I had a great opportunity to see something rare on Sunday at the LBJ Presidential Library. A little known fact – Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss, gave the original drawings from his book, The Lorax, published in 1971, to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas. And yes, I was able to see them…it was amazing.
The history of how the LBJ Library received these marvelous drawings is really cool. The story is best told in the biography, Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel, where Giesel describes the eventful evening in spring 1970.
“I was at a dinner for Democrats some years ago, and I sat next to Liz Carpenter, who was LBJ’s press secretary. Since Lady Bird was so interested in beautification, it seemed that environmental protection was a safe topic, so I mentioned that I had written a book on the subject. Liz seemed interested, but soon after left the room. When she reappeared she called me to the phone and said, “The President wants to talk to you.” I said “Hello,” and there was LBJ thanking me for donating the drawings for The Lorax to his library in Austin, Texas.”