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New Rayburn Exhibit at the Fannin County Courthouse

The Sam Rayburn Museum in Bonham has installed a new permanent exhibit at the Fannin County Courthouse. The Leadership of Mr. Sam explores the career of Sam Rayburn, one of the 20th century's most significant American political leaders.

"Sam Rayburn's career coincided with the New Deal, World War II, and the emergence of the civil rights movement. His leadership, honed by decades of public service, is highlighted throughout the exhibit," said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center.

Rayburn represented Bonham and Fannin County in Congress between 1913 and 1961. He served as a congressman during the administrations of eight presidents and played a critical role in passing much of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. In 1941 Rayburn became speaker of the House of Representatives, a position he held for 16 years, longer than any other individual in U.S. history. Known affectionately as "Mr. Sam" by his friends and colleagues, Rayburn established the Sam Rayburn Museum in in 1957 as a tribute to the people of Fannin County.

Laurie Blake, presiding judge of the 336th State District Court, worked with the Briscoe Center to conceive and fund the exhibit at the courthouse.

"The Sam Rayburn photo exhibit is impressive!" Blake said. "I'm hopeful that jurors and the public who visit the courthouse enjoy the photographs and learn more about the legacy of 'Mr. Sam.' I'm grateful for the staff at the Sam Rayburn Museum for their hard work and professionalism in selecting, curating, fabricating and installing the exhibit."

The public is able to observe the exhibit any weekday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m at the courthouse. The Sam Rayburn Museum is a division of UT Austin's Briscoe Center for American History.