LBJ Library Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

May 22, 2011

What: LBJ Library was dedicated May 22, 1971. The LBJ Library will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
When: Sunday, May 22, 2011, 1-3 p.m.
Where: LBJ Library, 2313 Red River
Event: The celebration will feature light refreshments made from Lady Bird Johnson's recipes and Texas Swing music with the Riff Ryders.
Admission: Free, Open to the Public

In dedicating the LBJ Library, President Lyndon Johnson said, "It's all here: the story of our time--with the bark off." In the first 40 years, more than 14 million people have toured the Library & Museum to see how an eventful time in history has been portrayed in photos, documents, and recordings.

The LBJ Library is one of 13 presidential libraries and the only one that offers free admission, a mandate from President and Mrs. Johnson. It is the first presidential library to be built on a university campus, The University of Texas at Austin. It holds more than 45 million documents, oral histories with more than 1,000 individuals, 650,000 photographs, and more than 600 hours of telephone recordings. The collections are utilized by students, scholars, authors, journalists, and anyone else interested in the history of the Johnson administration.

Lyndon Johnson wanted all the Library holdings to be open to the public and scholars as quickly as possible. Harry Middleton, the Library's Director for 30 years said, "President and Mrs. Johnson supported the Library's dual role as archive and museum. But they wanted something more: they shared what she called a 'high hope' that the Library would be a center of activity, drawing leaders from many fields – from politics, the arts, academe and business – to consider issues of concern, to edify, and even to entertain."

Future plans for the Library embrace that ideal. Current Library Director Mark Updegrove has brought thought provoking and entertaining speakers to the Library including: former President Jimmy Carter, Robert Redford, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Julian Bond, Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl, and Rory Kennedy.

In addition, Updegrove is overseeing a re-design of the Library's permanent exhibits which are scheduled to be completed during the celebration of Lady Bird Johnson's Centennial in 2012. "The Library remains a vital institution by providing the public with historical, informative, and engaging exhibits and programs," said Updegrove.

For more information about the LBJ Library, its holdings, and membership programs, please visit