The Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site. Photo courtesy of Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site

Originally created in 1885 to honor George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22, Presidents’ Day (occurring every third Monday of February) became a national holiday in 1968. The holiday date was moved to a Monday so Americans could enjoy a three-day weekend. Here are some Texas events that mark the annual occasion. Get out there and celebrate with family and friends.

The Speaker and the Presidents

Bonham: Feb. 15

The former home of Sam Rayburn, the longest-serving Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, hosts this new free event to highlight the work Rayburn did while working with presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy.

Presidents’ Day Weekend

Dallas: Feb. 15-17

Kids and adults can have fun at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This weekend’s roster of activities includes kids’ crafts, complimentary beer samples, food like hot dogs and cherry pies, and live music featuring Rushmore Band (Feb. 15), the Closers (Feb. 16), and the Missing Three (Feb. 17). A “Window to the Wild” bird show takes place on Monday morning as well.

Celebrate with the Presidents

Denison: Feb. 15

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s birthplace is throwing a party for all the presidents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoys activities such as crafts, games, trivia, and the sharing of recipes that the Eisenhowers used to enjoy.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Johnson City and Stonewall: Feb. 15-17

Due to structural issues discovered last year, the Texas White House remains closed, but you can still explore the other historic parts of LBJ’s life, including his boyhood home in Johnson City and the driving tour of LBJ’s family ranch.

George H.W. Bush Memorial Exhibit

Houston: Feb. 17

The National Museum of Funeral History opens this new permanent exhibit to honor the 41st president of the United States. Items on display include the vestments worn by the reverend and the uniform of the naval chaplain who presided over the president’s funeral, the tribute cards that came in from Houston and Washington, DC, and footage from the film George H.W. Bush: His Final Journey.

LBJ Library

Austin: Feb. 17

Admission to the LBJ Library is free on Presidents’ Day, so you can experience everything from President Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous White House telephone conversations to a replica of the Oval Office and an exhibit about the the 1960s.

Science Mill

Johnson City: Feb. 17

To celebrate both Presidents’ Day and the start of National Engineers Week, the Science Mill is open with special hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can customize a race car and try it out on a 25-foot track, explore the power of wind turbines, and enjoy other interactive activities in the hometown of the 36th president of the United States.

 


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The July 2020 cover of Texas Highways Magazine, Secret Rivers


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