Lynda Bird Johnson became the eighth child of a sitting president to marry in the White House, on December 9, 1967, when she was 23.
|The Johnson Family in the Oval Office. Public Domain|
Robb, 28, was a military aide at the White House and a Captain in the U. S. Marine Corps. He was scheduled to serve in Vietnam, so the wedding was arranged so the couple would have a little time together before he left.
Preparations were noted by the press, and taxpayers wondered who’d foot the bill for the wedding, but the President is said to have joked that he would have to take out a substantial loan to pay for the nuptials. Lynda presented her seven bridesmaids with a bird-shaped gold pin inscribed "Lynda 12967," and Robb gave his groomsmen a gold cufflinks.
|The wedding! Public Domain|
Her seven bridesmaids wore long-sleeved, seasonally-red velvet gowns, but the color might also have been chosen because the bride liked the painting “Red Boy” by Francisco de Goya—the color of the bridesmaid gowns became known as “Goya Red.” Matching velvet bows with streamers were pinned in the bridesmaids’ hair and they carried bouquets of matching red flowers. (Photos are copyright protected, by they really were lovely. Click here.)
After the ceremony, the bride and groom left under a saber arch formed by six Marine captains. The wedding party followed, and they all adjourned upstairs for photos. The 650 guests were asked to leave the East Room for a short time so the space could be “flipped” for the reception. Staff set up tables and a dais for the orchestra. Once ready, the room was re-opened and guests were welcomed back in for cocktails before the buffet was served. (Supposedly, the champagne bill alone was $5000.)
The couple returned, received guests, enjoyed their meal, cut the cake (a pound cake flavored with lemon and mace), and had their first dance. Music was provided by the Peter Duchin Orchestra, including a song written for the wedding called "It's Always Lynda."
Later, Lynda changed into a going away outfit and she and Robb left the reception, flying off in a helicopter.
|The Johnsons with daughters and grandchildren, Christmas Eve, 1968. Lynda is on the far right. Public Domain|
Robb served with distinction in Vietnam, and became a lawyer when he returned. In 1978, he became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, and in 1982, Governor of Virginia. Later, he served two terms as Virginia’s US Senator.
|Chuck Robb while US Senator. Public Domain|
Meanwhile, Lynda chaired the President’s Advisory Committee for Women during the Carter Administration, working to promote equality for women. She later became chair of the Reading is Fundamental Board, America’s largest organization promoting children’s literacy, and worked as a contributing editor to Ladies Home Journal, as well as serving in her parents’ foundations.
|Lynda Robb with former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter. Public Domain|
BIO: Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can learn more about her and her books, including mail-order twist My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight, on her website, www.susannedietze.com.