LBJ visitors say Johnson, King helped pave the way for Obama


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and Photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 12:21 AM

AUSTIN -- The official presidential inauguration party was at the national mall in Washington D.C. Here in Austin, those visiting the LBJ Library and Museum this MLK day couldn't help but see how our current president is tied to our 36th president, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"That ultimately is the reason Obama is president today, because of the rights of the civil rights movement," said Rakesh Ganeriwala, an Austin resident. "That allowed Obama to enter politics and eventually run for president and become elected."

Some people KVUE talked to said both LBJ and MLK knew -- at the time -- the push for civil rights would be extremely difficult, but neither wavered nor backed down from what they believed was right.

"What they were doing at the time was not popular," said Lina Ghosh, a San Antonio resident. "It was not really thought to be really the way things should be. It really meant an entire shift in a generation's thinking, that advocating for civil rights was an important issue for people of all backgrounds."

"I don't really know what our world would be like without Martin Luther King and all the civil rights progress that he helped to foster," said Ann Sholly, a Philadelphia resident. "I guess in some ways he and Johnson were partners to change the world and change the United States."

As for Dr. King's legacy...

"I think he's a very important role model," said Maria Selde, an Austin resident. "I work in Northeast Austin. To see the connection the students make with him. Last week we were doing a lot of activities in honor of him. Seeing the impact years later is really strong and definitely resonates with me."

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