Jul 27, 2022 - News

How a Lyndon got free admission at the LBJ Presidential Library

Lyndon Baines Johnson and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson discusses the Voting Rights Act with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

It recently came to our attention that if your first, middle or last name is Lyndon, you get free admission to the LBJ Presidential Library.

By the numbers: Eleven Lyndons have enjoyed free admission to the library since the admission offer got off the ground in June 2021.

One of them was Lyndon Sam, who visited the library in June during a visit to Austin.

What they're saying: Sam, a management consultant from the northeastern U.S., was born and raised in Ghana, and tells Axios he was named after the former president.

  • Ghana, the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence from European colonialism, "has had a great affinity for the struggle in the American South," Sam told Axios.
  • "If I were to guess ... my parents wanted to show their appreciation for his role in that story," he said.
Lyndon Sam at the LBJ Library last month.
Lyndon Sam on his visit to the LBJ Library in June. Photo courtesy of LBJ Library, which blacked out personal details on the identification card.

Library officials were giddy when he told them his name at check-in — and informed him of the free admission policy.

  • "I did feel a sort of connection, almost a duty to live up to the name," Sam says. "This man was a titan of 20th-century American politics."

What's next: We recommend a visit to the library regardless of your name — if only to say howdy to the animatronic LBJ.

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