50th Anniversary of the Higher Education Act

Tomorrow, Nov. 8 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Higher Education Act.

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson at the Higher Education Act signing event.

President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act on Nov. 8, 1965 at his alma mater, Southwest Texas State College, now Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas.

Inside a packed gymnasium, he spoke of the lessons he learned in college, about his experiences as a teacher, and he called education the key to the future.

The act, which is the major law that governs federal student aid, was intended “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” It increased federal money given to universities, created scholarships, gave low-interest loans to students, and established a National Teachers Corps. The original law, which was part of Johnson’s “Great Society” domestic agenda, has been reauthorized nine times through the years.

The LBJ Library is marking the anniversary by examining the passage and success of the act in 1965: A Legislative Revolution, on display this month in the Great Hall of the LBJ Library. Come see what President Johnson did to help further higher education for all. Plan your visit.

We’ve also put together an online media kit of related Higher Education Act archival materials including photos, text, and the daily diary from signing day; photos of Johnson as a student at Southwest Texas State College; and a 50th anniversary commemorative video by Texas State University. All are public domain.

Summer Activities for All Ages

Celebrate suAFM_2015_2mmer early and attend the Bullock Museum’s Music Under the Star: Spring Edition on Sunday, May 24 and Sunday, May 31 beginning at 4 p.m. Enjoy a free music concert featuring local talents on the Bullock’s plaza presented by the American Federation of Musicians.

For more musical adventures on Austin’s Cultural Campus, don’t miss the traveling exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen… The Beatles!, opening at the LBJ Presidential Library on Saturday, June 13. The exhibit’s opening day activities includes online essay writing service free admission all day, live music, and more!

Other upcoming summer events include:

June 6, 2015, 9 a.m.

We are celebrating the end of a successful school year with FREE admission to the museum! Museum exhibits open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the activities run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Scheduled activities:  The dig pit will be open to young paleontologists from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Fossil identifications will be available from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturdays in June at 3 p.m.

The Harry Ransom Center’s Young Adventurers Film Series kicks off on Saturday, June 6, at 3 p.m. with Disney’s film Alice in Wonderland (1951).

Drawing on Lewis Carroll’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, the film has become one of the most popular representations of the Alice stories.

The program is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome. Seating is first-come, first-served, and doors open at 2:30 p.m. Run time is 75 minutes, and the film is rated G.

This series is held in conjunction with the Ransom Center’s current exhibition Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, on view through July 6. Mark your calendar for the upcoming films James and the Giant Peach (June 13), Coraline (June 20), and Where the Wild Things Are (June 27.)

Enjoy these exhibitions on view at Austin’s Cultural Campus museums: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Wildly Strange: The Photographs of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Roller Derby.

Celebrate the culture of the ’60s!

Love the sixties? Don’t miss our new exhibit, “Sixty from the ’60s,” on display through January 4, 2015. It features iconic photographs, historic objects and documents, books, clothing, posters, and artwork related to sixty Americans who made an impact on this seminal era and whose work continues to be relevant today.

Included are original lyrics written by Bob Dylan, a Telstar satellite, a dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s communications headset, a boxing glove worn and signed by Muhammad Ali, and an original Peanuts comic strip – just to name a few of the many cultural icons that will be on display. As visitors explore the exhibit, they’ll also hear a soundtrack of songs from the 60s chosen as the best of that decade by renowned musical artists and the public.

After you enjoy the exhibit, take home this souvenir shirt from our museum store! Read more here.

2013 Holiday Museum Crawl

2013 holidaycrawl

Enjoy festive music, hot beverages, special discounts and a prize drawing!

‘Tis the season to shop local, and Austin’s Cultural Campus is offering a shopping event to get everyone in the holiday spirit! Downtown Austin is a cultural destination, where unique shops within walking distance of one another offer museum-quality gifts that allow you to make meaningful purchases that support art, history and science in your city.

The Blanton Museum of Art, Bullock Texas State History Museum, Harry Ransom Center, LBJ Presidential Library, Texas Memorial Museum, and the Visual Arts Center have joined forces to present the 2013 Holiday Museum Crawl on Saturday, December 7, with festive music, hot beverages and special discounts for those who mention the Austin Cultural Campus.

By shopping in Austin museums and cultural centers, you can find distinctive gifts, such as original art work, nature-themed jewelry, dinosaur goodies, collectibles, souvenirs or the official state ornament. For a gift that lasts all year, purchase a membership and receive a free gift at some locations while supplies last. Sign up at any location to be entered in a special prize package drawing.

