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Contact: Sherry Justus, 830-868-7128 ext. 245
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park invites the public to experience a decade like no other when the park hosts its second annual "Reflections of the 60s at the LBJ Ranch" special event on Saturday, April 18. Vietnam veterans, Johnson administration and National Park Service staff, and a former Texas State Representative will participate in lively and informative panel discussions on topics as diverse as the Great Society and civil rights. A 1960s car show and music of the period set the scene and enhance the ranger-guided tours of Lyndon Johnson’s presidential office in the "Texas White House."
The event begins at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome by national historical park Superintendent Russ Whitlock. Three panel discussions, each lasting one hour, and two book signings follow throughout the day.
The first panel, "Reflections of the Vietnam War and the Importance of Remembering" includes Ted Gittinger and Tom Striegler, both of whom served as artillery officers during the conflict and both Purple Heart recipients. They will discuss the impacts of the Vietnam War on the period and the importance of sustaining and recording the memories of the war, as well as sharing firsthand accounts of their personal experiences on the battlefield and at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A book signing with Mr. Gittinger will immediately follow the presentation.
The second panel, "The Great Society: Impacts of Three Generations," begins at 11:30 a.m. and will feature Harry Middleton, retired Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, F. Gus Sanchez, Chief of Interpretation and Resources Management at the national historical park, and Kathy Faz, Community Planner for the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. The topic will be President Johnson’s Great Society programs and their effect on three generations of Americans. This panel is also followed by a book signing, this time with Mr. Middleton.
Beginning at 1:30 p.m., "The Civil Rights Legacy of the 1960s" will be discussed by the third panel, consisting of Wilhelmina Delco, Robert Stanton and Dr. Dwight Watson. Ms. Delco, former District 50 Texas State Representative, was the first African American of that district. Mr. Stanton served as the first African American director of the National Park Service. Dr. Watson of Texas State University, who will moderate, will discuss the impact of specific Johnson administration legislation such as the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Each participant will share personal memories of how life was in Texas prior to the Voting Rights Act and how life has change since the passage of landmark civil rights bills.
A one-hour lunch break will be provided between panels two and three with food available for purchase on site.
The event is free of charge and can be accessed by private vehicle. Drivers should first pick up a permit at LBJ State Park and Historic Site, across the Pedernales River from the LBJ Ranch on U.S. Highway 290 (14 miles west of Johnson City or 1 mile east of Stonewall).
For further information or more specific driving directions, call (830) 868-7128, ext. 244, seven days a week.