Larry and I took our time arriving in Aransas Pass, TX. Along the way we stopped in Johnson City, Stonewall and Fredericksburg, TX. Lyndon Baines Johnson grew up around the Johnson City area. In fact, relatives of his from generations past settled the area, hence the name of the town! The National Parks Headquarters is located in the little town of Johnson City. http://www.nationalparks.org/explore-parks/lyndon-b-johnson-national-historical-park
One can visit the museum, and visit Lyndon’s boyhood home and a grandparent’s home, all on the property. We just went to the museum, but then went to see the Texas White House, located outside of Stonewall. This is located in the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson
The house belonged to Lyndon’s aunt and he purchased it from her before talking with Lady Bird. “Bird” was not happy with the purchase, but soon came to love the place. The little home was added on to several times and Lyndon was able to host many friends and colleagues during his terms as senator and president. Almost 25% of LBJ’s presidential term was spent on this ranch. There is an airstrip on the property and the small plane LBJ called “Airforce 1/2” was locally called the Texas/D.C. taxi.
Cabinet members would fly in for a 2 hour meeting, then return to D.C., as another group of officials would be arriving. Many meetings were spent at a picnic table under the 500 year-old oak tree in the front yard.
The house has been restored to its 1960 era appearance, complete with the 3 TV’s in several rooms, where LBJ could watch the 3 news channels–ABC, CBS, and NBC. Every room had a telephone. Even the swimming pool had a phone with waterproofed lines!
After visiting here, we continued on to Fredericksburg, the home of Adm. Nimitz, of WWII fame. Adm. Nimitz donated his collection of navy paraphernalia, and started a small museum dedicated to the Pacific Theatre. http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/attractions-activities/national-museum-of-the-pacific-war/.
On certain weekends, the national museum hosts reenactments of artillery and other weapons used at that time. We were fortunate that Labor Day weekend was one of those weekends! Volunteers gave an hour 40 minute demonstration of gear, weapons, vehicles, and fighting techniques that were employed by marines as they battled the Japanese on the islands in the Pacific. Even though I’m not much of a war history fan, I found this very interesting.
The Museum of the Pacific takes a while to go through. We spent 2 hours there the first afternoon, prior to the live demonstration, then came back a second morning and spent another 1.5 hours finishing the exhibit. Real students of history should plan even more time. Many battles are explained through video clips, giving the highlights of what happened.
The next time we go through the area, we plan to visit the original Nimitz museum, as well as the German heritage museum, also in town.
We are now down by the Gulf and working to get our permanent campsite set up, so the trailer can be moved and we will have a winter “home away from home.”