tv LBJ Presidential Library Tour of the Presidential Suite CSPAN January 10, 2015 9:49pm-10:01pm EST
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of linden and ladybird johnson. this was private quarters for the president and first lady. when i say private, i mean that you read this is not part of the tour offered to the public. this has never been open to the public. you are seeing it because of c-span's special access. the ip's the national ip -- v.i.p.'s come into this space just as they did during lyndon johnson's today. it has not changed since he died in 1973. there is a document signed by the archivist of the united states and ladybird johnson say nothing in this room can change. this is just as president johnson would have seen it in his day. there have been a number of luminaries in this room -- seven
presidents have been through these rooms. six first ladies, the queen of england, prince philip, prince charles, princess diana all have been in this room and it looks exactly as we see it now. there is a famous interview l.b.j. did with walter cronkite in the early 1970's in which l.b.j. is sitting in that chair and walter cronkite on that couch. you see exactly what you see right now. the president was alive for about a year and a half when this library was built. it was inaugurated in may of 1971 and he died in january of 1973. he had a very limited time during which he was a part of this library's life, but a very important time. lady bird johnson continued to make it an important part of her life until she died in 2007. this library is as much about
ladybird johnson and her touch as it is her husband's. throughout the room, there are wonderful artifacts the johnsons collected while they were in the white house. some come from heads of state, others come from friends of theirs who gave the johnsons gifts for the presidential library or for the white house that was then brought to this space. one such item is this painting by diego rivera, one of 15 cubist paintings diego rivera did during the course of his career. it was given to president johnson from the president of mexico during a state visit during the course of johnson's presidency. there is another painting on the right by charles russell, the famous painter of western scenes.
this was a painting that hung at the l.b.j. ranch that the johnsons subsequently gave to their library. in this case in between, there are many gifts given to the johnsons by friends and in some cases by heads of state, including a wonderful solid gold representation of the moon where there is a diamond where the sea of tranquility is located. the sea of tranquility is where the armstrong and buzz aldrin first landed on the moon. president johnson was very active in the space program and though that mission occurred after he left the oval office, it was very much part of his effort that we actually made it to the moon. this is a small, private office set up for president johnson and
it was meant to model the private office off the oval office. through that door is our replica of the johnson oval office. this is a small study he used on occasion. it includes a very long couch. very long because johnson often took naps. they ended up being horizontal working sessions. it is long to accommodate his 6'3" frame. recently, when we had the civil rights summit here at the l.b.j. presidential library, president carter took a nap on this as well. at least two former presidents have slept on that couch. this is a small desk president johnson used in the private office. he spent a great deal of his time there when he worked as
president. a lot of the work of his presidency was done on this desk. president johnson was a major consumer of the news. he monitored it very carefully. those three television sets were set up so that he could see simultaneously all three major news broadcasts simultaneously. there's a remote control there a very primitive remote control that allowed him to isolate sounds so he could hear the sound on one of them. this was at a time when there were only three broadcast networks, cbs, abc and nbc. it was far easier to monitor the news than it is today. pbs was the fourth network introduced by lyndon johnson through legislation he signed in 1967, creating not only pbs but
national public radio. i mentioned earlier that this suite has not changed since president johnson died in 1973. the rug i will show you in what is the bathroom is illustrative of that. you can see the neon green anyone who is over 45 years of age will recognize that as the same color of the rugs in their den. this was a very popular color at the time, so you see we haven't changed things in the suite. >> if we could, that's the one thing i want. i would like to have as near a reproduction as finances and architectural requirements would permit. i don't say it has to be 18 feet high or 14 or 38 feet long.
we might have a little card on the door saying this is not an exact reproduction or something. but i would like for it to be such where they get an impression that here is where the president works because they all want to see that. that is something they come to see. >> here we are in l.b.j.'s oval office. most of the presidential libraries have oval office replicas. this is distinct for two reasons. it is slightly smaller than the actual oval office. this is 7/8 to scale. it is smaller because it was outed as an afterthought. president johnson wanted visitors to see where the president works but we did not have a large enough space to accommodate the oval office so it is slightly smaller than the actual oval office. another thing that makes it
unique is you see the actual furniture that was in lyndon johnson's white house, including his desk. this is not the resolute desk we all associate with the president , does that president obama currently uses and the many -- the one that many of us recognize. that desk is used by most presidents. johnson wanted to take his furniture back to his president to library and opted instead to use the desk he had as a senator. used this when he was senate majority leader. he used it as vice president and took it to the oval office when he ascended to the presidency. that is his chair. that is his telephone. this is his suite of furniture including the rocking chair he sat in on meetings. he will recognize that as being similar to the rocking chairs john f. kennedy used when he was president. he was done by the same
manufacturer -- it was done by the same manufacturer. every president gets to choose the portrait he wants to graces oval office. in president johnson's case, he chose george washington, andrew jackson, and his hero, franklin roosevelt. he was very much a product of the new deal and was a protege in many respects a friend than roosevelt, who saw the great potential in great -- young lyndon johnson. when johnson became president, it was his hope you would finish the new deal -- he would finish the new deal would finish with his great society what roosevelt started with the new deal. one thing f.d.r. left unaddressed in his presidency was civil rights. i think ultimately president johnson will be remembered as the civil rights president for having signed into law the civil rights act of 1954 which broke the back of jim crow and our
separate but equal laws throughout the south. the voting rights act of 1965 gave all americans unimpeded access to the ballot box and the fair housing act of for all americans. that is a triumvirate of civil rights legislation and is a legacy of lyndon johnson. >> find out where our local content vehicles are going next online at c-span.org/l ocalcontent. you are watching american history tv on c-span3. >> robert wilson, author of "matthew brady, portraits of the nation," talks about brady's photography before the civil war and how it changed in the following years. he also talks about the difference in subject matter and composition between brady and other photographers at the time. this hour-long event was part of the lincoln forum's annual