LBJ Presidential Library celebrates Presidents Day with free admission

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Martinez-Arndt | Daily Texan Staff

Families, veterans and out-of-state visitors had free admission to the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in honor of Presidents Day.

The LBJ Library and Museum, which is owned by the LBJ Foundation, is typically free for UT students and faculty, children, active duty military and special members only. On special days, such as Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Fourth of July, the library gives free admission to the public.

“It’s Presidents Day, and it honors our presidents,” said Anne Wheeler, communications director for the LBJ Foundation. “I believe some schools do not hold classes on that day; therefore, we always think that it is nice to offer free admission.”

Wheeler said she expected a higher number of visitors because of the free admission.

Museum receptionist Robert Slobod said the visitor count on Presidents Day is higher than Fourth of July because of the three-day weekend.

“On free days, we’re definitely a lot busier than we are on normal days,” Slobod said. “We’re at the high end right now. We’re at about 100 more (visitors) than Fourth of July.”

UT alumna Carmen Tidings came to the museum with her husband and two sons. Tidings said she also came on Presidents Day several years ago, but her sons were too young to know as much as they do now.

“I like it, I like it a lot,” Tidings said. “It’s got a lot of great things in there. As (my sons) are getting older, they’re learning more and asking more questions about it, so they’re learning more out of it.”

Nancy Issa, who came from Las Vegas to visit her daughter in Austin, said she visited the museum because of her interest in presidential libraries. Issa said she is especially interested in the history of LBJ but said she was disappointed with the library and museum because the galleries were not as thorough as she hoped.

“My husband and I actually like to visit presidential libraries,” Issa said. “This is the sixth one we’ve been to. I think as far as the physical layout, I was pretty disappointed. The archives would have been more interesting.”

The Library houses exhibits showing President Lyndon B. Johnson’s life through various media, films about his personal life and family, clips of his recorded telephone conversations and a replica of the Oval Office during Johnson’s administration.