"We're lucky we live in Texas, because if you kids wanted to see LBJ's boyhood home, you could just ask your parents to take you to the Hill Country."
I lived in Texas for about fourteen years, but my parents never took me to LBJ's boyhood home. I didn't ask them to, nor did I think to ask to go the LBJ Presidential Library and museum during a recent trip to Austin. Fortunately, I have a husband who loves presidents, and he did ask.
I knew very little about LBJ. Vice-president to JFK, then president. Married to Lady Bird, who we can thank for the bluebonnet-covered highways (or so I was told growing up). Had specific orders for his pants.
At the museum, you can listen to that call and others. Apart from an animatronic LBJ (creepy), the exhibits give a good overview of Johnson’s early life and career, his presidency, and the times surrounding his presidency. I especially enjoyed the Legacy Gallery, which presents all the awesome legislation LBJ passed. I paraphrase, but it’s basically:
“Like seat belts? Thank LBJ! How about national parks? Yes, that too. Public broadcasting? LBJ.”
In the November 22, 1963 exhibit, there’s a copy of the moving letter Jacqueline Kennedy wrote LBJ the day after JFK’s funeral:
“I thought you would want to put things from Texas in [the Oval Office]. I pictured some gleaming long horns — I hope you put them somewhere.”
I cried reading it and moved on to some things from Texas before the middle school field trip caught up. Like these His & Hers boots:
If you’re in Austin, the LBJ Presidential Library is worth a visit. It’s open from 9-5 daily. Our visit sparked two new goals: visit all the presidential libraries and learn more about LBJ. We bought a presidential library passport and I’ve started Robert Caro’s monster of a biography, so we’re on our way to achieving these goals.
Which presidential libraries have you visited? Do they all have animatronic presidents?