Presidential Libraries

What's Next for GWB? Not a "George Bush Is a Wonderful Person Center"

What does our current President have on tap for later this week?

Well, after handing over the reins of power to President-Elect Obama, Bush will be returning to Texas, moving into a new home in Dallas, and participating in the construction of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU.

Bush, who has said he will likely pen a memoir and eventually hit the lecture circuit, has talked glowingly about his hopes for the policy center, and insists that his vision for it extends far beyond his own presidency.

"This is not going to be a 'George Bush Is a Wonderful Person Center,' or 'The Center for Republican Party Campaign Tactics,' " Bush said during one of his last media interviews as president. "It's going to be a place of debate, thought, writing, lecturing." Washington Post.

Lincoln Library Acquires Civil War Letters

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A collection of letters and sketches penned by a Civil War soldier has been acquired by Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

The correspondence was purchased from the Union soldier's family for $25,000.

Born in Scotland in 1823, William Wyllie became a corporal with the 58th Illinois Infantry after enlisting from St. Charles.

Library officials say his letters are extremely detailed. (Wyllie) was very literate and made very astute observations.” “He explains things,” said Glenna Schroeder-Lein, with the library’s manuscripts department. “What being on guard duty is, how long the shifts are, how things were cooked.”

Wyllie, a stonemason with a fourth-grade education, was born in Scotland in 1823. He enlisted from St. Charles when he was about 40 years old. His entries reveal a devoutly religious man. He comments on sermons and was scornful of officers who drank and gambled. The letters include accounts of a whiskey riot and the Red River Campaign of 1864. He was guard at a Confederate prison.

He almost always was writing, sometimes stopping abruptly and, after a day or two, picking up where he left off. But he also spent his free time during the war knitting gloves and socks he sent back to his three children, one of whom, a young daughter named Lillie, died while he was away. -- Read More

A Big Uh-Oh for the G. W. Bush Library Website

Don't let it happen to you...Blake is always saying it and he's right.

Trailblazers Blog has a story in this morning's paper-- the Dallas News about a North Carolina company that made a tidy profit by acquiring the Web name George W. Bush Library, then selling it back to the library developer folks who had let the name expire.

"It worked out very well," said an official with the Carolina company, Illuminati Karate. A computer firm working with the Bush team had the rights to the name, but let them lapse.

(If you go to to the site, there's nothing there but a title page. We're assured that the actual library, which is being built in Dallas, will contain real content -- you know, documents and stuff.)

Mdoneil thanks for the heads up.

George Bush library: Rooms available

Suspend your partisan ties for the moment, and take a virtual tour through the library that the retiring president is planning at the alma mater of the outgoing First Lady, Southern Methodist University. And, when you're finished, design your own room. There is...
"The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
"The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won't be able to remember anything.
"The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't even have to show up.

LBJ's Final Year in Office Released on Tape

The LBJ Library in Austin has released the final batch of recordings of private telephone conversations by former President Lyndon Johnson. Pretty interesting stuff, forty years later, particularly the conversation between Johnson and Humphrey regarding Daniel Inouye.

Coverage fromYouTubeCBS and News8Austin.

Light Fingered Lincoln Librarian Gets the Ax

The head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield has been fired after his second shoplifting arrest. Director Rick Beard had been on administrative leave since the arrest was made public last week.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich fired Beard on Tuesday. A state spokesman says Beard was notified by phone. Beard was arrested in August and charged with stealing $40 worth of DVDs from a Springfield Target store. The 61-year-old has pleaded not guilty. Chicago Tribune.

This was the press release announcing Beard's appointment two years ago. President Lincoln's Bicentennial is coming up shortly; I wonder what Beard's firing will mean for the celebration.

Update...from the AP: Jan Grimes, director of the Historic Preservation Agency, will run the Lincoln museum and library temporarily. Robert Coomer, a former director of Historic Preservation, will replace Beard at the foundation.

Nixon Library Celebrates Inaugurations From G. Washington to G. W. Bush

Anybody remember the Nixon inaugural??

Wonder who will be the next POTUS?!?! (don't forget to Vote)

When the next president takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009, he will continue a tradition that began with George Washington in 1789. To celebrate this ritual of democracy, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has created "Called Upon By the Voice of My Country," an exhibit looking at the history and the pageantry of presidential inaugurations. The exhibit will run from October 30, 2008, until April 19, 2009.

Among the exhibits, First Lady Laura Bush's 2005 inaugural gown, publicly displayed for the first time, on loan from the White House. Report from MarketWatch.

Clinton Presidential Library presents "The Art of the Chopper"

Why choppers? Why the Clinton Library?

""Just as (Bill Clinton) defines the end of the 20th century, so does the chopper," Clinton Center Director Terri Garner said.

The Oval Office replica at the Clinton Presidential Library is there to give visitors a look at what they'd see if they could get inside the working area of the White House. For the next several months, the view comes with some horsepower.

The center's new "Art of the Chopper" exhibit displays 30 gleaming, handcrafted motorcycles from around the country. That may be a curious choice for a presidential library, but it reflects American culture in the late 20th century, which Clinton center director Terri Garner says is part of the museum's mission. Vroom vroom!

Lincoln Memorabilia Up for Grabs But Not to LOC

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has one less competitor for a $20 million collection of Lincoln artifacts...the Library of Congress has pulled out of the bidding.

When Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, IN closed earlier this year, the owners decided to bequeath the entire collection of Lincoln photographs, signed documents, historic textiles and other artifacts to another institution. Several museums and historical groups bid for the collection, but only a few finalists were chosen. A winner is supposed to be announced by the end of the year.

Among the memorabilia are hand-colored engravings with an image of a tousled Abe that were dropped on the crowd at the 1860 Republican National Convention. Story from Gatehouse News.

Rutherford B. Hayes Library Visited by Light-Fingered Trio

Some say that President Hayes stole the 1876 election from his Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden, but now it's the Hayes Library that has suffered a loss. Two of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library's rarest books, with a total value of about $130,000, are missing.

While authorities have arrested three people believed connected to the disappearances, it's still not known where the books are. The books are the Maxwell Code and the Freeman Code, some of Ohio's first laws, dating back to the 1790's.

One of the thieves was previously arrested in 2007 in connection with the theft of $20,000 worth of antique maps from a bookstore in Harrisburg, IL. He also has a prior arrest record for felony theft and receiving stolen property. Toledo Blade reports.

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