We knew from the LBJ Library website that there would be a concert on the lawn in front of the building so we arrived early to claim one of the 30 parking spaces reserved for library visitors on Saturday. We started our tour just after the opening time of 9:00 AM. The museum has recently undergone a renovation, incorporating many electronic exhibits. This is our first experience visiting a Presidential Library and it was a very good one.
Johnson's presidency covered a very tumultuous period of history and maybe that's what made the visit so interesting to us. No matter your politics you can't help being drawn to LBJ's personality.
I was impressed with his apparent physical presence and how he seemed to use his body to be both endearing and intimidating.
There was a special exhibit of award winning and famous photos not just of LBJ, but he and Kennedy were the main subjects.
You left with a definite impression that he was worn down by the job almost from the very beginning.
Starting with Kennedy's assassination, the exhibits covered the Vietnam war, his social projects, the Johnson's personal life. A model of his Oval Office as well as a recreation of Lady Bird's office are very interesting. Letters and recordings of Johnson's phone calls bring his personality to life.
We had a great lunch at Eastside Cafe and then headed to the Capitol. We stepped right into one of the scheduled tours of the building amidst Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
School-kids and adults dressed in colorful garb were inside and out of the Capitol which at least today seemed to be a well used building. Lots of dancing and music. Inside school bands were performing in the rotunda with proud parents all around taking photos
. We followed our tour guide to the doors of the House of Representatives Chamber and we went in for about 10 minutes to observe proceedings.
Then she took us downstairs to the ground floor leading to underground Capitol extension where legislators' offices are located.
All very big and impressive.
Our day today was capped off by watching the Kentucky Derby which put us into a mint julep state of mind. Now we are looking forward to the Bourbon flavored part of our trip later this month!