The Wildflower Champion
December 22, 1912
On December 22, we remember the birthday of the American socialite and the First Lady of the United States, Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson, who always went by "Lady Bird."
On her 70th birthday, Lady Bird made her most significant contribution to American botany when she gave a financial endowment and a land grant of 60 acres to found the National Wildlife Research Center in Austin, Texas.
As a non-profit dedicated to conservation and preservation, the Center conducts scientific research on wildflowers and other native and naturalized plants.
Together with Helen Hayes MacArthur, Lady Bird served as the co-chair of the Center.
Lady Bird was awarded the American Horticultural Society's highest honor, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, for her philanthropy and love of nature.
Although her work as the first lady had brought her incredible experiences, Lady Bird wrote:
"My story begins long before that - with a love of the land that started in my childhood."