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Lady Bird Johnson 2012 US Postage Stamps
Lady Bird Johnson 2012 Foreverl Postage Stamps
 
With the 2012 Lady Bird Johnson (Forever®) stamps, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the centennial of Mrs. Johnson's birth and honors her legacy of preserving and beautifying America.

The sheet features six stamps, a new stamp which reproduces the official White House portrait of the First Lady painted in 1968, and adaptations of five stamps issued in the 1960s that encouraged participation in the President and Mrs. Johnson's campaign, “Plant for a More Beautiful America.” Also included is a quote from Mrs. Johnson reflecting her belief that the environment is our common ground and a black-and-white image of the First Lady taken from a family photograph shot in 1963 by Yoichi Okamoto.

The five engraved stamps originally issued in 1966 and 1969 have been adapted for printing in offset lithography. The top stamp reads “Plant for more Beautiful Streets” and shows a row of blooming crab apple trees along a paved suburban road. The second from the top offers encouragement to “Plant for more Beautiful Parks,” with an image of a field of daffodils along the Potomac River with the Washington Monument in the background. “Plant for a more Beautiful America,” the center stamp, depicts the Jefferson Memorial in the background seen through branches of flowering cherry blossoms. The fourth stamp is a scene of yellow and blue wildflowers along a highway with the caption, “Plant for more Beautiful Highways.” The last stamp, which reads “Plant for more Beautiful Cities,” shows plantings of pink and red azaleas and white tulips with the U.S. Capitol in the distance.

Mrs. Johnson championed the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, often referred to as “Lady Bird's Bill.” She remained committed to highway beautification after leaving the White House, supporting legislation that allocated federal funds for landscaping projects using native plants, flowers, and trees along the nation's highways. After returning to Texas, Mrs. Johnson continued her work for environmental and conservation causes. She led a campaign in her adopted hometown of Austin to create a trail by the city's lake. The lake, beloved by city residents, was renamed in her honor after her death, something she was too modest to allow during her lifetime.

Mrs. Johnson's most lasting legacy was the creation of the National Wildflower Research Center. Founded on her 70th birthday, the center—now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center—continues to be a national leader in research, education, and projects that encourage the use of wildflowers and native plants. She maintained an active and direct involvement with the center, giving it her considerable time, talent, and treasure until her death.

Fulfilling her deep personal beliefs, Mrs. Johnson strove throughout her life to “keep the beauty of the landscape as we remember it in our youth...and to leave this splendor for our grandchildren.” She inspired generations to see that one person, at any age, can make a difference and that young people and the environment hold our greatest hopes for tomorrow.

Prepress artist Paloma Alcalá adapted the original engraved stamps that featured art by Walter D. Richards (four stamps, issued in 1969) and Gyo Fujikawa (center stamp, issued in 1966). Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the sheet.