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Presidential libraries serve as official cultural repositories for the legacies of their namesake commanders in chief. More than 200 years after his death, it's hard to believe that the country's first president, George Washington, still lacks a library devoted to his remarkable life.
Mount Vernon, the Virginia home of Washington, has spent the last several years raising $100 million to construct an official library on its scenic grounds. Organizers announced on Friday — just in time for Presidents Day weekend -- an opening date of Sept. 27.
Former President George W. Bush and the Bush Foundation have worked closely with SMU to make this center – comprised of the library, museum and independent institute – a reality. Bush and former First Lady and alumna Laura Bush, both Dallas residents, have been very active and visual in their support of the center’s presence at SMU.
Both have attended ceremonies, participated in symposia and, in Bush’s case, “dropped by” political science and journalism class lectures.
However, not all reactions to the center have been positive.
I'd Rather Go To Hawaii.
“I want to raise the alarm because I think a presidential museum will inevitably become our university’s highest-profile institution on a national basis,” Political Science Professor Charles Lipson said. “It will not be a disinterested, scholarly institution. It will be advancing a political agenda, funded by President Obama’s political allies, including foreign donors who cannot give money to his presidential campaigns.”
The University of Hawaii has waged a more public campaign to land Obama’s library. The state’s legislature passed a resolution encouraging Obama to put the library in the tropical paradise he called home for most of his first 18 years. Even the Chamber of Commerce is on board, said University of Hawaii Professor Robert Perkinson: “Obama is quite a beloved figure in Hawaii.”
Excerpt - "If I were trying to decide which university to attend, I would want a university that offered the widest range of programs and experiences," he says. "Having a presidential library on campus separates an institution from other schools."
Visitors to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley will have an opportunity in the next few weeks to see hundreds of four-legged helpers of the Ventura County Fire Department doing their part to reduce the risk of wildfires.
About 900 goats are in the fields around the library, helping eat the shrubs that could be fuel for fires.
The former president's loyalists fought a revised portrayal of the scandal and sought to hold up confirmation of the National Archives director over the redesign by historian Timothy Naftali.
Now, a fuller portrait is emerging of the campaign the loyalists waged and the tactics they employed — including the use of high-level political pressure — to thwart Naftali's efforts at the library.
Bush library to mark a milestone today
After months of work, the last piece of the frame on the George W. Bush Presidential Center -- an approximately 20-foot-long steel beam -- will be lifted by crane and placed at the tallest point of the building, over what will become Freedom Hall, a light-filled space topped with a lantern-shaped roof that will glow at night.
Bush library fundraising has surpassed $300M goal
George W. Bush has already surpassed his goal of raising more than $300 million to support his presidential library. A Bush spokesman said the foundation will not name the financial backers though it plans to name some later. The largest single contribution in the past year was $25 million.
Man stole FDR's speeches from presidential library in Hyde Park
With a published presidential historian locked in a Maryland jail cell, federal officials are trying to determine how he allegedly stole hundreds of historic documents, including seven signed speeches by Franklin D. Roosevelt taken from the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park.
BOSTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Archivists are preparing to make public 63 boxes of Robert F. Kennedy's papers kept secret for 40 years, Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library said.
The decision to open the 63 boxes was reached March 1 after years of efforts to persuade Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel, to give control of his papers to the library, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Library Director Thomas J. Putnam said archivists should finish organizing and declassifying the papers in six months to a year.
But according to another story in today's New York Times, family members are having second thoughts about where the papers should be housed and are considering moving them elsewhere because they believe that the presidential library has not done enough to honor the younger brother’s legacy.
Many of the papers, dealing with Cuba, Vietnam and civil rights, are classified as secret or top secret. There are also 2,300 other boxes covering every stage of Robert Kennedy’s life, including his years as a United States senator and attorney general, most of which have already been opened for research.