History came alive at the Literary Society of the Desert lunch with author julia swieg as she discussed her book “Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight.”
The multi-media presentation, held March 16 at La Quinta Country Club, began with an audio diary recording of Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, vividly describing the natural beauty of Palm Springs on a visit in 1964.
A photo of Air Force One at the Palm Springs Airport was one of many shown documenting the Johnson presidency. Swieg told the audience that there are 123 hours of audio diaries from Lady Bird revealing her behind-the-scenes influence on political strategy. The author described a power partnership between the first lady and the president and her impact on civil rights, the environment and the Vietnam conflict.
The author was introduced by Literary Society President Nancy Cunningham as a Senior Research Fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Sweig is also the author of several books on Cuba, Latin America and American foreign policy.
Prior to the lunch, Swieg met with students from Desert Hot Springs and Indio high schools to discuss the writing and research process for the book.
Literary Society of the Desert Secretary Carrie Brookshire had the pleasure of introducing 13 library representatives to accept $2,500 checks from library benefactor members. Those representatives included ted canable from Cabazon, kristen lehigh from Cathedral City, Denise Lopez-Gomez from Coachella, Mary Grace Maloney from College of the Desert, Veronica Boswell from Desert Hot Springs, Casey Bowens from Indian, Natalie Perez from La Quinta, andrayah mendoza from Lake Tamarisk, Leticia Gamez from Mecca, Robert Hampton from Palm Desert, jeanie kays from Palm Springs, Deanne Dekle from Rancho Mirage and Sue Duran from Thousand Palms.
Each library had plans to use the funds in a variety of ways ranging from remodeling, the purchase of e-books, summer reading program, the purchase of young adult and children’s books and a community event.
The La Quinta Country Club presented a tasty three-course meal beginning with a vegetable gazpacho, an entree plated salad with roasted prawns and burgundy pepper tri-tip, concluding with a strawberry cheesecake with Chantilly cream.
Save the date
On April 7, the Literary Society of the Desert will host author Maggie Shipstead at Bighorn Clubhouse. Shipstead will discuss her latest novel “Great Circle.” For more information, visit literarysocietyofthedesert.org.
Marge Dodge serves on several local non-profit boards supporting her passions of education, literacy and the arts. She is on the advisory board of the Literary Society of the Desert performing public relations.