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LBJ's Legacy: a Namesake and a Building

When a press release was blasted to reporters Wednesday announcing that LBJ may finally get his name on a federal building, it was only fitting that the news came from the late president's little-known namesake: Lyndon K. Boozer, son of the late Yolanda Garza Boozer, President Johnson's personal secretary.

Boozer, 43, a lobbyist for AT&T, personally lobbied for the bill naming the Department of Education building the "Lyndon Baines Johnson Federal Building." With the bill's No. 1 enemy combatant, Tom DeLay, out of the way, it finally sailed through the House. And Boozer and Co. are hopeful the Senate will follow suit since both Texas GOP Senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, are on board to help.

Known for micromanaging his aides' personal lives, LBJ took meddling in his secretary Yolanda's affairs just a tad far.

According to Boozer, Johnson, who at the time was vice president, visited the new mother at the Columbia Hospital for Women on a mid-summer day in 1963 and threatened to give her an "extended maternity leave" if she didn't change her newborn baby's name from "Kyle Lyndon" to "Lyndon Kyle."

"Needless to say, my parents didn't take any chances and reversed the name to Lyndon Kyle and the birth certificate was amended," Boozer told us. At least Boozer got his name back, sort of. His son is named Kyle.

Addendum:

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Federal Building will be the first structure in the nation's capital to bear the name of the 36th President.

Boozer says it's as much a tribute to Lady Bird as it is to LBJ, who taught school before he launched his storied political career. The former first lady, 94, said in a statement from her home in Austin that her husband's life "was about education, and I believe that he would have wished to be remembered as the 'Education President.'"

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 7, 2007; 5:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

I thought LBJ was already honored for presidency in DC, its called the Vietnam Memorial

Posted by: Arlington | March 8, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Arlington, you know very well he didn't start that war. But, it did finish him.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

why did tom delay not want the naming besides hating anyone that isn't a conservative republican

Posted by: nyc | March 8, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Why would Tom Delay need any more reason than that to fight that bill?....If it didn't directly benefit Republicans, he was against it.
Also, it's quite true that LBJ didn't "start" the Vietnam Conflict....but he escalated it from a few thousand advisors to several hundred thousand troops. He was incapable of seeing that it could not be won militarily (sound familiar?), and he poured more and more military into the conflict until it cost him his presidency.

Posted by: Ron | March 12, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

LBJ's legacy would have been far better if he had never heard of Vietnam. His civil rights legislation would have assured his place in history. Unfortunately that is overshadowed by the war,

Posted by: James E. Fish | March 12, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Everybody's legacy would be better if we never heard of VietNam. Johnson gets more than his share of blame, JFK needs to shoulder more of it.

Posted by: DF | March 12, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

As far as Vietnam was concerned, neither Jonhnson nor JFK would have survied without the other.

Unfortunaltely, the war outwashed LBJ's legacy.

Posted by: Herbert-Jean Awuor | March 13, 2007 5:51 AM | Report abuse

I believe Eisenhower started that war in 1955 with the French( who withdrew ) as usual.

Posted by: Navy | March 13, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

vietnam sadly and appropriately will always be associated with lyndon b. johnson...perhaps it is why he announced that he would not accept his party's nomination for re-election.

while he did not curtail the war and did, in fact, escalate it, he did with that famous march 31st, 1968 speech take political responsibility for it.

given his massive domestic accomplishments, he might have been re-elected: he won the New Hampshire primary earlier that month as a write-in candidate over Senator McCarthy.

he believed by not running he could hasten peace: "I felt deep satisfaction in the knowledge that by refusing to be a candidate for the Presidency, I might have hastened the day when peace would come to Vietnam." (The Vantage Point, page 538)

civil rights, voting rights, medicaid, medicare, anti-poverty, anti-narcotics, and environmental protection all belong to Johnson's legacy but now too so will education.

the bill passed the senate on friday.

johnson was a former teacher and believed education could be a passport out of poverty; he once told his daughter luci, "you can't get your civil rights without your education."

hopefully now future generations can recognize his commitment and dedication to his life's passion.

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