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Lady Bird Johnson (File)

Lady Bird Johnson (File)

Good morning, it’s Sunday, Dec. 22, the 356th day of 2013. There are nine days left in the year. We’ll start the day in the upper 30s with a chance of sprinkles in the morning. This afternoon should be mostly sunny with highs around 50. Tonight, however, will be cold with lows in the upper 20s and wind chill readings as low as 19.

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On December 22, 1912—101 years ago today--Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, was born Claudia Alta Taylor in a country mansion near Karnack. Her mother died when she was five and her father, aunt, and family servants reared her. She spent 34 years in Washington, as her husband served as a congressional secretary, U.S. representative, U.S. senator, vice president, and then president. Mrs. Johnson was with her vice-president husband in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The Johnsons were side by side when he took the presidential oath of office aboard Air Force One. Mrs. Johnson was soft-spoken but rarely lost her composure, despite heckling and grueling campaign schedules. She once appeared for 47 speeches in four days. The Johnsons returned to Texas after the presidency, and Lady Bird lived for more than 30 years in and near Austin. As first lady, she was perhaps best known as the determined environmentalist who wanted roadside billboards and junkyards replaced with trees and wildflowers. Mrs. Johnson raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to beautify Washington. The $320 million Highway Beautification Bill, passed in 1965, was known as "The Lady Bird Bill." She turned a modest sum of money into a multi-million dollar broadcast corporation in Austin that flourished under family ownership for more than a half-century. She died in July 2007, survived by two daughters, Lynda Bird, born in 1944, and Luci Baines, born in 1947, seven grandchildren, a step-grandchild and several great-grandchildren.

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Today's Highlight in Local History:
On December 22, 1994, Waco City Engineer Larry Groth was named director of the Cameron Park Zoo.

Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 22, 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe rejected a German demand for surrender, writing "Nuts!" in his official reply.

On This Date:
In 1775, Esek Hopkins was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.
In 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, and Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, had their world premieres in Vienna, Austria.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman said in a message to President Abraham Lincoln: "I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah."
In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)
In 1910, a fire lasting more than 26 hours broke out at the Chicago Union Stock Yards; 21 firefighters were killed in the collapse of a burning building.
In 1937, the first, center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey underneath the Hudson River was opened to traffic. (The north tube opened in 1945, the south tube in 1957.)
In 1968, Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower in a private ceremony in New York.
In 1977, three dozen people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Company plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.
In 1988, Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes was shot and killed. (Rancher Darly Alves da Silva and his son, Darci, who pulled the trigger, were sentenced to prison for killing Mendes; they were freed after serving a third of their 19-year sentences.)
In 1992, a Libyan Boeing 727 jetliner crashed after a midair collision with a MiG fighter, killing all 157 aboard the jetliner, and both crew members of the fighter jet.
In 2001, Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers. (Reid is serving a life sentence in federal prison.)

Ten years ago:
A magnitude-6.5 earthquake hit California's central coast, killing two people. A federal judge ruled the Pentagon couldn't enforce mandatory anthrax vaccinations for military personnel. Colombian rebels freed four Israelis and a Briton held hostage for 101 days.

Five years ago:
Five Muslim immigrants accused of scheming to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix were convicted of conspiracy in Camden, N.J. (Four were later sentenced to life in prison; one received a 33-year sentence.) Toyota projected its first operating loss in 70 years due to the global economic slowdown. The president of Guinea, Lansana Conte, died nearly a quarter of a century after seizing power in a coup; he was believed to be in his 70s.

One year ago:
Egypt's Islamist-backed constitution received a "yes" majority in a final round of voting on a referendum that saw a low voter turnout. A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed nine people, including a provincial government official, at a political rally held by a party that had opposed the Taliban.

Today's Birthdays:
Former House Speaker Jim Wright is 91. Actor Hector Elizondo is 77. Country singer Red Steagall is 75. Former World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz is 70. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Steve Carlton is 69. ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer is 68. Rock singer-musician Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) is 67. Rock singer-musician Michael Bacon is 65. Baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is 65. Golfer Jan Stephenson is 62. Actress BernNadette Stanis is 60. Rapper Luther Campbell is 53. Country singer-musician Chuck Mead is 53. Actor Ralph Fiennes is 51. Actress Lauralee Bell is 45. Country singer Lori McKenna is 45. Actress Dina Meyer is 45. Actress Heather Donahue is 40. Actor Chris Carmack is 33. Actor Logan Huffman is 24. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jordin Sparks is 24.

Thought for Today:
"Those wearing tolerance for a label call other views intolerable." - Phyllis McGinley, American poet and author (1905-1978).

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