The National Archives presents Tokens and Treasures: Gifts to Twelve Presidents

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About This Exhibit
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
William J. Clinton
Gifts of State

Presidential Library System
Exhibit Hall


Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson Library

President Lyndon Baines Johnson, by Bernard Fuchs, ca. 1960s
Gift of Edward Swayduck, New York, New York
Pencil, colored pencil, acrylic on paper, 26 3/4 x 20 x 7/8 inches

Lyndon B. Johnson Signature

Lyndon Baines Johnson
36th President, 1963-69

*Contrary to the public perception of him as a hard-edged politician, the portrait at the top of this page depicts Johnson in soft strokes and warm tones. Lady Bird, LBJ's wife, has said that she regrets the American people did not see the gentler side of her husband.

LBJ at His Desk, by Gene Zesch, Mason, Texas, 1965
Gift of Mr. Zesch
Painted wood, 7 1/4 x 6 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches

LBJ at his desk

Earlier in his career, Johnson served in the House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate, where he was elected majority leader. When he became President, his legislative experience combined with the force of his personality to make LBJ extremely successful in getting his programs enacted. As President, he signed more than 200 bills into law. Mr. Zesch made this humorous caricature for the President while LBJ recuperated from gallbladder surgery.

. . . We didn't know the proper procedure to present [the caricature to the President] or if it is his policy to accept gifts. We thought he might enjoy it at the ranch while he's convalescing. . . .

–Letter to Lady Bird Johnson from Patsy Zesch, November 13, 1965


Untitled painting of a black woman sewing an American flag, by O, Vereisky, 1964
Gift of the Honorable William Benton, New York, New York
Watercolor on paper, 23 x 29 5/8 x 1 3/8 inches

Click to see high-resolution version (JPEG)

Untitled painting of a black woman sewing 

                an American flag

Some of the greatest strides in the quest for civil rights for black Americans were made during the Johnson administration. LBJ pushed three civil rights bills through Congress, forever outlawing voter literacy tests and discrimination in employment, public places, and housing. He also appointed the first African American to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall.




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