9.13.2008

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum.

As if you couldn't figure it out, the LBJ Library & Museum is in Austin (I promise, it's the last Austin post). We decided to duck out of the 90 degree sun one afternoon and head over to the only presidential library that is free to all (LBJ made a point of making his library no charge). Wait, you know that Lyndon Baines Johnson was our 36th President, right? He took over after JKF (uhhh, John Fitzgerald Kennedy) was assassinated (that means murdered).
This was my first presidential library visit and I have to say, I was impressed... I was entertained... I learned lots of things... and I was glad I went.


I'm not sure a caricature is presidential, but they're the ones that put it up. Lady Bird (also with the initials LBJ) has her own "wing" on one of the floors; pretty cool. She was also an important UT-Austin alum (aka, Texas Ex) and a 6 year regent at the university.


Above is the Roman Catholic missal that bears JFK's initials. LBJ was sworn in using it.


This '67 Lincoln maybe the first example of a pimped ride. 13,000lbs when done, bullet proof tires, armor plating, lots of gizmos, and slick too.


Having been elected on the same ticket as JFK, as VP LBJ was put in charge of education and the space program. He had a knack for both... wonder if that's why much of NASA is in Texas?
This was a "life-like" view of a NASA meeting. They're all figurines (mannequins?). I'm not sure how or why, but it was entertaining.

Pretty sure this a the "real deal" of what astronauts wore on their backs to keep them breathing (also filtering out air coming in, keeping it humid, temperate, etc).
Gotta get the kids behind the space program too... who better to help than Snoopy!?


And for what was probably my favorite thing in the place, a life-size animatronic figure of LBJ that told 5 funny stories. They were told in his voice, from recordings made in the White House. The figure did "robot" around a bit and really was fun to watch and listen.

Below is a seven-eighths scale version of LBJ's Oval Office. It was full-on 70's motif, but still very presidential and interesting to see.


Last but not least, two teeny, tiny items I found in Lady Bird's wing.

For any sports fan, these might be the coolest things in the whole collection. As I understood the little placards, all presidents receive lifetime passes to all NFL and MLB games. The MLB version looked like a fancy driver's license, but the NFL version was pimped out and looked stamped from brass. They can go and see any game they want - waaaay cool.
If you have a chance to see any presidential library, I would jump at it. Of course, if you happen to be in Austin and have even 2 hours (that's all I took), you should definitely put this place on your list of stops.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

those life-size displays creep me out!

transplanted.chicagoan

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