One of just 13 official U.S. Presidential Libraries, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, or the LBJ Library, is conveniently located right off I-35 just north of downtown Austin on the campus of the University of Texas.
LBJ and the 1960s
The LBJ Library is a large and imposing monolithic-style building set against the backdrop of other famous University of Texas landmarks - such as the Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium and the UT Tower.
The only Prsidential Library that offers free admission (parking is free, too), the LBJ Library is a fascinating destination for a number of reasons.
At a general level, the library is now more than 40 years old, so it's interesting to see how much technology and the world has changed in four decades.
But the specific era of the Johnson Administration (1963-1968) coincided with such a tumultuous and pivotal period of American history, that the library contains a great number of exhibits and resources related to the 1960s in general.
There are exhibits related to the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, Johnson's Great Society policies, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and various aspects of pop culture from the 1960s.
The radical movements which sprung to life in the 1960s were emblematic of the political and social divides that existed in that time period. Were they necessary? Were they inevitable? How did they influence our society, and what is their legacy?
Left to Right: Radical Movements of the 1960s examines the impact both then and now.
Other LBJ Library Highlights
Some of my favorite exhibits include LBJ's 1968 Presidential Limo (there's also a mint condition 1910 Model T which was a gift to Johnson from Henry Ford II) and a cool replica of Johnson's Oval Office, including his Presidential desk.
Other memorable aspects of the library include the impressive Great Hall and a permenent exhibit about the late Lady Bird Johnson, co-founder of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and namesake of Austin's Lady Bird Lake (renamed from Town Lake in her honor following her death in 2007 at the age of 94).
Also be sure to check out the LBJ Fountain adjacent to the library just to the south (see last video below).
Videos - Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library
Map - LBJ Library and Museum
Map - LBJ Library 2313 Red River ST Austin, Texas 78705