This Day in Texas History: LBJ Library Dedicated in Austin

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This Day in Texas History: LBJ Library Dedicated in Austin

This Day in Texas History:

LBJ Library Dedicated in Austin
May 22, 1971

Animatronic LBJ

Animatronic LBJ

On this day in 1971, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum was dedicated on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It was the nation’s fifth presidential library and the first to be located on a university campus.

It serves as a center for scholarly research and as a historical museum. Scholarly interest in the LBJ Library centers on its unusually rich archives of manuscripts and audiovisual records. More than 30 million pages of manuscripts, mostly papers of President Johnson, form the core of the research collection.

As the most comprehensive single collection of materials on a president of the United States, the library’s holdings span Lyndon Johnson’s entire political career. Added to the Johnson papers are those of Lady Bird Johnson and many of Johnson’s contemporaries and associates. Operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, the LBJ Library is part of a system of presidential libraries devoted to research through preservation of materials related to those who have held the job of president of the United States

In 2012, the library went through several months of makeover to modernize it.  In the process, the unusual and popular “Animatronic LBJ” was re-engineered.  They retired his classic ranch garb and cowboy hat in favor of a business suit and took away his timeless split rail fence from which he dispensed anecdotes, jokes and musings – and placed him behind a presidential podium.  I, for one, prefer the original LBJ.

 

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