one consequence of traveling with college friends who also studied political science is that when one visits a city with a Presidential Library, that Presidential Library comes up as a tour prospect. it also means you have much greater, more interesting context for the LBJ presidential years than what the library presents to you, which is a little exhilarating.
the library and museum are administered by the National Archives and include more than 45 million items, primarily from LBJ but also from close associates. the Library, situated adjacent to the LBJ School of Public Affairs on the University of Texas – Austin campus, was dedicated in 1971 with Johnson and Nixon in attendance. the core of the building is a remarkable four-story, glass-encased view of the archive’s holdings. quite a different presentation than the one I got to see first hand in the Wisconsin Historical Society archives – impressively illuminated and with each archival box featuring the Presidential Seal.
the top floor features is a 7/8th replica of the Oval Office as it appeared during Johnson’s presidency, including a cabinet with enough televisions installed to show all major networks simultaneously (you know, the 4 or 5 of them). in the corner of the building of that same floor, overlooking the football stadium, is Lady Bird Johnson’s office, preserved as she used it until her death in 2007.