Salon.com (watch ad for day pass)
Lady Bird was of her time and ahead of it. As first lady she was a bridge between the eras of Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton. Unlike either of them, Lady Bird reserved her influence strictly for behind the scenes and did not impose herself in public apart from her husband's agenda, except on environmental issues, on which she was a pioneer. She shares the glory of the greatest presidency for civil rights since Lincoln. In 1960, after seeing Lady Bird's picture in Time magazine, Virginia Durr wrote Lyndon: "Of course I've thought that Bird is your secret weapon ... Southern womanhood really has something when they are like Bird."