Letter, Lyndon Johnson to Lady Bird Taylor, 10/14/1934


Letter, Lyndon Johnson to Lady Bird Taylor, 10/14/1934


LBJ expresses disappointment after his phone conversation with Lady Bird a day earlier. He says he wrote Lady Bird a long letter but decided not to mail it. He describes going out with friends despite still being sick and says Gene [Latimer] now has his flu. LBJ comments on Lady Bird's trip to Dallas, wishing he had been there. He asks her to return the clippings, proofs, and ranch pictures he sent. He says he will not write as often or as "silly" but will continue to love her.


Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007; Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973


Personal Papers of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

Collection Description:

Go to List of Holdings


Courtship Letters


Pre-Presidential; Johnson family; Lady Bird Johnson personal; LBJ personal


Public domain

Specific Item Type:










Time Period:

Pre-Presidential (Before Nov. 22, 1963)


[Written on House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture stationery]
[October 14, 1934]
Sunday 11:20 a.m.
My dearest:
After talking to you only a few hours ago it seems “silly” to write and repeat what I told you, or attempt to sidetrack my thoughts, and talk about something else.
Yesterday afternoon after suffering in bed for hours I insisted it would be great to talk with my Bird. Only an hour before I placed the call I had, flat of my back with cover all over me, written a wire to you. Then Maury and Dan left on the 6:30 train for Texas. Friday night I wrote you a long 7 page letter only to decide that it shouldn’t be mailed--and now I know it shouldn’t have. At 8 I was to pick up Whit Thairon & wife and join some friends for a long evening. I knew if I talked to you that I would either be so disappointed that I would need them to help me forget or so happy I couldn’t celebrate without them. It turned out just that way. I placed the call while in bed at the hotel--knowing
I shouldn’t get out in the night air. In a minute Mrs. Crow said you were at the ball game and would come home in an hour. Then I called Helen who had been at the Navy game all afternoon and secured her consent to join us and in addition an invite for a meal before going. On my way out to her apartment I stopped by the office for an overcoat and tried on my call again--in only a minute I was talking to you. Then disappointed, I dropped in at Helens 30 min late and got quarreled at for being tardy. At 9 our party was going strong and Bill was fussing because I told him you had said that Texas lost 31– 0. I told him better an hour later--but by that time I was too miserable to enjoy it with him. At 12 we came home and I doctored most all of the night. This morning I went to the desk just before coming to the office and got your
special. You timed it just right this time. When I finish this note I’m going to my room and stay there until--I feel much better tho’ it may require a week behind the bars.
Yes, honey, I was disappointed in your not saying yes enthusiastically. We approach things so differently tho’ I’m confident your judgment was the best. I shan’t tell you what prompted my eagerness or attempt to offer an explanation. It must have been just [illegible word crossed out] you.
All my life I’ve worked for people. I’ve tried to do my bit to make life enjoyable for my family and my friends. About the time I met you it looked as if my task was about complete. My brother and sisters educated and most of my friends doing well and where they wanted to be. Then you came along with all of the things I have been taught to treasure and hold sacred. I jumped
too quickly. It was such a relief--it was so satisfying to have something of my own--I’ll quit there--This morning I’ve just been writing without taking time for even a comma. If I hesitated a bit I wouldn’t say what I’m thinking.
Now I’m going back to live and play just for each day. It was foolish anyway to have “the desire of the moth for the star.”
I know you must have had a great time in Dallas. Would that I could have been there to meet your friends and with you to have added them to that group of which I am so proud. When, and if, I come to Texas we must all get together in Austin and see how congenial we could all be.
Gene gave me a very sweet letter yesterday. It is only now that I realize that there can be something to her view of life. She told me in
Austin how great it was to love--“friends”.
Tomorrow I’ll write Dotty. Gene had told me of her terrible experience.
Under separate cover I’m mailing an article about Maury which you might enjoy reading.
Perhaps I act too hositly hastily. People sometimes tell me “you are too sentimental and tempermental” but anyway I’ve the best and greatest friends in all the world.
I won’t write as often or as “silly” but that won’t keep me from saying to myself “in absolute honesty that I love you” and that means “everlastingly” and “permanently.”
Hope you were able to talk to Welly. Trust that Gene delivered my message and my …. Thanks for the thoughtful rose leaf.
My little Gene has been in bed
with my flu and I’m more than concerned about him. May get the doctor after lunch.
I’m so glad your Dad enjoyed the ranch pictures. Return them with my proofs if this reaches you before the proofs are mailed.
I know you have had a time reading this writing. I can do much better, but usually Sundays make me so different and I write more freely and less cautiously.
A day or two ago I wrote you a long letter--told you all about everything--but didn’t exercise good judgment in the last paragraph--(just as I didn’t last night) hence it is some unmailed and somewhere in my room. I’ll resurrect it--revise it if I can--and as general information about Tex, N.Y, Austin and here, forward it on to you. I know you are having a great time watching your efforts build. You seem to enjoy
everything you do so much that I think it would be well for me to try to develop some inspiration and stimulation. For weeks I’ve only half-heartedly done everything.
I’ve written too much--haven’t I? I hope what I’ve said is best for both of us---and let’s make it that way. I have looked for a letter Welly wrote me one ‘Xmas on friendship. Did I send it to you? It was such a masterpiece that I want to always keep it. Honey now that you have gone over the newspaper clippings and junk I sent you put them in an old shoe box of some kind and get them out of your way by sending them to me. I’m going to have Carol take them and paste them in a little scrapbook.
The library books don’t have to be returned at any particular time. Will send you some more if you have time to read them
So glad Gene got to go to Dallas and had a chance to see Marie, you, and her mother.

[Envelope postmarked: Washington, D.C., 10/16/1934, 6:30 PM]