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  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and MuseumLBJohnson's Library & Museum Austin, Texas
    The LBJ library and museum is one of the 13 presidential libraries that are managed by the National Archives and Records Administration, and this one contains 45 million pages of historical documents that have LBJ's personal papers, that of close people to him and many others. The library opened in 1971, with Johnson and President Richard Nixon coming to the ceremonies. The library sits next to the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and sits on 14 wonderful acres belonging to the University of Texas at Austin. The top floor contains a replicated Oval Office, but at 7/8 scale; and is decorated just as Johnson had it during his presidency. This library is the only one that doesn't charge an admission fee, and has the most visitors of any presidential library, except for the new ones and only during their first few years. When Lady Bird Johnson passed away, she lay in repose in the building just as her husband did 34 years before. The library is giving web visitors a very rare chance to see many images and behind-the-scenes recollections from 4 former White House photographers, with the inaugural presentation being done on the first year anniversary of Barack Obama, January 20, 2010. The library's museum collection contains a very diverse number of items, as do most of the history museums, like coins, stamps and Oval office furniture, and magnificent artworks. The most prominent items in these collection are those that belonged to the President and the First Lady; like personal clothing, awards, honorary doctorates and volumes of newspapers with pertinent articles and headlines. The gifts that were exchanged by the First couple are also stored here, plus the many private gifts that came from people all over the nation. Another collection entails the 4000 editorial cartoons that related to Johnson during his presidency, and a collection of political memorabilia that contains over 10,000 items starting with the inauguration of George Washington and going on to the present.

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  • Barton Springs PoolBarton Springs Pool Austin, Texas
    The Barton Springs Pool is man made and a recreational swimming pool found in Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, however, it sits inside the channel of the Barton Creek, and is constantly filled with water by the Main Barton Spring, the fourth biggest in the state, and the variance in temperature differs by only a few degrees because of the constant flowing by the creek. In the winter, the water stays around 68 degrees and in the summer, 71 or 72 degrees. Before the pool was constructed, the springs had been thought of as sacred and used in the purification rights of the Tonkawa Native American tribe that live in the region; and when the Spaniards arrived, in the 17th century, they build temporary missions there, which later had been moved to San Antonio. In 1837, William Billy Barton, came to the area and named each of the springs after his daughters, Zenobia, Parthenia and Eliza; and those landowners that came here after him also realized the potential of the springs and it kept its popularity by their continuous promotions. Andrew Jackson Zilker was the last private citizen to own the springs, and he donated it to the city in 1918, and in the 1920s, they would increase the size of it by damming the springs, and creating a sidewalk. Because of its incorporation into the creek, there have been numerous instances when it had to close while the e coli bacteria would decrease, and many subdivisions that are built upstream are believed to have been the cause of this calamity, but now a group calling themselves the Save our Springs Alliance, (SOS), has come forward to be involved in the policies of the lake, and starting other green initiatives in the city. Then a discovery was made that involved the Barton Springs salamander, but soon everyone agreed that since these creatures had co-existed since the beginning, they would be ok.

January 11, 2011