Bullock Texas State History Museum
Mr. Bullock The Texas State History Museum (also known as the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum or the Bullock Museum) is a history museum located in Austin, Texas. The museum, located at 1800 North Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, a few blocks north of the Texas State Capitol, is dedicated to interpreting the constantly changing “Story of Texas” to the broadest possible audience via relevant educational experiences. The Texas State Preservation Board runs the museum, as well as the Texas State Capitol, the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, the Texas Governor’s Mansion, and the Texas State Cemetery.
Mr. Bullock The Texas State History Museum is named after Bob Bullock, Texas’ 38th Lieutenant Governor, who championed the preservation and exhibition of Texas history and pushed to create its establishment. Bullock was the honored guest at the museum’s groundbreaking ceremony in April 1999, but died the following June before the museum was finished.
The Bullock Museum’s newly restored long-term first floor Texas History Gallery titled Becoming Texas debuted in 2018. The exhibition delves into more than 16,000 years of Texas history, beginning with one of the first known human-made things in the Americas, a projectile point unearthed at the Gault archaeological site 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Austin. The exhibition also looks at the early American Indian cultures that cultivated the area before Europeans arrived, European colonization goals, and global politics that shaped the establishment of early Texas.
The third level focuses on Texas land, culture, and technology, with displays on Texas ranching, oil, civil rights, science, and space exploration, as well as Texas sports and music. The Austin City Limits Theater within the museum shows musical performance clips from the long-running PBS television show centered in Austin.
Events and programs
The Bullock Museum has a full calendar of programs and events throughout the year. H-E-B Free First Sunday, World Refugee Day, American Indian Heritage Day, and Spooktacular are all large-scale community activities. During spring and summer vacations, the museum also conducts shows and social events, lectures and discussions, drop-in preschool programs, film screenings, and seasonal family activities.
REMEMBERING BOB BULLOCK
Mr. Bullock The Texas State History Museum is named after the state’s 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, who advocated for the preservation and exhibition of Texas history and helped construct the museum, which opened in 2001.
Childhood and Political Career
Robert “Bob” Douglas Bullock, Sr. (1929—1999) was born in Hillsboro, Texas, and attended Hill College before joining the Air Force in 1951. He later obtained a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a law degree from Baylor University. Bullock was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1956.
Bullock is widely regarded as the primary architect of modern Texas government over his nearly 40-year political career. He advocated for 18-year-old voting rights, campaign finance and election law reform, environmental concerns, health and juvenile justice, and reform of the state’s educational funding structure.
Bullock’s 16-year career as State Comptroller of Public Accounts was marked by a number of firsts. From 1975 to 1991, he converted the agency into one of the most efficient in the state and was the first elected official to implement an equal opportunity program, ushering in an era of ethnic diversity and hiring and promoting a record number of women and minorities.
Bob Bullock served as Texas’ 38th Lieutenant Governor for two years, from 1991 to 1999, before resigning from public service. Bullock is remembered for his bipartisanship and ability to bring about consensus on topics that had long split legislators, owing partly to his demand that government function for the greatest interests of Texas.
Champion of History
Bob Bullock was a dedicated student of Texas history and frequently proclaimed his passion for the state. After visiting museums in other states as lieutenant governor in 1995, Bullock began discussing the notion of a state history museum informally with state and local leaders.
The State Preservation Board (SPB), of which he was co-vice chairman, oversaw the planning for the new museum. The proposals that resulted were accepted, and funding was obtained from the legislature in 1997.
Bullock was the honored guest during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in April 1999. Bullock died on June 18, 1999, at the age of 69, in Austin, before the museum was finished.
The museum, which opened in 2001, reflects Bullock’s vision by offering three floors of gallery space with authentic items, a dynamic calendar of temporary exhibitions, two theaters, and a comprehensive film and program schedule celebrating Texas history and culture.
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