President George W. Bush at work clearing brush at Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. 8/28/02*.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library opens to the public today! If you aren’t in Dallas, there’s lots to do online, including:
- Discover the archives and museum objects from the Library’s digital holdings.
- Plan a research visit
- Explore the archived White House Website
Perhaps our favorite feature of the GWB Library website? The “Barney Cam” videos of the Bush family’s Scottish Terrier exploring the White House. Enjoy!
*Please note that we mistakenly published the year of the photo as 2005. The correct year of the photo was 2002.
George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedication
Today the National Archives and Records Administration will dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The facility will open to the public on May 1.
The Bush Library is the 13th of NARA’s federally owned Presidential libraries, whose holdings span eight decades of American history. It also increases our presence in Texas, where we already operate the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, George H.W. Bush’s library in College Station, and our regional archives and records center in Fort Worth.
We look forward to developing partnerships with the George W. Bush Presidential Center and with SMU to present joint programming, share our expertise, draw on our holdings, and bring together SMU’s academic departments and the library. These kinds of partnerships at the 12 other Presidential libraries have enriched the learning experience for students and scholars.
The new Bush Library holds 70 million pages of textual records, 40,000 artifacts (mainly gifts to the Bushes), four million photographs, and 80 terabytes of electronic information – including 200 million emails of about five pages each, or one billion pages.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
A Quick History of Presidents and Presidential Library Dedications
It’s not often that all the living U.S. Presidents are together at one time, but on April 25, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated to the American public. Although many dignitaries from around the world will attend, all eyes will likely focus on the gathering of men who have called the White House home.
In addition to George W. Bush, guests of honor will include current Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, and former Presidents William J. Clinton, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter. Read More
-Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Richard Nixon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library dedication. 11/4/91.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower looks at a key to his Presidential Library at the dedication ceremony. 10/31/59.
-The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
“I do believe before the day was over he did ask me to marry him and I thought he was just out of his mind.”
-Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor
Two teenagers in love might exchange hundreds of texts on their phones. But during their two-and-a-half month courtship, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor were each writing a letter—and sometimes even two—every day in a constant overlapping correspondence between Washington, DC, and Karnack, Texas.
Today, on Valentine’s Day, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is releasing love letters between the future President and the First Lady. Most of the letters have not been seen before by the public, and they offer a glimpse into the feelings and thoughts of the couple during this intense courtship.
It was a whirlwind romance. LBJ was 26, and Lady Bird was just 22 years old. They met in the office of a mutual friend in Austin, Texas, in September of 1934. Although LBJ had a date that night, he asked Lady Bird to meet him for breakfast. The breakfast date turned into a day-long affair as the pair drove around Austin.
LBJ even proposed. Read More
Photo: Newlyweds Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson pose in a boat on the Floating Gardens in Xochimilco, Mexico, during their honeymoon, November 1934.
We interrupt this regularly scheduled LBJ Time Machine:
To tell y’all that we have posted the 1934 love letters between LBJ and Lady Bird, available in full for the very first time, on the web. You can find them here: searchable, downloadable, and transcribed.
LBJ and Lady Bird met on September 5, 1934 and ”committed matrimony,” as Lady Bird described it, on November 17 of that same year. These 90-odd letters are their correspondence during the time of their (brief) courtship, while he was in Washington and she was in Texas. Enjoy—and Happy Valentine’s Day, from us to you.
— LBJ Presidential Library Archives Staff
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, 10 weeks worth of passionate love letters between Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson.
Lyndon and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor met in early September 1934 in Austin. On their first date, Lyndon Johnson proposed and for the next 2 ½ months the two exchanged approximately 90 letters. They also exchanged photographs, including the ones shown here.
Lyndon was working as a Congressional Aide in Washington, D. C. and impatient to marry. Lady Bird, who was living in her hometown of Karnack, Texas, was cautious but called her suitor “electric” and was sure she didn’t want to lose him.
On November 17, 1934, Johnson and Lady Bird drove to San Antonio to “commit matrimony” as she would later describe it.
LBJ didn’t have a wedding band and asked Dan Quill, friend and Postmaster of San Antonio, to get one. Quill bought a wedding band at the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. for $2.50.
Lyndon Johnson and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor married on November 17, 1934, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. They honeymooned in Mexico and were married for 39 years.
At 9am this morning, the LBJ library released all of the 1932 love letters between Lady Bird and Lyndon from the 10-week period between the time they met and they married. You can read the letters and see the photos they exchanged at www.lbjlibrary.org.
-from the LBJ Library
“I am so happy to be back where these memories are so strong.
Thirty-eight years have passed, but I still see the faces of the children who sat in my class. I still hear their eager voices speaking Spanish as I came in. I still see their excited eyes speaking friendship.
Right here I had my first lessons in poverty. I had my first lessons in the high price we pay for poverty and prejudice right here.
Thirty-eight years later our Nation is still paying that price.
Three out of every four Mexican-American children now in a Texas school will drop out before they get to the eighth grade.
One out of every three Mexican-Americans in Texas who are older than 14 have had less than 5 years of school. How long can we pay that price?
In one school district alone, one out of every two children is of Mexican-American descent. But two out of every three graduating seniors this year will be Anglo. How long can we pay that kind of a price? In five of our Southwestern States, 19 percent of the total population has less than 8 years of school. Almost one-fifth of the population in five States has less than 8 years in school.
What is the percent of the Mexican-Americans with less than 8 years of school? How many Mexican-Americans have less than 8 years of school? Fifty-three percent. Over half of all the Mexican-American children have less than 8 years of school. How long can we pay that price?
I will give you that answer this afternoon. I will give that answer to America this afternoon. I will say: We can afford to pay that price no longer. No longer can we afford second-class education for children who know that they have a right to be first-class citizens.
No longer can we afford to say to one group of children: Your goal should be to climb as high as you can. And then say to another group: Your goal should be to get out as soon as you can.
For the conscience of America has slept long enough while the children of Mexican-Americans have been taught that the end of life is a beet row, a spinach field, or a cotton patch.
To their parents, throughout the land this afternoon, we say: Help us lift the eyes of our children to a greater vision of what they can do with their lives.
And to all Americans, we say this: Help us—please help us—lift the shame of indifference from the plight of our children.”
—President Johnson’s Remarks at the Welhausen Elementary School, Cotulla, Texas. November 7, 1966. LBJ Presidential Library photo #3826-0021a, public domain.