Presidential Libraries

DON'T Call It a Library

Can we call it a fortress?

First artists sketches of the future George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU from Talking Points Memo. Seven renderings are shown.

Laura Bush says presidential library not intended as a monument

Laura Bush says presidential library not intended as a monument
The design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU, which will be formally unveiled today, is a showcase for exhibits, not a monument to the 43rd president, former first lady Laura Bush said this week.

University Park prepares for long rezoning debate on Bush library

The Bush Foundation has recently asked University Park officials to rezone land so that it can proceed with plans for the presidential library. As the city prepares to hold hearings and vote on the issue, it appears opposition is expected among some residents worried about traffic and road congestion.

The Future of Presidential Libraries

Congress wants to cut taxpayer costs associated with presidential libraries and archives however, and a new report (PDF) by the National Archives and Records Administration released Wednesday proposed five possible alternatives. It also warned that social networking tools will complicate future presidential record-keeping.

At Nixon Library, Mao Statue Rankles Some

A statue of deceased Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at the Nixon Presidential Library &Museum is the subject of a protest planned for Thursday, on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The statue has been in the Hall of World Leaders since the Nixon Presidential Library opened. Kai Chen – a Chinese-American organizing the protest – is the first person to launch a complaint about it, said Sandy Quinn, assistant director of the Nixon Library &Birthplace Foundation.

"To even mention Mao with democratic leaders such as Churchill and Golda Meir in the same breath is truly an insult to human intelligence and offensive to all the freedom-loving people in the world," said Chen, who emigrated from China in 1981 and lives in Los Angeles.

"Having several figures in the world leaders' (section) doesn't mean we endorse their policies," assistant library director Sandy Quinn said. OC Register.

Another article from the LA Times points out that the library,
once privately run, is making a transition to government operation..."and that has turned statues of Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai into political footballs".

Judge Recuses Self from SMU Bush Library Condo Owners Suit

By LORI STAHL / The Dallas Morning News reports that the judge who has presided over a high-profile lawsuit against Southern Methodist University for years, State District Judge Martin Hoffman, has suddenly withdrawn from the case, bringing a temporary halt to all proceedings. The reason was not clear from a motion he filed with the court (but if you read his bio, you might suppose that he decided he could not be impartial in this case).

But the implications for the case itself – which has indirect ramifications for the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU – were fairly obvious: It no longer seems to be on the verge of ending.

Two months ago, SMU and the two former condominium owners who filed the lawsuit in 2005 announced that they had settled the case. Although the terms were not made public, it was clear that the condo owners agreed to back off their claim to land in exchange for some kind of payment. But within weeks, the terms of the settlement agreement were in dispute. Hoffman was set to issue a ruling on the settlement agreement when he recused himself.

A Bit of a Mess in Dallas

Former President George W. Bush had his heart set on an expansive Presidential Library, but his requirements have been harder to achieve than he thought. No eminent domain for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

A deal that was supposed to end a long-running lawsuit against SMU – and smooth the path for George W. Bush's presidential library – has fallen apart amid charges that both sides broke the terms of a confidential agreement. Report from the Dallas News.

Last month, Southern Methodist University and two former condominium owners announced that they had settled the bitter four-year fight over who is the rightful owner of land now slated for the grounds of the Bush library.

The lawsuit has become increasingly hard-fought since President George W. Bush left office in January and returned to Texas.

Earlier this year, Hoffman ruled that Bush would have to give a deposition in the case. The condo owners said they wanted a chance to ask Bush about meetings with SMU officials who discussed putting the library on the condo site before it owned the land; (the condos have since been demolished). An appellate court reversed Hoffman's order, and the condo owners appealed the matter to the Texas Supreme Court.

Bush Library clears hurdle

Bush Library clears hurdle: The lengthy dispute over ownership of land near the site of the future George W. Bush Presidential Library was finally put to rest earlier this summer when SMU settled with former condominium owners.

The dispute was between the university and former owners of the University Gardens complex that occupied the land.

The Barack Obama Book Club

Want to read like a president? The Daily Beast pulled together every book that the Reader-in-Chief has been spotted with since the campaign. Find out what’s on his night table.

Here are just a few:

What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng
by Dave Eggers.
—Politico, May 30, 2009.

by Joseph O’Neill.
—The New York Times Magazine, May 03, 2009.

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
by Jeffrey D. Sachs.
—The New York Times, December 16, 2008.

More from The Daily Beast.

SMU settles George W. Bush library land dispute

The dispute between Southern Methodist University and condominium owners over land for the George W. Bush presidential library is over.


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