An archive of LBJ love letters, written to his sweetheart and future wife Lady Bird, are being released publicly for the first time. Their debut will fall on Valentine’s Day, a befitting date for the sweetly romantic correspondence.
The courtship letters between Lyndon B Johnson and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor will be available for public viewing online and at the LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas at Austin.
The letters, released in their entirety for the first time, harken back to a time when written sentiment was sweeping and meaningful. It was often the primary means of communication between loved ones. LBJ and Lady Bird’s love letters reflect a different time in romance.
According to the library’s press release, the correspondence begins in September 1934, shortly after the couple met, through mid-November 1934, when they married. During those two and half months Lyndon and Lady Bird exchanged 90 letters.
The Associated Press writes that the decision to release the LBJ and Lady Bird courtship letters was made after researchers expressed interest. While none of the letters are dated, envelopes saved by Lady Bird allowed archivists to determine a timeline.
Ahead of the Valentine’s Day release, Claudia Anderson, supervisory archivist at the LBJ Presidential Library, spoke about the contents of the couple’s letters:
“[Johnson is] certainly romantic in these letters in that he is wooing her, he’s trying to impress her and he makes various arguments why they should get married. I would not really call these letters sentimental. He wants a commitment from her. His letters express that. They are fascinating.”