Bullock Remembered at
Texas History Museum Dedication
AUSTIN - Members of the Senate gathered Friday to remember a giant figure in the state's history at the dedication of the Texas history museum that bears his name.
President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush were among the dignitaries who gathered to pay tribute to former Lt. Governor Bob Bullock at the invitation-only ceremony on the plaza of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum just north of the Capitol.
"He's been called the last of a breed. And it's true that politics has changed," President Bush said. "Let's just hope it doesn't change too much. We'll always need his kind of strength and toughness and shrewd wisdom."
The museum celebrates unique objects of Texas. Among the exhibits is a 1940-vintage AT-6 "Texan" airplane, a full-scale windmill and the original Goddess of Liberty Statue from the top the Capitol dome.
The museum also boasts a 400-seat IMAX theater with a six-story screen. Another feature of the museum is "Destination Texas History," an interactive program that directs visitors to more than 400 history-related sites around the state.
"This is really a fine museum. Laura and I were honored to be able to tour it," Bush said. "It is magnificent. Everybody in Texas needs to come and see it."
Bullock was the 38th lieutenant governor of Texas. He served two terms as the presiding officer of the Senate from 1991 to 1999. Considered one of the great Texas political leaders of the 20th Century, Bullock has been compared to former U.S. House Speaker Sam Rayburn and President Lyndon B. Johnson.
His career in Texas government spanned almost 40 years. He was elected to the Legislature in the late 1950s before going on to serve as Secretary of State and Comptroller of Public Accounts. Bullock retired in 1999 and died June 18, 1999. He is buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
Bullock's achievements and contributions to Texas are well documented, but he is equally known for his fiery disposition.
"When I heard that there was going to be a statue of Bob Bullock that would be eight feet tall, the first thing that occurred to me was, an eight-foot Bob Bullock was a scary thought," said Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff. "But then I realized that the sculpture actually captured Bob Bullock because his size in this sculpture exemplifies that Bob Bullock himself was a superlative."
The public is invited to the museum for its grand opening celebration tomorrow. Activities including live music, storytelling, historical re-enactments and demonstrations are planned from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is located at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and North Congress Avenue in Austin. For more information about the museum please go to http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/tspb/tSHM/Home/Home.htm on the Internet.