Trinidad Tidings: 50th Anniversary of Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Lady Bird Johnson Grove Dedication was held Aug. 27, 1969. From left on top of platform, the Rev. Billy Graham, California Governor Ronald Reagan, U.S. Congressman Don Clauson, Interior Secretary Walter Hickel, President Richard Nixon, First Lady Pat Nixon, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Julie Eisenhower, David Eisenhower, Luci Nugent, Patrick Nugent, Lynda Robb and Chuck Robb.
Photo courtesy of Redwood National and State Parks

Trinidad Museum’s Photography Room Exhibit commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Lady Bird Johnson Grove in Redwood National and State Parks.  

First Lady, Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson (1912-2007), wife of the 36th President of the United States, visited Humboldt County twice: first on Nov. 25, 1968 at Jedediah Smith State Park, and again on Aug. 27, 1969, when she joined her Past President husband, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and their daughters Lynda Robb and Luci Nugent, their husbands Charles Robb and Patrick Nugent,  President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat Nixon, and their daughter, Julie, with her husband David Eisenhower, along with California Governor Ronald Reagan, Interior Secretary Walter J. Hickel, U.S. Congressman Don Clausen, U.S. Senator George Murphy, National Park Service Director George Hartzog Jr., Laurance Rockefeller and the Rev. Billy Graham for a unifying afternoon dedication in the grove.  

At no other time in Humboldt County’s history have three United States Presidents, past, present, and future, gathered at one time.

Lady Bird Johnson’s mission as First Lady was beautification and conservation.  She wrote: “My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth.”  

Working with Congressman Don Clausen (representative from 1963-1982), Save-the-Redwoods League, the Department of the Interior, and State and Federal leaders, she championed the effort to preserve old growth redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) by encouraging formation of Redwood National Park, which today comprises some 133,000 acres, in Del Norte and Humboldt counties.  

Within the boundaries of the National Park are three existing California State Parks, Jedediah Smith, Del Norte Coast Redwoods and Prairie Creek.  Much of the land was acquired from private landowners, with positive and negative economic and social effects still in memory.  President Johnson signed into law legislation creating Redwood National Park on Oct. 2, 1968, a few months before he left office.

Many of the trails and camp grounds in the park are well known to local residents and visitors, however, since Lady Bird Johnson Grove off Bald Hills Road about 20 miles north of Trinidad, with its serene 1.4 mile trail, is one of the most popular for its proximity to Trinidad, Trinidad Museum chose to highlight the Grove and its dedication, which brought political leaders to Humboldt County for a celebratory day in the awe-inspiring redwoods.

Special thanks to Redwood National State and National Parks, Orick , for the loan of most of the photographs, newspaper articles, and the oil painting by C. T. Wilson, and to Special Collections, Humboldt State University for permission to show the black and white silent video of the arrival of dignitaries at the Eureka-Arcata Airport and of the dedication ceremony itself on Aug. 27, 1969.  

The text of remarks made by President Nixon and Former President Johnson can be read in the binder next to the video.

The exhibit will continue through September 2019.

Sts. Martha and Mary Episcopal Church

Sts. Martha and Mary Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that the church building on Trinity Street has the go-ahead to offer the facilities to qualified non-profit groups for their meetings, retreats, etc.  Contact Sally Renlund at (530) 356-3997 for more information.

Toast to the Coast

 The Trinidad Coastal Land Trust invites the community to an elegant outdoor event featuring dinner, open bar, live music by the Sand Fleas, and an auction on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Saunders Park.  Tickets are $75 per person.  Proceeds will support TCLT’s work to protect the coast and provide public access from Little River to Big Lagoon.  Call (707) 677-2501 or go to for information and reservations.

Email Patti at [email protected].


Related posts