Explore Austin’s museum shops online:

Blanton Museum of Art

Bullock Texas State History Museum

Harry Ransom Center

LBJ Presidential Library

Texas Memorial Museum

Visual Arts Center

New admission fees at LBJ Presidential Library

Since opening our doors to newly designed exhibits in December of 2012, The LBJ Library has been accepting donations in lieu of charging admission. Government sequestration and other logistical issues have caused a delay in our ability to initiate the new admission fees, voted on and approved by the Board and the Johnson family.

As of November 12, 2013, the Library will begin charging admission. Friends of the LBJ Library, members of Future Forum, and the following groups:

  • Children 12 and under
  • Active Military
  • Members of Friends of the LBJ Library and Future Forum membership groups
  • Student groups (including teachers and chaperones) with reservations
  • UT students, faculty, staff, and administrators with valid ID

Details about the new admission prices area are available on our website.

Another change will occur in late November, when we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Since our opening in 1971, the LBJ Library has been open year ’round, closed only on December 25. Beginning this year, we will also be closed on Thanksgiving and New Years Day.

Join our mailing list for news of upcoming events and exhibits–including a special one-day exhibit of George Washington’s Inaugural Bible in December!

Explore Austin’s Cultural Campus!

In 2010, administrators from two of Austin’s most popular museums put their heads together to brainstorm ways they might help one another publicize events. The brainchild born of that conversation was Austin’s Cultural Campus, a pedestrian-friendly destination offering exhibitions that highlight visual and literary arts, history and science. In addition to rich cultural experiences, visitors can enjoy performances, shopping, dining and much more.

Seven organizations comprise Austin’s Cultural Campus (ACC) and all are located on or near the University of Texas at Austin campus within walking distance of each other—the Blanton Museum of Art, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas Memorial Museum, the Visual Art Center, and Landmarks (the public art program of the University of Texas).

Click here to watch a short video about ACC.

“ACC partners with local organizations to offer new and creative ways for visitors to experience member institutions,” explains Kathleen Stimpert, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Blanton and one of ACC’s founders. “Over the years these have included segway tours with SegCity, bike tours with Mellow Johnny’s, music crawls with the Butler School, and a Holiday Shopping crawl.”

You can pick up a rack card at any of the member institutions for descriptions and a map of their locations. Keep up with ACC special events on this blog or our Facebook page.

Celebrate LBJ’s birthday with us!


Plan to visit the LBJ Library on August 27th and enjoy birthday cake, refreshments and free admission! We’ll be commemorating the birthday of Lyndon Baines Johnson, who would have been 105 years old.

Visit our website for updates on scheduled programs, including “A White House View of 9/11” and “November 22,1963: Personal Perspectives.” These programs are open to Friends of the LBJ Library, a membership initiative that includes annual free admission to all thirteen Presidential Libraries, including the LBJ Library, complimentary rental of our multi-media exhibit guide, a 10% discount at The Store at LBJ, and admission to the “Evening With…” lecture series. Learn more…

Honor Texas Veterans this month at the LBJ Library

DIG13482July is the perfect time to honor and remember Texas veterans. The 3417 Project is an award-winning exhibit created by the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Committee. Each of the Texas soldiers who died in the Vietnam War is represented with a handcrafted dog tag featuring his name, rank, branch of service, home of record, and date of loss. Each tribute tag may be touched and photographed. This exhibit will be on display through July 28, when it will travel to San Antonio. For more news about our events and exhibits, sign up for our monthly eNewsletter.

Visit the LBJ Library free of charge on July 4th!

“News to History: Photojournalism and the Presidency”

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the LBJ Presidential Library are proud to announce the exhibit, News to History: Photojournalism and the Presidency. The exhibit, on display at the newly renovated LBJ Presidential Library will run until October 1, 2013.

Showcasing the Briscoe Center’s unparalleled photographic collections, News to History highlights the thirteen presidential administrations from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Barack Obama. The exhibit features the iconic images that captured the interaction of each president with their era.

“Historians use a wide variety of sources to interpret the past, but the still photographs shot by photojournalists are among the most compelling sources we have for documenting and understanding our history,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “The photographs we are displaying in News to History are an outstanding example of the value of this resource for teaching and research.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Briscoe Center in providing our visitors with a riveting journey through 80 years of Presidential administrations,” said Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library.

Since 1992, the Center has conducted an ambitious program to collect and preserve the historically valuable imagery produced by photojournalists. The photographers whose work is displayed in News to History have placed their archives with the Briscoe Center. Today, the Briscoe Center preserves the largest single collection of photographs of the U.S. presidency outside of Washington, D.C.

In addition to photographic holdings (such as slides, negatives, prints, and tear sheets), the photojournalism collections comprise such archival materials as personal papers, correspondence, diaries, news stories, and three-dimensional artifacts. The combination of these materials provides researchers with remarkable primary source evidence for interpreting history. The Briscoe Center is an organized research unit of the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information, visit The Briscoe Center for American History.