Monday, March 17, 2014

One-Room Nation, Part 4

LBJ and ABCs

The previous post in One-Room Nation (the story-slinger’s continuing series on one-room schoolhouses and how they shaped America), I introduced a really cool word:
abecedarian. (Say it: ay-bee-sih-DAIR-ee-yuhn.)

It means someone who is learning his or her ABCs.

Who was America’s most famous abecedarian? LBJ, otherwise known as Lyndon Baines Johnson, our 36th president.

A young Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States. (15-13-2. LBJ Library Photo by Unknown)

Before he became president, he was a boy of modest means in rural Texas. Lyndon was so eager to attend school that he couldn’t wait until he turned six. In 1912, when he was just four years old, he convinced his mother to let him attend the one-room school near his house in Gillespie County, Texas.

Johnson spent most of his first year sitting on the teacher’s lap.

Later, as President Johnson, he signed more education bills than any other American president—and he signed the very first one back at the one-room Junction School in Texas, with his teacher at his side.

Signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Bill with the President seated next to his first teacher, Kate Deadrich Loney, at the Junction School in Texas, April 11, 1965. (C148-31-WH65 LBJ Library Photo by Frank Wolfe)

Could you survive in a one-room schoolhouse eighty or one hundred years ago? One-Room Nation, an on-going segment of the Story-Slinger blog, will try to answer that question in a few dozen posts. Unless otherwise noted, the photos in One-Room Nation are the property of the blogger, so please contact the Story-Slinger if you wish to use them.

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