Ansel Adams and LBJ on A More Beautiful America

A while back, while moving things from one place to another, my sister thrust a book into my hand and said something like “we think you should have this”.

I didn’t pay it much mind and the book ended up in a box with framed photos because it was of a large format and besides, most of my books had already been packed up and moved.

Fast forward to yesterday when I opened the box labelled “framed photos” and the first thing out was a book.

It turns out that the book was “A More Beautiful America”. Commissioned by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Nancy Newhall and Ansel Adams created a book that is as relevant today as it was in 1965.

Adams’ photos illustrate excerpts from President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress on Conservation and Restoration of Natural Beauty

The speech is compelling from beginning to end.

The beauty of our land is a natural resource. Its preservation is linked to the inner prosperity of the human spirit.

The tradition of our past is equal to today’s threat to that beauty. Our land will be attractive tomorrow only if we organize for action and rebuild and reclaim the beauty we inherited. Our stewardship will be judged by the foresight with which we carry out these programs. We must rescue our cities and countryside from blight with the same purpose and vigor with which, in other areas, we moved to save the forests and the soil.

Please consider finding some way that you can be a good steward and help preserve the beauty of our beloved Earth.

—Gretchen

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