Spotlight: 1968 White House Fashion Show

The White House hosted its first – and only – fashion show on February 29, 1968. The fashion show and luncheon was presented by the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and was titled “How to Discover America in Style.” The audience included the wives of governors who were in Washington D.C. for the midwinter meeting of the National Governors Conference. Also in attendance were fashion designers and journalists covering the event. The show specifically highlighted the work of American designers and promoted United States tourism. The event was narrated by Nancy White, editor of Harper’s Bazaar.

Black-and-white negatives, color negatives, and photographic contact sheets documenting the fashion show are held in the Still Picture Branch. Additionally, textual and photographic records related to the event are held at the LBJ Library.

The following photographs of the event are filed within Record Group 306: Records of the U.S. Information Agency (306-SSA-68-8218) and are held in the Still Picture Branch.
Photo Photo IDs: 306-SSA-68-8218-CC2-15 (left) and 306-SSA-68-8218-CC2-16 (right)
Lady Bird Johnson in white dress.
Local Photo IDs: 306-SSA-68-8218-CC5-10 (right) (National Archives Identifier 176250822) and 306-SSA-68-8218-CC5-11 (left) (National Archives Identifier 176250824)
Records from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library Documenting the 1968 Fashion Show

For information about the following records, researchers will need to contact the LBJ Library directly. Their email is johnson.library@nara.gov

President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1968. MP 893. Public domain. Fashion show coverage starts at 11:58. http://www.lbjlibrary.org/

Lady Bird Johnson’s Daily Diary Entry, 2/29/1968. This series is comprised of a day-by-day record of Lady Bird Johnson’s activities during the Johnson administration. Although it was maintained by secretaries on her staff, Mrs. Johnson often added annotations and entries. (National Archives Identifier 142679343)

Textual and photographic records related to the fashion show can be found within Bess Abell’s (Lady Bird Johnson’s White House Social Secretary) files. A file unit pertaining to the White House Fashion Show has been digitized and made available in the NARA online Catalog here: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/183522680.

Additional links from the LBJ Library:

​PUBLICATION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FURNISHED BY THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES STILL PICTURE BRANCH-RRSS

Generally, copies of photographic records held by the National Archives may be published without special permission or additional fees. The National Archives does not grant exclusive or non-exclusive publication privileges. Copies of Federal records, as part of the public domain, are equally available to all. A small percentage of photographs in our holdings are or may be subject to copyright restrictions. The National Archives does not confirm the copyright status of photographs but will provide any information known about said status. It is the user’s responsibility to obtain all necessary clearances. Any use of these items is made at the researcher’s or purchaser’s own risk.

Proper credit lines are encouraged in the interest of good documentation. They also help inform the public about government photographic resources that are available.

*Because so many of our requests for information cite credits and captions that appear in published works, the inclusion of a photo number in hard copy and electronic publications is of great assistance to both us and the public.

Examples of preferred credit lines are as follows:

  • National Archives photo no. 80-G-32500
  • Credit National Archives (photo no. 306-NT-186000)
  • Courtesy National Archives, photo no. 26-G-3422
  • National Archives (111-SC-202199)

If using a large number of our images, the National Archives will appreciate receiving copies of publications that contain our photographs. Such copies can be sent to the Still Picture Branch or the Library, National Archives and Records Administration.

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