Lady Bird Johnson sitting at the table in the White House in June 1964.

'First Ladies' recap: Lady Bird Johnson was a moral compass for her husband -- and for the country

Updated 12:04 AM ET, Mon November 23, 2020

Kate Andersen Brower is author of "The Residence," "First Women," "Team Of Five" and "First In Line," and consultant on the CNN Original Series "First Ladies," now on CNNgo. Kate Bennett is a White House correspondent for CNN. The views expressed here are their own. View more opinion on CNN.

(CNN)Lady Bird Johnson moved into a White House in mourning after President Kennedy's assassination in 1963. Black cloth hung over chandeliers, windows and doorways, and Kennedy staffers sobbed in the mansion's hallways.

This was obviously not how Lady Bird wanted to become first lady. Yet over the five years of her husband Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency, she would defy all expectations.
Lady Bird Johnson in 1963.