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    Lyndon B. Johnson: Texas Ranch Photo Album Presented to Abe Fortas. Several definitive biographies have been written about Lyndon Johnson, and the controversial and larger-than-life President continues to fascinate the public. His primary contribution as President was hard-fought Civil Rights legislation. His "Great Society" program, modeled after FDR's "New Deal", is considered a failure by many with a legacy that haunts the Democratic Party. His decision to escalate the war in Vietnam, despite a 1964 election year mandate to minimize involvement, proved his undoing. His opponent that year, Barry Goldwater, was represented as an irresponsible politician who would use nuclear weapons. Though no longer mentioned, Goldwater even suggested that the draft be abolished. As our involvement in Vietnam deepened and protests began to mount, LBJ sought solace in his Texas ranch. Perhaps here, more than anywhere else, he could think through the tough decisions that needed to be made, without the distraction of advisors' opinions and news of war protests. Perhaps in an effort to portray a softer, more sensitive side to his personality, Johnson produced a photo album containing twenty-five large format, color pictures and him and Lady Bird enjoying nature down on the ranch. Five of the photos actually depict the Johnsons, while the balance are scenic views. The photos each measure 11" x 14" and are unsigned. They are contained within acetate sleeves and are generally in excellent condition, although three examples shown marginal water stains. One such album was presented to close friend, Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, and his wife Carolyn. Fortas had a long and distinguished career which, like Johnson's, had its rough spots. He first met Johnson while serving under Harold Ickes in the FDR Administration. The two became close friends. Fortas was able to help Johnson, from a legal point of view, in the "missing ballot box #13" Senatorial contest of 1948, thereby assuring his election. He served as a liaison between Johnson and Jacqueline Kennedy in the wake of the assassination. Johnson later nominated him to the Supreme Court to fill Arthur Goldberg's seat. His subsequent nomination to follow Earl Warren as Chief Justice proved highly controversial and resulted in the nomination being withdrawn. Soon after, Fortas resigned from the court amid accusations of improper conduct related to fees and retainers. This album includes a personal note to Abe and Carolyn Fortas from LBJ ("... I would count the future barren without you... This little album of pictures is a small way to tell you of our affection.") Though complete, the covers have become detached.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,068

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