Hill Country Media Day sneak peek of Power to the People: The Electrification of Rural Texas

Aug 01, 2006

Experience a dramatic story of Texas

Walk into a world before television, computers, the iPod, refrigerators, or even running water. The exhibit, Power to the People: The Electrification of Rural Texas, is a unique story of one of the most dramatic events in the history of the Texas Hill Country.

Today's Hill Country Media Day is sponsored by Texas Co-op Power published by Texas Electric Cooperatives, which has a monthly circulation of more than 1 million households and businesses, making it the most widely distributed magazine in Texas.

We invite you to a sneak peek of the exhibit and a special behind-the-scenes tour.

This Hill Country Media Day is also the launch of a new cookbook, 60 Years of Home Cooking, published by Texas Co-op Power magazine. 60 Years of Home Cooking is more than a book of recipes; it is a celebration of Texas rural life through recipes, reminiscences, collages, and documentary photography.

Many electric co-op customers and Hill Country residents may remember the bleak, back-breaking life in this region when there wasn't electricity. For younger people or those new to the area, this is an opportunity to learn about the history of the majestic Hill Country.

Rural Texas in the 1930s was still in the dark as electric lines hadn't penetrated the beautiful, but rugged Texas Hill Country. Lyndon Johnson grew up here, without electricity, and vowed that once he had the political power to bring change, he would. Visitors to the exhibit will journey through time feeling how tough life was without electricity, sensing how Johnson worked his political will to bring power lines to the region, and understanding the difference electrification made in the lives of Central Texans. A highlight of the exhibit: home movies of the era narrated by Lady Bird Johnson.

"Rural electrification was a part of Lyndon to the core and set the stage for his life's work," remembers Mrs. Johnson. "Engraved on my heart is a picture of an elderly woman in rural Central Texas, Lyndon by her side, reaching up to turn on a light for the first time in what obviously was a farm house. Rural electrification changed life for all our rural population and changed the world we had known for the better."