The President Speaks: A More Beautiful America. (First Edition.)

Dublin Core

Title

The President Speaks: A More Beautiful America. (First Edition.)

Creator

Lyndon B. Johnson. Photographs by Ansel Adams.

Publisher

Washington, D.C: U.S. Government Printing Office

Date

1965

Caxton Club Member Contributions Item Type Metadata

Brief Notes on Book

Association Copy. Inscribed by the author on the title page, "To Jean and Bill Baxter from their friend Lyndon B. Johnson." The recipients were close friends of Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson. The Johnsons attended Rev. Baxter's Sunday church services at St. Mark's Episcopal Church since Johnson's days as majority leader.

Also inserted into a pocket affixed to the verso of the rear panel is "A Message on Natural Beauty by Lyndon Baines Johnson."

The second photo, which is not from the book, shows the Reverend William M. Baxter (middle) with Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson (1966). (UPI photo/Washington Post).

Essay

Association copies are a passion of mine, and this is one of my favorites. The book is inscribed by Johnson to Bill Baxter and his wife Jean. Bill was the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. He came to the church in 1954 seeking to revitalize the Congregation. He introduced dance and drama into the liturgy and opened the church to everyone, including “bored Christians, skeptics, agnostics and nonbelievers.”

On November 23, 1963, Baxter received a call that would permanently embed him into our national history. It was from the Secret Service. President Johnson, sworn in as President the day before upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was to attend his first service as President at Baxter’s Church.

Baxter had twenty-four hours to completely rewrite his sermon. It would be broadcast to the nation and preserved in the National Archives. But what would he say? He acknowledged the national moment and the frailty of the human condition and our institutions. And he urged against complacency. “[We] are responsible every day to care for [these institutions], to be concerned about them, to sustain them, to uphold them with our votes, our study, our honest understanding of what strengthens us and keeps us going.”

Interestingly, Johnson would hit a similar theme in this book, noting that environmental protection “will require the concern and action of individual citizens, alert to danger, determined to improve the quality of their surroundings … demanding and building beauty for themselves and their children.”

Contributor

Douglas S. Brown

Files

image_67357953.JPG
The Reverend William M. Baxter (middle) with Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson (1966). (UPI photo/Washington Post).

Citation

Lyndon B. Johnson. Photographs by Ansel Adams. , “The President Speaks: A More Beautiful America. (First Edition.),” Caxton Club Exhibits, accessed May 19, 2024, https://caxtonclub.omeka.net/items/show/41.