AUSTIN (KXAN) — This weekend, a new exhibit opens at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library taking us back 50 years in history. On November 7, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act, creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The act established PBS and NPR as the national distribution networks for public television and radio, transforming our national media landscape.
The new exhibit at the LBJ Presidential Library, On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting, is co-sponsored by KLRU-TV Austin PBS and NPR station KUT 90.5. It brings iconic artifacts from treasured television and radio shows under one roof.
Perhaps the most iconic is Sesame Street, which now reaches children in 150 different countries. At the exhibit, visitors can pose with Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Count von Count, on loan from Sesame Workshop. You can take photos in front of full-scale backdrops of the iconic 123 Sesame Street stoop and Big Bird’s nest. Also featured in the exhibit are Mister Rogers’ sweaters, sneakers and trolley, artwork by The Joy of Painting host Bob Ross, and an autoharp used by Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion.
“Sesame Street was created to provide early access to education for all children, which is as vital now as ever,” said Jennifer A. Perry, Sesame Workshop’s Vice President and Publisher of North America Media Products and Publishing. “PBS has made our program available to all Americans for almost 50 years, playing a vital role in helping the most vulnerable kids get access to quality preschool education. As a longtime partner of PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Sesame Workshop is proud to participate in this exhibit.”
Opening day of the exhibit on June 24th features another favorite from Sesame Street character: meet and take photos with Walkaround Elmo – hugs are encouraged!
On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting runs through November 12.