A group of people dressed in suits and ties stand on the green grounds of the University of Texas campus
Photo courtesy LBJ Presidential Library

This May marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas. A diverse group of dignitaries, from President Richard Nixon to actor Gregory Peck (not pictured), gathered for the dedication. “We have papers from 40—some very turbulent—years of public service, and we put them all over here in one place, for friends and foes to judge, to approve or to disapprove,” Johnson remarked. “I do not know how this period will later be regarded in the years to come. But that’s really not the point. This library will show the facts.” Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson, was a driving force behind the library, which was the first of its kind to be set on a college campus. When visiting the four existing presidential libraries, she noted that scholars came in one door and the public another, and she made sure such a division didn’t exist at the LBJ Library. Over the years, the library has welcomed millions of visitors for exhibits chronicling the Johnsons’ life and times. The library is currently closed due to the pandemic; visit lbjlibrary.org for updates.

Know of any fascinating vintage Texas photographs? Send copies or ideas to [email protected]

From the May 2021 issue

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