Presidential Libraries

Counter Clinton Library Wins Tax Break

Not to be confused with the official Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, the Counter Clinton Library was in the news today for obtaining tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization. The Library's ultimate goal is "to let not one Clinton lie go unanswered, to let not one Clinton evasion go unquestioned and to let not one Clinton slander go unchallenged."

Presidential Libraries: integral part of history

An Anonymous Patron writes "Presidential Libraries: integral part of history

Students from the Rector Public Schools Gifted and Talented program learned about the history of the Presidential Library system from Kathleen Pate on Friday afternoon in the Rector Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room.

Pate, the Education Specialist for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, presented a program on the history of the Presidential Library System for G/T students in grades five through 12 at 1 p.m.

The first Presidential library was the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, N.Y. In 1939, Roosevelt donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government. At the same time, he pledged part of his Hyde Park estate to the government and his friends formed a non-profit organization to build a museum and library in his honor.

In 1955 the Truman Library was constructed. This was an important year in the history of the Presidential Library System due to the passage of the Presidential Libraries Act. Funds for Presidential libraries are raised privately. After the building is constructed, the deed is transferred to the government, which is responsible for the maintenance of the facilities.

The Presidential Records Act of 1978 changed a long-held common belief that any papers generated while a President was in office were his to do with as he saw fit. According to the website for the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), this Act stated that any papers documenting "the constitutional, statutory and ceremonial duties of the President are property of the United States Government"."

Finding a location for W's Presidential Library

Baylor University is looking like the location for Bush's Presidential Library. This article from a local paper says that 400 mayors in Texas have endorsed Baylor, which is in Waco, as their choice location. Bush's father's library is at Texas A&M in the town of College Station.

400 Texas Mayors Endorse Baylor Proposal For Bush Library

Though it may seem a little early, Baylor University is making a push to house the G.W. Bush Library. They say The number of Texas mayors endorsing Baylor University’s proposal for the George W. Bush Presidential Library has grown to 400. Last October, 100 Central Texas mayors endorsed Baylor’s bid for the library.

“Thousands of young people will have a firsthand opportunity to be inspired and challenged to leadership by the library and associated facilities,� the mayors wrote. “Designating Baylor as the library site will establish a ‘triangle’ of presidential libraries, along with the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, and make Texas the most important area for presidential research in the country.�

Havel to play library card

Gary Price writes

A year into his post-presidential life, Vaclav Havel is taking a cue from his American counterparts.

The dissident/playwright-turned-politician's life and legacy will be the focus of a presidential library, modeled on similar institutions in the United States dedicated to 10 former presidents. The project is being overseen by the nonprofit company Knihovna Vaclava Havla, co-founded by former first lady Dagmar Havlova, and a six-person administrative board that met for the first time Feb. 16. Havel publicly announced the project the next day during a wide-ranging interview with Czech journalists, his first such meeting since leaving office in February 2003.

Organizers say the library will serve as a research center and repository for Havel's writings and records related to his public life. It will also host exhibits on the communist era, the dissident movement and the re-establishment of Czech democracy and will host seminars and conferences on global issues and human rights.
More.

Scholars: Presidential libraries keep top-shelf info out of reach

This article from the startelegram.com explains how "some of the great archives of American history, presidential libraries, are full of obstacles...that keep (people) from getting the full picture."

However, the argument against this is that it is not intentional. "But it would be wrong to interpret all this as signs of a secretive government, National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said."

UK firm wins Clinton library contract

Charles Davis writes from
ananova.com

that "a British cabinet-making firm has won a £500,000 contract to fit out Bill Clinton's presidential library.

Netherfield Visuals has been awarded the contract to build 85 glass cabinets to display the archives of the 42nd US President.

The William J Clinton Centre will open later this year in the former President's home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, and showcase the legacy of the Clinton administration."

Presidential Libraries Keep Top-shelf Info out of Scholars Hands

Bob Cox sends this article "about presidential scholars who are finding important documents tough to find at presidential libraries. The scholars are tipped off to missing documents by pink slips of paper inserted into folders. More from Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram."

NH Group Wants A Presidential Library for an Overlooked President

One hundred and fifty years after he served his term as U.S. President, Franklin Pierce is finally getting the recognition of history buffs. ABC News story here In his lifetime, he was written off as a failure and as a weak, ineffectual leader who was wrong on the overriding issue of his time: slavery.
Pierce personally did not approve of slavery. But his position was that because the U.S. Constitution allowed slavery, it was wrong to deny people the right to have slaves.

A small group of Pierce enthusiasts in his home state believes the nation's 14th president deserves a second look.

"He had the terrible task of being president just before the Civil War," said Florence "Chips" Holden, a member of the Pierce Brigade, founded in the 1960s to save Pierce's Concord home from being torn down. "He made the big mistake of trying to keep both the North and the South happy, and it backfired."

'Love Story' Centers on Truman Letters

More than 1,300 letters he wrote over 50 years, along with a handful the first lady wrote to her husband, play out on stage this Valentine's Day in "The Love Story of Harry and Bess Truman," at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library.

Workers at the museum and library know why only a handful of Bess Truman's letters to her husband exist.

They tell a story of Harry Truman finding his first lady at a fireplace, burning hundreds of letters she'd written him.

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