Jan. 22, 2023 marks 50 years since death of President Lyndon B. Johnson

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023 marks 50 years since the death of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. 

On Jan. 22, 1973, Johnson suffered a heart attack at the LBJ Ranch in his hometown of Stonewall near Fredericksburg. He was flown to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he was pronounced dead at the age of 64. 

The former president's death came four years almost to the day after he left office and less than two years after the opening of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum at the University of Texas at Austin.

Johnson's presidency was marked by accomplishments like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, and laws that created Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, federal aid to education, the national endowments for the arts and humanities, public broadcasting including PBS and NPR, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, his legacy was marred some by the escalating war in Vietnam.  

In 1968, Johnson announced he would not run for reelection. After his term in office, he returned to the LBJ Ranch, where he spent the last years of his life writing his memoir, teaching at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, planning and opening the LBJ Library, and participating in the library’s symposia addressing critical issues in America’s future.

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American Senator and Vice President-elect of the United States Lyndon Johnson, pictured on a visit to the UK, November 1960.  ((Photo by Eyles/Daily Herald/Mirrorpix via Getty Images))

The day after his death, Johnson's flag-draped casket was brought to the LBJ Library where his body lay in state for 24 hours. His widow Lady Bird Johnson was there to greet those who came to pay their respects.

Johnson's funeral was held January 25 in Washington, but his casket was immediately flown back to Texas, and he was buried that afternoon at the LBJ Ranch.