Crossroads Documentary: San Marcos Stories

Lyndon B. Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto, 03/18/1966

There are many monuments and tributes scattered all across the United States commemorating both Texas State alumnus, President Lyndon B Johnson and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, but the one here in San Marcos, Texas, is especially notable – it is situated at what is believed to be the only intersection in the entire country where two streets bearing the name of these two great men, meet.

The stainless steel LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial Sculpture by Louisiana artist, Aaron Hussey, stands at about 12 feet high and is about 15 feet across. It’s an oval structure which is symbolic of the Oval Office where the two discussed the Civil Rights legislation in 1963.

Recently, the students of Dr David Nolan’s Visual Storytelling class had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the significance of the collaboration between LBJ and MLK when they were assigned to produce a documentary detailing the project over the Summer 2013 semester. “I was approached by Diane McCabe, one of the leaders of the LBJ/MLK Memorial Crossroads Project Committee in the spring, to submit a film to be included in a film and discussion series about the local Civil Rights movement that was to be held at the local library,” said Dr Nolan. “So I thought I’d include it as part of the class.”

This was the first time these students had ever attempted any sort of video project. “The course was held over the summer so they only had 5 weeks to produce and finish the documentary,” Dr Nolan explains. “It wasn’t an easy task as interviews had to be scheduled and a lot of the people the students needed to speak to are much older, so having them even healthy enough to be interviewed was a challenge! But the students had the chance to meet and speak to some local trailblazers about their experiences during the civil rights movement. Although the finished documentary itself is just 12 minutes long, there are hours of raw footage from this project that preserves their legacy.”

The students also faced technical hiccups during the editing process. Despite it all though, they can be proud of their end result. “I am very proud of what they’ve accomplished,” Dr Nolan repeats several times. “And I’ll be submitting the documentary to as many festivals as I can!”

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