[LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson]

Step back a few decades to the era of LBJ

Mar 14, 2013

by Harry and Linda Kaye Perez
[published by La Vernia News on March 13, 2013]

Twenty-one of our 43 past presidents of the United States have a presidential library and/or museum, and here in Texas we have three: the George H.W. Bush Library on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station; the George Bush Library in Dallas; and the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, built on a 30-acre site on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

This library was originally dedicated on May 22, 1971; it hosts more than 150,000 visitors each year. Realizing that “times were a-changing,” the library underwent a $10 million redesign, paid for through private donations, to bring new interactive exhibits to the facility. After one year of work, the new and improved LBJ Library was unveiled Dec. 22, 2012. This date was chosen to honor what would have been Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday.

First sight

When you enter the library, you will actually be on the third floor, and the first thing you will see is LBJ’s custom-built black stretch Presidential Limousine. Although it was equipped with a TV, telephone, and special communication system direct to the Secret Service, it was not bulletproof or armored. Your next stop should be the theatre showing an excellent 11-minute multimedia experience about our 36th president.

Before leaving the third floor, allow yourself time in the Social Justice Gallery. Here you will learn about legislation that was championed by LBJ, that today we take for granted. These include civil rights, voting rights, fair housing, the War on Poverty, Medicare and Medicaid, public broadcasting, immigration, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Freedom of Information Act. read more