Johnson Library Shows How Presidency Reverberates

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The United States is fighting a messy war alongside an unreliable ally in Asia, residents are deeply divided between conservatives and liberals, a new health care law just took effect and the nation is struggling with racial and ethnic divisions.

What’s happening in the United States in 2012 could just as easily describe the nation in the 1960s: President Lyndon Baines Johnson escalating the war in Vietnam, defeating conservative Republican nominee Barry Goldwater, passing Medicare and pushing through landmark civil rights legislation.

An insider’s look at how the Texan dealt with those challenges is on display at the newly remodeled LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, where the old 1970s-style exhibits now use 21st century technology to put visitors in Johnson’s shoes. Mark Updegrove, the library’s director, said the reopening comes as historians take a fresh look at Johnson’s efforts to fight poverty and improve the health of the nation by creating a Great Society.

December 20, 2012
Associated Press