, was a man from the impoverished Hill Country of Texas. He was fascinatingly complex, ambitious, ruthless, generous, conniving, arrogant, as well as incredibly manipulative. A southern politician who persuaded those southern Democrats to support three major Civil Rights bills, launched the Great Society, the War on Poverty, Medicare, and Vietnam. The presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson, only five years in span, was a watershed in American history. And for 8 years before the presidency, LBJ was unequivocally Master of the Senate … one of the very few majority leaders in US history who actually got things done. The 89th Congress is recognized as the most productive in American history. This 5 week course is a story, more than a political history, of LBJ and Lady Bird’s rise to power, as well as how they did it, overcoming insurmountable odds. A case study worth pondering today.

Mary Lee Fitzgerald is currrently ILR’s president and has been teaching ILR courses for many years. Her interests are American history, particularly in the Southwest. Other courses have been: The Chiricahua Apaches, Tucson’s Founding Families, Arizona’s Ancient Archaeology, Cowboys, Rustlers and the Pleasant Valley War, and Suffrage in the West