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From the NY Times: When the library for George W. Bush opens in 2013 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, visitors will most likely get to see one of the former President's most treasured items: Saddam Hussein’s pistol.
The gun, a 9 millimeter Glock 18C, was found in the spider hole where the Iraqi leader was captured in December 2003 by Delta Force soldiers, four of whom later presented the pistol to Mr. Bush. Among the thousands of gifts Mr. Bush received as president, the gun became a favorite, a reminder of the pinnacle moment of the Iraq war, according to friends and long-time associates.
Douglas Brinkley, an author and history professor at Rice University, said the pistol opened a psychological window into Mr. Bush’s view of his presidency.
“It represents this Texas notion of the white hats taking out the black hats and keeping the trophy,” Mr. Brinkley said. “It’s a True West magazine kind of pulp western mentality. For President Bush, this pistol represents his greatest moment of triumph, like the F.B.I. keeping Dillinger’s gun. He wants people generations from now to see the gun and say, ‘He got the bad guy.’ ”
Glutton for punishment (true crime writer? historian)? Now you can listen to as many Nixon tapes as you want!
In a statement, the library in Yorba Linda, Calif., said some of the materials made available to the public Tuesday include conversations about the Vietnam War, Nixon's second inauguration, the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, and the first Watergate trial. The recordings from January and February 1973 consist of approximately 994 conversations, the library said.
The new Nixon tapes and documents will be available on the Internet and at the Richard Nixon libraries in California and Maryland.
From the AP: A document with Abraham Lincoln’s signature and dated Sept. 22, 1862, has been found in the Hawaii State Archives, but no one seems to know how it got there. A project of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Illinois has confirmed its authenticity. It orders the secretary of state to affix the seal of the United States to his “proclamation of this date.” The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on that date. The document appears to have been at the archives since at least 1935. In the 1860s, Hawaii was an independent kingdom.
Anyone care to suggest how the document arrived at the Hawaii State Archives?
A federal judge in Manhattan denied the Ronald Regan Presidential Foundation's request to dismiss a complaint that it misused donations, or to transfer the case to Los Angeles Federal Court. Richard Stills said he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to establish education programs at the foundation's Presidential Learning Center, but the center improperly used it for "general purposes."
The New Yorker has a nice piece on the bygone days when a president's widow wrote letters to her librarian requesting books:
About a year and a half ago, Harriet Shapiro, who is the head of exhibitions at the New York Society Library, was, in the manner of modern-day researchers everywhere, randomly Googling—looking for information about Marion King, the institution’s longtime librarian, who died in 1976. To Shapiro’s surprise, a link came up to Harvard’s Theodore Roosevelt collection, in which lay a cache of nearly six hundred letters written to King by Edith Kermit Roosevelt. ...
The letters spanned the period of Mrs. Roosevelt’s widowhood, beginning in 1920, the year after Theodore Roosevelt died. In them, she requested books to be sent to her home, Sagamore Hill, near Oyster Bay.
Attorneys for former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are fighting efforts by two condominium owners to pull the Bushes into a lawsuit questioning whether Southern Methodist University used unfair tactics to buy out owners at low prices.
The condo owners want to question the Bushes about what SMU officials told them in private meetings before SMU was selected as the site of the presidential library.
Airmen escort presidential papers into history : Air Force District of Washington Airmen took their place in history Feb. 23 as they were honored for moving presidential documents safely and in "record" time.
Standing before the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, Airmen from AFDW, the 316th Wing and the 89th Aerial Port Squadron were presented certificates by officials from the National Archives and Records Administration for their efforts in providing airlift and ground support in the transport of the George W. Bush presidential papers from NARA to the temporary library facility at Lewisville, Texas.
George W. Bush's presidential library is taking shape in early designs, evolving from separate buildings at SMU into a single, multi-story complex with a policy institute nearly two-thirds bigger than first proposed.
Former President Jimmy Carter smiled more broadly than usual Thursday, announcing plans for a $10 million renovation of his presidential museum in Atlanta.
Carter told a crowd gathered at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, including dozens of schoolchildren on a visit, that he hoped the new, interactive exhibits would encourage visitors to get involved in public service or the type of work the Carter Center is known for —- relieving poverty, working for democracy and eradicating disease.
“I hope that Atlanta will become much more attuned through the presidential library to what’s going on in the world,” Carter said.
Patrick Gallagher & Associates of Maryland is the designer. Gallagaher also is designing the proposed Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, and his work can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution, the D-Day museum in France, and the Wuxi Science Center in China.
The museum will close April 27 and reopen Oct. 1, Carter’s 85th birthday.
According to the Pantagraph, Abraham Lincoln, whose bicentennial will be celebrated later this week was kind of a cut-up.
Few people who dine on cheeseburgers at the Dairy Queen know Abraham Lincoln almost burned down a building on that site in Monticello, Illinois.
That’s why Sue Gortner, director of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce, had a sign erected across the street, explaining Lincoln was a regular visitor to Monticello’s Tenbrook Hotel when he tried cases at the nearby courthouse. The 9-foot sign tells the story of how Lincoln, known for his keen sense of humor, almost burned down the hotel during an apparent prank.
With the help of Lisa Winters, librarian of the Monticello’s Allerton Public Library, Gortner discovered several stories that revealed Lincoln’s character, including his irrepressible sense of humor.
While staying at the Tenbrook, the first hotel in Monticello, Lincoln told some children that they should heat their inflated pig bladder, a precursor to a balloon, in the hotel’s fireplace. When the bladder exploded, hot coals were spread across the room. When Lincoln tried to sweep up the coals, the broom caught on fire.
Nice to know the Great Emancipator was also a regular guy (and that the building went on to become a Dairy Queen?).