Texas Road Trip: Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library

Since we decided that 7th grade was the year we would do Texas History for our homeschooling, we couldn’t wait to get started! We did not purchase a curriculum, but instead, we are doing a unit study I designed along with a series of road trips. We are fortunate to live in the central Texas area, so many historical spots and museums holding the basics of Texas history are local or a day trip away.

This week we made the first stop for Texas History at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidental Library, located on the University of Texas campus in Austin.

Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) is one of the Famous Texans on our list to study.  LBJ was born in Texas, rose to his political career in Texas, and retired in Texas after the Presidency. Besides the library, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is another tribute to the Johnsons in Austin.

The library has three floors dedicated to exhibits on LBJs life and his time as President.  One exhibit is a timeline that details LBJ’s life from birth through the presidency, in addition to other notable historical events.  The majority of the fourth floor is dedicated to Johnson’s presidency, with information on the bills he signed, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

Learning about the decisions LBJ made during the start of the Vietnam War.

Throughout all the exhibits are telephones (like the one above) which give you the opportunity to hear original recordings of the president in relation to a particular part of his presidency.

This original moon rock was fun to see, especially since we are also studying Astronomy.

The featured Library exhibit (until January 2016) was: “Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles!” which was included in the price of admission to the library. It’s interesting to see your younger kids’ reaction while touring this exhibit of memorabilia, videos and other history of the Beatles.

Watching the screen to get a 30-second drum tutorial from Ringo.
The Abbey Road mural was a fun photo opportunity.

Things to know if you visit:

  • Admission is $8 per adult, $3 for teens. Kids 12 and under are free.
  • While kids are free, there are not any exhibits or activities geared toward young children.
  • Our visit on Thursday midday was an excellent time with low museum traffic.
  • Plan for 2-3 hours to peruse all the information in the exhibits.
  • The fourth floor has a portrait gallery of U.S. Presidents and First Ladies.
  • The Briscoe Center for American History is next to the LBJ Library but didn’t have any exhibits of interest to us at the time of our visit.
  • This museum is a must-see if your middle school or high school student is studying the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement and American History in the 1960s.
  • Get more up-to-date information at lbjlibrary.org
The quickly changing landscape of Austin from the 10th-floor library window.

After 2-1/2 hours of looking through the exhibits, we had to leave because we got hungry!

We got back on Interstate 35, and went north for about 2 miles and got off on Airport Boulevard to our next stop:  In-N-Out Burger!

This location is crazy busy if you hit it at the lunch hour, but since we arrived at about 1:30 p.m., the lunch crowd had completely thinned out. The burgers are good and have quite a reputation. (We have many California transplants who were ecstatic when In and Out finally arrived to Texas!) For lunch, it is affordable at $6 for a burger, fries, and drink.

After a filling lunch, we headed west on Airport Boulevard and happened on Lammes Candies! How can you not stop for dessert?

Lammes Candies has had their factory at the Airport Blvd. location for over 50 years.

Lammes (pronounced “lambs”) has been a part of Austin tradition for over 100 years. Walking inside the small candy store, we were inundated with the sights of all kinds of gorgeous chocolate candies. Since we could purchase by the piece, we each got a bite to satisfy our sweet tooth, and also picked up a couple of their chocolate bars to go. After this last stop, we were out of Austin before the afternoon traffic rush started.

The Lammes Longhorns is a popular candy gift.
Thanks for taking a quick trip with us on our #texashistoryroadtrip!  If you have visited this location, why not leave your comments and suggestions below for others?  Another exciting adventure will be posted soon!

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