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The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection - Texas Highway Department Maintenance Supervisor Henry Ellison (1982)

Tyrrell Historical Library

Sound | 1982

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TAMI Tags
  •  Henry Ellison, maintenance supervisor with the Texas Highway Department 
  •  Lady Bird Johnson Highway Beautification Award ceremony 
  •  Lady Bird Johnson explains the criteria for consideration 
  •  Johnson on her life’s long love: the wildflowers of Texas 
  •  Naming a winner 
  •  Mr. Litter speaks out 
  •  Final words of wisdom from Lady Bird 
 
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  • About the video
  • PM Magazine PM Magazine
  • Lady Bird Johnson Lady Bird Johnson
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In this 1982 segment for PM Magazine, co-host Skye Winslow profiles Henry Ellison of Beaumont. Ellison, maintenance supervisor with the Texas Highway Department, was one of six recognized by Lady Bird Johnson for his highway beautification efforts. PM Magazine was a local news and entertainment television program broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV in from late 1970s to the mid-1980s. This segment aired on November 17, 1982.
PM Magazine, also known as Evening Magazine, was a local weeknight news and entertainment television series broadcast on multiple stations across the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The program combined both local and syndicated segments, with common subjects including local people and events, lifestyle and consumer tips, and human-interest pieces. KPIX in San Francisco premiered the first iteration of Evening Magazine on August 9, 1976. Station owner Westinghouse (Group W) Broadcasting subsequently introduced local versions at its other stations, before syndicating the format to other television markets as PM Magazine. 
 
The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection encompasses hundreds of PM Magazine segments broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV between 1979 and 1985. Leeza Gibbons and John Walls were the program’s original co-hosts. Gibbons went on to become a correspondent and co-host for Entertainment Tonight from 1984 to 2000. She also hosted her own daytime talk show, Leeza, from 1993 to 2000. 
 
At least ten other Texas stations produced versions of PM Magazine, including KFDA in Amarillo, KTBC in Austin, WFAA and KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, KVIA in El Paso, KHOU and KHTV in Houston, KCBD in Lubbock, KSAT in San Antonio, and KAUZ in Wichita Falls. Group W canceled the format in 1990, with final episodes airing on August 30, 1991. 
Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor was born in Karnack, Texas, on December 22, 1912. Lady Bird, the nickname given by nursemaid Alice Tittle, attended high school in Marshall and junior college at Dallas’ St. Mary’s Episcopal College for Women. From 1933 through 1934, she received a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. 
 
Mutual friends introduced Lady Bird to congressional aide and rising political star, Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ proposed on the couple’s first date and the two were married a month later on November 17, 1934. Lady Bird financed her husband’s first congressional campaign for Austin’s 10th District using a portion of her maternal inheritance. During World War II, Lady Bird ran the congressional office while LBJ served in the US Navy. In 1943, Lady Bird purchased Austin Radio station KTBC. The station proved an integral part of the LBJ Holding Company and became the main source of the Johnson family’s fortune. 
 
LBJ’s political career gained momentum in the post-war years, and in 1960, he became Vice President to John F. Kennedy. Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as Commander and Chief aboard Air Force One following President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963. As First Lady, Lady Bird initiated the Society for a More Beautiful National Capitol and worked with the American Association of Nurserymen to promote the planting of wildflowers along highways. In 1964, the First Lady traveled through eight southern states aboard her train, “The Lady Bird Special,” to foster support for LBJ’s presidential reelection and the Civil Rights Act. She was influential in promoting the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, referred to as “Lady Bird’s Bill,” and the Head Start program.
 
Following the death of LBJ in 1973, Lady Bird turned her attention to Austin. The Town Lake Beautification Project transformed Austin’s downtown lake, renamed Lady Bird Lake in 2007, into a useable recreation area. On December 22, 1982, Lady Bird and Helen Hays founded the National Wildflower Research Center outside of Austin. The Wildflower Center was established to increase awareness and research for North American flora. In 1977, the former First Lady received the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1988. Lady Bird died of natural causes on July 11, 2007, survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.