Monday, January 14, 2008

Bills, Bills, Bills

I'm in Austin for the week. I wanted to hit up a few galleries and museums, but they were all closed today.

So I did the whole history nerd thing and I took a tour of the capitol building
and I spent the entire afternoon in the LBJ Library

Lyndon B. Johnson's political career was extraordinary, both for the negatives and the positives. His rise to prominence as a larger-than-life Senator from Texas was an anomaly; he was a democrat in the South who aspired to build a "Great Society," with education, poverty, and equality as his key issues. As Senate majority leader and as president, Johnson signed some profound pieces of legislature into action; he commissioned the beginnings of the low-income education program Head Start, and he signed the Voting Rights Act and the groundbreaking Civil Rights Act of 1964. All this, while the Vietnam War and the fall out following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. threatened to tear the nation apart.

"What is happening to our country?

I heard this cacophony over and over ---
What is our country coming to?
What is happening to us?
Are we a sick society?"

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary

Texas Monthly
did an amazing piece on President Johnson's wife, Lady Bird Johnson shortly after her death in 2007, but you need to be a subscriber to read it online! The Washington Post's article will do.

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