LBJ Presidential Library Salutes the Military with Free Summer Admission

May 24, 2016

This summer, the three presidential libraries in Texas will offer free admission to active duty military personnel and their families in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense.

AUSTIN (May 24, 2016) – The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, will offer free admission to the nation's active duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, from Memorial Day (May 30, 3016) through Labor Day (Sept. 5, 2016). The LBJ Library is joining the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas in honoring military families.

"We are thankful to our military service members and their families for their selfless service and sacrifice for our country,” said Mark K. Updegrove, director, LBJ Presidential Library. "This free admission period follows The Vietnam War Summit held at the LBJ Library in April, which presented an unvarnished, substantive look at the war and lessons learned from it. Secretary of State John Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran, delivered the keynote address and other participants included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, filmmaker Ken Burns, journalist Dan Rather, and William McRaven, University of Texas System Chancellor and former Commander of Special Forces. As Commander-in-Chief, President Lyndon Johnson was enormously proud of our men and women in uniform. We share his pride and are pleased to extend this small gesture as a token of our gratitude."
Currently, the LBJ Library has two temporary exhibits. Vietnam: Evidence of War showcases the rich archival resources available at The University of Texas at Austin's Briscoe Center for American History and explores one of the most complicated, contested, and painful wars in our nation's past. Evidence of War reflects an impressive array of unique sources for exploring the viewpoints of soldiers and veterans, politicians and constituents, reporters and photojournalists, advocates, and protesters. The exhibit also displays valuable sources for research on how the war was reflected in art, music, and popular culture. It is open through July 31.

Vietnam: Turning Points of the War takes a brief look at this complex history through the lens of presidential decision-making. The choices made by six American presidents—Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford—played a major role in the establishment, the stability, and ultimately, the fall of South Vietnam. Grounded in the Cold War mentality that the United States must stop the expansion of communism at any price, these men, each in his own way, fundamentally changed the course of American and Vietnamese history. The exhibit is open through June 26.

Additionally, visitors to the LBJ Library can step into a replica of the Oval Office, learn about the political and personal lives of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, and listen to telephone conversations as the president conducts business. 

Driven to Drive: Defining Our Identity, the main exhibit at the Bush Library in College Station, is the story of the automobile told through historical objects, interactive media, and hands-on displays, highlighting cars beginning with the 1950s through the present and into the future. It runs through the end of the year. 

The special exhibit at the George W. Bush Library in Dallas, Path to the Presidency, gives visitors an interactive look into past presidential campaigns, the changing face of the American electorate, and a glimpse at life on the campaign trail. It is open through October 9.
Free admission to all three museums is available May 30, 2016, through Sept. 5, 2016, to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card. This includes active duty U.S. military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps - and up to five family members. A family member of active duty military may include a spouse or child, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.
The free admission benefit is called Blue Star Museums and is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums of all types in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. The complete list of participating museums is available at

Anne Wheeler
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