The Dallas News Reports Southern Methodist University launched its campaign for the George W. Bush Presidential Library five years ago. It beat out other competitors to become the sole finalist in December. Since then, campus leaders have said they expect to hear from the White House within weeks or months or "very soon" that SMU will indeed host the library.
"I want to open my presidential records more rapidly than the law requires, and the current administration has slowed down the opening of my own records," the former president said at a press conference held to discuss his philanthropic efforts. "I am not afraid of disclosure and I hope that people will find, among other things ... some of the mistakes we made and why."
Historians, journalists, authors, and watchdog groups have complained that the review process for records stored at presidential libraries is taking too long. The critics also contend that an executive order Mr. Bush issued in 2001 exacerbated the problem.
Baltimore Sun reports: Southern Methodist University says it has all the permission it needs from the United Methodist Church to proceed with negotiations for the placement of President Bush's planned presidential library and public policy institute at the university campus in Dallas.
"We're not concerned because we fundamentally disagree with what the possibilities are of their actions," Brad Cheves, SMU's vice president of development and external affairs, told the campus newspaper (Any LISNewsters understand that sentence?).
"SMU and Bush are 'dead certain,' but they are dead wrong,'' said Andrew Weaver, a Methodist minister in New York who is among the protesters of the Bush library plans. The 290 members of the Methodist southern regional council are "mostly progressives and moderates,'' Weaver says, suggesting that their vote of approval for the library is "up for grabs.''
The fight over White House secrecy has taken a new twist, with Senate officials confirming Wednesday that a Republican senator is secretly blocking a bill that would reverse President Bush's 2001 executive order allowing ex-presidents to seal their records indefinitely.
It's Friday, and time for another Presidential history lesson from C-SPAN. Tonight's/tomorrow's program comes from the Truman Library in Independence, MO. Here's a view of the C-SPAN bus/broadcasting unit and a story on the show from the Kansas City Star.
Truman Library Director Michael Devine said a highlight of the program will be outtakes from a television series in which Truman discussed his presidential decisions. They include his assessment of Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, his decision to use the atomic bomb and the firing of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
"That series was very good, but the outtakes are even better," Devine said. "They're much more revealing, much more candid. You get a sense of his real down-to-earth views, and it's a marvelous look at his sense of humor."
Oops, we missed the first one, but there are eleven more to go...C-SPAN is broadcasting live from one presidential library each week, (it started last Friday with the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa).
Presidential historian Richard Norton Smith will be hosting, and he predict that the broadcasts will be "a kind of history that people don't get out of their textbooks." Story from The Houston Chronicle; details from C-SPAN. Watch on C-SPAN-TV, listen on C-SPAN Radio.
When: Every Friday through Nov. 30. Check your local listings (as they say).
Sept. 14: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Sept. 21: Harry S. Truman
Sept. 28: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Oct. 5: John F. Kennedy
Oct. 12: Lyndon Baines Johnson
Oct. 19: Richard Nixon
Oct. 26: Gerald R. Ford
Nov. 2: Jimmy Carter
Nov. 9: Ronald Reagan
Nov. 16: George Bush
Nov. 30: William J. Clinton
After the Bush Library reportedly backed out of a portrait they had commissioned from British artist Jonathan Yeo, the 36-year-old artist went forward with one anyway, a collage created from fragments of 100 porn magazines.
This Sun story has a small version of the portrait which you are invited to enlarge. Artist Yeo has even more graphic details of the portrait on his website.
The work was unveiled yesterday at London's Lazarides Gallery in Soho.
Here's One on our lovely presidential libraries. A few common themes course through the 12 U.S. presidential libraries: election memorabilia, famous speeches, gifts from dignitaries and gowns worn by the first ladies.
Yet, the 12 libraries also have their own styles.
Only at Ronald Reagan's library can visitors tour the inside of a real Air Force One, the plane used for presidential travel. Some presidential library sites include the president's final resting place.