JERUSALEM (Jul. 21)
“I am touched by the feeling for Lyndon I find in this land–and grateful.” This was the brief inscription Lady Bird Johnson, widow of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson, wrote on a copy of his book “The Vantage Point” on display at the Hebrew University here. Mrs. Johnson visited the university with her daughter, Luci Nugent, during her week-long unofficial visit to Israel that began Monday night.
The Hebrew University is holding an exhibition of Americana as its tribute to the Bicentennial. The Johnson book is one of the displays. Although her visit is nominally unofficial, Mrs. Johnson and her two daughters are meeting with many of Israel’s top leaders, including Premier Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Yigal Allon during their visit.
A THRILLING MOMENT
The former First Lady visited today the Lyndon B. Johnson Forest near Jerusalem to plant a tree. “This is a thrilling moment for me,” she said. “My husband would have been so pleased with this gesture.” She and Mrs. Nugent were the guests of the Jewish National Fund to see the JNF afforestation in action and to learn about the projects for the beautification and improvement of the environment in Israel.
Mrs. Johnson expressed her admiration for the country’s vitality in dealing with various aspects of environmental improvement and safe-guarding natural resources. Both mother and daughter were presented with certificates of the tree planting and two pine cones from the Johnson Forest as mementos of the occasion.
Yesterday, Mrs. Johnson and her daughters visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and called on President Ephraim Katzir at his official residence.
The Johnson family plans to spend one evening with Mrs. Miriam Eshkol, widow of the late Premier Levi Eshkol, the Israeli leader who struck up a warm relationship with President Johnson in the mid-sixties. Partly due to that relationship, Johnson became the first U.S. President to authorize meaningful American arms supplies to Israel including Skyhawk airplanes in the late sixties.