About this Famous Person
Lyndon B. JOHNSON
36th President of the United States
Source : Tim DOWLING
Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas in a small farmhouse on the Pedernales River. His parents, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines, had three girls and two boys: Johnson and his brother, Sam Houston Johnson (1914–1978), and sisters Rebekah (1910–1978), Josefa (1912–1961), and Lucia (1916–1997). The nearby small town of Johnson City, Texas was named after Johnson's father's cousin, James Polk Johnson, whose forebears had moved west from Georgia. The Johnsons were of Scots-Irish and English ancestry. In school, Johnson was an awkward, talkative youth and was elected president of his 11th-grade class. He graduated from Johnson City High School in 1924 having participated in public speaking, debate, and baseball.[better source needed]
Johnson was maternally descended from a pioneer Baptist clergyman, George Washington Baines, who pastored some eight churches in Texas as well as others in Arkansas and Louisiana. Baines was also the president of Baylor University during the American Civil War. George Baines was the grandfather of Johnson's mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson (1881–1958).
Johnson's grandfather Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr. was raised as a Baptist. Subsequently, in his early adulthood, he became a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In his later years the grandfather became a Christadelphian; Johnson's father also joined the Christadelphian Church toward the end of his life. Later, as a politician, Johnson was influenced in his positive attitude towards Jews by the religious beliefs that his family, especially his grandfather, had shared with him (see Operation Texas).
In 1926, Johnson enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teachers' College (now Texas State University-San Marcos). He worked his way through school, participated in debate and campus politics, and edited the school newspaper called The College Star, now known as The University Star. He dropped out of school in 1927, and returned one year later, graduating in 1930. The college years refined his skills of persuasion and political organization. In 1927, Johnson taught mostly Mexican children at the Welhausen School in Cotulla, some ninety miles south of San Antonio in La Salle County. In 1930, he taught in Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas, and afterwards took a position as teacher of public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston. When he returned to San Marcos in 1965, after having signed the Higher Education Act of 1965, Johnson looked back:
"I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American."