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October 9, 2005
From journal Texas in October
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
May 29, 2002
The Library is open every day except Christmas from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is located one block west of Interstate 35 between Martin Luther King Drive and 26th street on the University of Texas Campus. There is ample free parking to accommodate all guests. Admission to the Library and Museum is also free. At President Johnson’s request, there is not now, nor will there ever be, a charge to view this marvelous piece of American history.
We viewed a 20-minute film on the life and presidency of LBJ in the Orientation Theater on the first floor. It was informative and very well done; it was a little sad that there were only about 10 people in this beautiful and comfortable theatre.
The Museum occupies the first, second and eighth floors. On the first floor we viewed the 1910 Model T Ford recreation of the Johnson family car, a gift from Henry Ford II and the presidential Limousine. Among the other exhibits is a section entitled "America: 1908 to 1973" and the "Family Album" focusing on the life and time of President Johnson. The Museum Store offers original campaign items, books, gifts and souvenirs.
The second floor exhibits include a gallery of paintings of all the American Presidents and First Ladies. The "Humor of LBJ" is illustrated through a life-size computerized figure of President Johnson, dressed in his cowboy garb, spinning his homespun wit. Watching it for several minutes, I had to remind myself that this life-like mannequin wasn’t real. Head of State gifts, treasures presented to the President and the Nation, and gifts from the American People are also on display.
On the eighth floor is a 7/8-scale replica of the Oval Office as well and the First Lady’s Gallery. The view of the water fountain on the grounds from a large eighth-floor window is spectacular.
The remaining space (Floors 3 through 7) not open to the public, houses over forty million pages of historical documents from the LBJ presidency.
The dedicated volunteers who man the library day after day are to be commended for their graciousness and hospitality.
From journal Austin--Deep in the Heart of Texas