Space Cover #145: Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Dedication
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, typically denoted JSC, is NASA's center for human spaceflight training, research and flight "mission" control. JSC was originally known as the Manned Spacecraft Center, typically denoted MSC. The MSC was created out of the NASA Space Task Group formed soon after the NASA's creation to co-ordinate the US manned spaceflight program. The MSC facility was constructed on land donated by Rice University and opened in 1963. On February 19, 1973, the center was renamed in honor of the late U.S. president and Texas native, Lyndon B. Johnson.
A full house was on hand to witness the dedication ceremonies held at JSC on August 27, 1973, commemorating the renaming of the center. The dedication was scheduled to coincide with what would have been the late president's 65th birthday. Lyndon B. Johnson died on January 22, 1973.
A bust of the late chief executive was unveiled at ceremonies held on August 27, 1973, in Building 1 dedicating the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Mrs. Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson, the president's widow, presided at the unveiling. On the stage, from left, are: Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and her husband, Charles Robb; the former First Lady; James E. Webb, former NASA administrator; Luci Baines Johnson Nugent and her husband, Pat Nugent, and their 6-year-old son, Lyn Nugent. Credit: NASA
In his opening remarks at the ceremonies, then-JSC Director Kraft said, "It's been just a few months since the legislation was enacted, designating this center in honor of our late president. The new name is so appropriate, however, that it seems now that we've always been known as the Johnson Space Center."
A stamp club was located at the MSC known as the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club which when the center changed to JSC it was also renamed as the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Stamp Club. The stamp club has produced many space covers over the years for both manned space flight events and space first day covers. For what would have been the late president's birthday the USPS released a stamp to honor Lyndon B. Johnson with the first day city 162 miles away in Austin, Texas. The stamp club created an "official dedication cover" cancelled in Houston, Texas for the dedication which used the just released Lyndon B. Johnson stamp thus creating a combination unoffical first day cover and center dedication cover.
The JSC currently consists of a complex of 100 buildings on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas. JSC is presently home to the United States astronaut corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners.