Forty-seven years ago today, the "Lady Bird Bill" was signed into law to begin the process of beautifying America's highways. This and other achievements of former First Lady Bird Johnson will be celebrated Nov. 30 in Austin, TX, when the US Postal Service dedicates the Lady Bird Johnson souvenir Forever stamps sheet.
The Lady Bird Johnson souvenir sheet features six stamps, a quote from the First Lady reflecting her belief that the environment is our common ground, and a black-and-white image of the First Lady taken from a family photograph shot in 1963 by Yoichi Okamoto. Text on the back of the stamp sheet highlights a few of Lady Bird Johnson's many successes. The single stamp on the right side of the sheet features her official White House portrait, an oil painting by Elizabeth Shoumatoff showing the seated First Lady wearing an empire-waist gown of buttercup yellow.
The five stamps on the left, adaptations of stamps originally issued in the 1960s commemorate the visible legacy left by her projects - and to encourage others to follow.
The top stamp reads "Plant for more Beautiful Streets" and shows a row of blooming crab apple trees along a paved suburban road.
The second from the top offers the encouragement to "Plant for more Beautiful Parks," with an image of a field of daffodils along the Potomac River with the Washington Monument in the background.
"Plant for a more Beautiful America," the center stamp, depicts the Jefferson Memorial in the background seen through branches of flowering cherry blossoms.
The fourth stamp is a scene of yellow and blue wildflowers along a highway with the caption "Plant for more Beautiful Highways."
The last stamp, which reads "Plant for more Beautiful Cities," shows plantings of pink and red azaleas and white tulips with the U.S. Capitol in the distance.
The original engraved stamps featuring art by Walter D. Richards (four stamps, issued in 1969) and Gyo Fujikawa (center stamp, issued in 1966) have been adapted for printing in offset lithography by artist Paloma Alcala of Alexandria, VA.