"The Lady Bird Diaries"
Between 1963 and 1970, Lady Bird Johnson recorded audio diaries totaling 123 hours to document her thoughts, experiences, and observations as First Lady during a decade of great change and social turmoil under the leadership of her husband, President Lyndon B. Johnson. Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Dawn Porter, The Lady Bird Diaries chronicles the triumphs and failures of the Johnson administration through the words of the First Lady. Porter employs excerpts from Lady Bird Johnson’s audio diaries to offer the ultimate insider’s view of Johnson’s White House years, from his swearing in as Commander in Chief after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy; his push to pass historic civil rights, voting rights, and Medicare and Medicaid legislation; the escalation of and the protests against the Vietnam War; the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy; and his decision not to run for a second full term. Porter also focuses on Lady Bird Johnson’s interactions with Lyndon B. Johnson, most notably the feedback she gave him as he grappled with his decisions to run for election in 1964 and 1968; her successful beautification campaign that extended beyond LBJ’s presidency; her changing relationship with Jackie Kennedy and her ambivalence toward Robert F. Kennedy ; and her discontentment and frustration with the Vietnam War protests. The Lady Bird Diaries will screen during this year’s SXSW Film & TV Festival at 5 p.m. March 10 at the ZACH Theatre and 6:15 p.m. March 14 at Rollins Theatre at The Long Center. The documentary is based on the book "Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight" by Julia E. Sweig and the podcast: "Podcast in Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson." Dawn Porter previously directed the documentary films Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer, The Way I See It, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Trapped, Spies of Mississippi, and Gideon’s Army as well as the documentary TV series Bobby Kennedy for President.
Aired: March 7, 2023