Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 15th-largest in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000 to 2006. Austin has a population of 786,382 (2009 U.S. Census estimate).
I joined the crowd to watch 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats shoot out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. The local joke is that by standing atop the bridge, visitors offer the condemned mosquitoes a last meal while waiting for the bats to make their entrance.
The Lyndon B Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others.
At the LBJ Library and Museum I was quite happy to find a temporary exhibition celebrating the life and work of Walter Cronkite, one of my personal heroes. He was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years.
During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America".
While I was on the University of Texas at Austin's campus I visited the University's tower where Charles Joseph Whitman, a student, killed 14 people and wounded 32 others during a shooting rampage on and around the university's campus. Three were killed inside the University's tower and ten killed from the 29th floor observation deck of the University's 307 foot administrative building on August 1, 1966; one died a week later from her wounds. The tower massacre happened shortly after Whitman murdered his wife and mother at their homes. He was shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Houston McCoy, assisted by Austin Police Officer Ramiro Martinez. The incident was the deadliest university shooting in United States history until the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007, when Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people.
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, is a museum owned by the State of Texas dedicated to telling "The Story of Texas", and boy, they do it very well! I most likely know more now about the history of this interesting state than most Texans do.
Tonight, the symphony and fireworks along the shores of Lady Bird Lake.