Johnson Presidential Library releases LBJ's love letters
AUSTIN, Texas (NBC) -- The Johnson presidential library in Austin will release the early love letters between a young Lyndon and a young Lady Bird. He proposed soon after meeting her. While the world knew him as a man used to getting his way, they may now get to know him as a great romantic as well. In the run-up to Valentine’s Day the museum gave nightly news the first access to these letters. In turn, NBC asked the Johnson grandchildren to read both parts aloud.
“I could read and reread a letter from you which contained just one central idea. i want to hear you say over and over again that i love you,” read one letter.
“If all you know of LBJ is what you see on the History Channel or read in books, it would not occur to you that he was really a very loving, sensitive person who had fallen in love and was wooing the woman he wanted to marry.,” said LBJ’s grandson, Lyndon Nugent.
“For a long time, I have built fires and haven't even been scorched, but every man sooner or later meets his Waterloo,” read another excerpt.
“I have to say, when I was reading through them I just found myself smiling a lot and I was laughing a few times, because, again, it was just sort of the -- you know, they were very heartfelt emotions,” said LBJ’s granddaughter, Katherine Robb.
“October 6,1934. 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,” another excerpt from LBJ’s letters.
“And that's one that makes me smile,” said Robb.
“It's kind of tough to remember that they weren't always the people that the country came to know them as being, they were just two regular people trying to figure out what life was all about. I don't think he had perfected that Johnson treatment yet and so I think he was really trying to figure out, have I pushed too hard?” said Nugent.
“Tell me soon, dear, just how you know you do feel. I don't want to go on this way. Do you? Will you tell me?” read another letter from LBJ to Lady Bird.
“He's impatient. He wants -- he doesn't understand why the second date wasn't an appropriate time to propose. She’s sort of the calm in the storm saying now let's just slow down a little bit,” said Robb.
“Must you have all or nothing? I love you more than anyone but we must wait until we know each other better, until there isn't any doubt,” read an excerpt of a letter from Lady Bird to LBJ.
“Quite frankly, it's very enjoyable to think about the -- how all that happened back then,” said Nugent.
“It's less likely we will have this for future generations, that will have these beautiful long letters where people are really sort of expressing themselves,” said Robb.
Another excerpt read, “Give me lots of letters next week. I’m going to need them. Mix some ‘I love you’ in the lines and not between them. Adios until tomorrow, Lyndon.”
Thanks to Lyndon Nugent and Katherine Robb, grandchildren of President and Mrs. Johnson , married for 39 years.