We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Sandwiched between glamour puss Jacqueline Kennedy and professional martyr Pat Nixon, there was Lady Bird Johnson. In Lady Bird: A Biography of Mrs. Johnson, Jan Jarboe Russell casts the first lady as Hera to Lyndon Johnson’s Zeus. Johnson herself would probably be the first to acknowledge that her career was in being Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, back in the day when that was an acceptable admission. “He always wanted me to be lively and healthy and in good spirits and have my lipstick on. That’s what I tried to be,” she said. As always, away from the press conferences, the scene was different. From a modest inheritance, Johnson built a multimedia empire valued at $9 million by the time her husband became president, which made her the only self-made millionaire first lady. Besides making the family fortune, she campaigned tirelessly and buried the pain of her husband’s infidelities. Remind you of anyone? Russell discusses and sign copies of Lady Bird at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Janet Hopf)