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October 7th, 2008
Special election exhibit opens at LBJ museum

by PAT MURDOCK

A special election and campaign exhibit that opens at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Museum of San Marcos Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, will provide both comparisons and contrasts between “then” and “now” when it comes to national elections and campaigns.

From campaign memorabilia –- including a rare 1956 Presidential election poster –- to election follow-up newspaper clippings, the exhibit will take the visitor from Johnson’s first congressional campaign in 1937 through his presidential election in 1964.

The exhibit will also include photographs, rare documents, correspondence and memoranda that provide insight into the campaign process and the politics of local and national elections.  This exhibit will remain on display through January 2009.

The special “one wall” exhibit adds a fresh new element to complement the extensive oral history project exhibit that opened in late August – the collaborative “Remembering LBJ and His Legacy: Local Recollections – An Oral History Project” – and will remain on display until next May.

Wimberley historian Barbara Thibodeaux interviewed 48 individuals for the oral history project.  The words and thoughts of Johnson-era San Marcos community leaders, area residents, Texas State alumni and friends of the late President were recorded and transcribed.

Funded in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the exhibit represents the museum’s first interactive exhibit. It includes oral history text, photographs and an interactive kiosk of audio clips and other items evolving from the university-sponsored oral history project. Equipment and display panels made possible by the Humanities Texas grant add features that the museum has been missing since its opening in December, 2006 – interactive capabilities and better portable components that will enable the transport of exhibit elements to off-site venues, such as the local public schools.

The local museum focuses on the young Lyndon Johnson as a student at what was then Southwest Texas State Teachers College, his teaching experiences in South Texas and the impact these experiences had on his leadership in the development of legislation, especially in the areas of education and civil rights.  Historians credit Johnson’s college experiences in San Marcos and his year teaching in Cotulla with helping him hone his political skills and develop a strong commitment to education, anti-poverty and civil rights.

The LBJ Museum of San Marcos is located across from the Hays County Courthouse in downtown San Marcos.   It is open to the public Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no charge for admission, but contributions are welcomed.

A 501 c (3) non-profit governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, the museum will be launching its 2009 membership campaign early next month.

For information, contact Museum Director Scott Jordan at 512-353-3300 or by email at director@lbjmuseum.com.

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