Friday, December 8, 2023

Two Presidents Depart Sally for Museum Exhibitions

LBJ in TruckJacksonville, FL, USA — Two presidents were on the Sally production floor in 2012: One, President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), was there for a retrofit; the other, Mustafa Kemal (named Ataturk, father of the Turks, by the people of Turkey), was in process of coming to “life.”

LBJ traveled to Jacksonville from the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library & Museum in Austin,Texas, where he has been regaling visitors with his homespun humor and tales of life on the world stage since 1998. The animatronic LBJ was originally created for the flagship Neiman Marcus store in Dallas–where he was the main attraction during the company’s 90th anniversary celebration. There he was seated in a pick-up truck, with a ranch as the scenic backdrop.

LBJFollowing the celebration, Neiman Marcus donated the figure to the Presidential Library & Museum and he returned to Sally to be retrofitted into a standing position. Once in Austin, he quickly became a “must see” attraction, leaning on a whitewashed corral fence, telling his tall tales. But this year, it was time for a change and LBJ returned to Sally again: This time he received additional arm/shoulder motions, was positioned standing at a lectern, and left wearing a formal business suit instead of the checked shirt, khakis and cowboy hat he’d worn for over fifteen years. The figure received front page coverage on the Wall Street Journal.

AtaturkAtaturk was resplendent in white tie and tails when he left Jacksonville in December, bound for an as yet unnamed museum in Eskisehir, Turkey, where he will deliver the famous speech he originally gave on the 10th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. This is the second Ataturk created at Sally; the first was installed at Gazi Kultur Merkezi (Gazi Cultural Center) in Gaziantep in early 2012.

Sally is honored to have been chosen to replicate two such remarkable historic figures who will be bringing their words of wisdom to visitors for generations to come.


Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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