Historical Association Reveals ‘Official 2021 White House Ornament’
WASHINGTON – The White House Historical Association revealed the official 2021 White House Ornament on Thursday. This year’s collectible is designed to commemorate President Lyndon Johnson’s time in office.
The ornament itself features a painting of the 1967 Blue Room Christmas tree, commissioned by Lady Bird Johnson, who wanted to use it as the family’s Christmas card that year.
It was painted by Robert H. Laessig, a designer for American Greetings, and sent out by the president and first lady to White House staff members, family, and friends.
A quote from President Johnson is also featured on one side of the ornament: “Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.”
The president spoke these words to a joint session of Congress on March 15, 1965, calling on legislators to support a bill that would protect the right to vote and outlaw discriminatory measures that prevented Black Americans from voting.
Flowers encircling the quote are inspired by Lady Bird Johnson’s beautification programs on the White House grounds and throughout Washington, D.C. The flowers are Texas bluebonnets—a favorite of the first lady and the official state flower of Texas.
“Holidays at the White House were always a special time. It was a time that everybody celebrated. We celebrated with the White House staff. We had choirs come in and sing. It was just such a joyous time,” said Lynda Johnson Robb, former First Lady of Virginia and the eldest daughter of President Johnson. “The quote that the association has on the back of the Christmas ornament does reflect what he felt that his mission was, at once the oldest and the most basic of this country.”
Luci Baines Johnson, the youngest daughter of President Johnson, agreed, saying her father had an unwavering commitment to social justice.
“It is deeply fitting for his commemoration on this year’s Official White House ornament to feature his historic 1965 remarks to the Congress. For me, it is a very sentimental journey because I had the privilege of a lifetime to witness the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act,” she said.
The White House Historical Association has designed and manufactured an official White House Christmas ornament each year since 1981. Each ornament commemorates a different president’s time in the White House (in sequential order) or a significant White House anniversary.
The ornament is available for sale beginning today.
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