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Has anyone ever been to a presidential library?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted January 12 2007 - 02:32 PM

[Please - no politics]

Here in Dallas, SMU [Southern Methodist University] has been chosen as the sole finalist to house a presidential library. The price to build the library has been targeted at "up to 500 million".

I don't know, maybe it is me, but that seems rather - what's the word I'm looking for - INSANE!

That is roughly what the new state-of-the-art stadium for the Dallas Cowboys will cost. They imagine that this will be a tourist draw. I can't imagine anyone saying: "Honey, forget Disney World. Let's grab the kids and go to the xxxxx Library and dig through the archives!"

Can't they just put this stuff on the web so that people who really care about this stuff can access it easier?

My question is: Who goes to these Libraries, and has anyone here been to one?

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Jimi C

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Posted January 12 2007 - 02:35 PM

Is it going to be all federal money? I wouldnt complain if they wanted to build that in Buffalo.
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#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted January 12 2007 - 02:56 PM

I read that it was going to be built with private funds.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Hugh Jackes

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Posted January 15 2007 - 03:34 AM

The Reagan and the Nixon libraries are easily accessible here in southern California. I have been to both and enjoyed both. But, I am a history buff. I like seeing the exhibits and Presidential memorabilia. My favorite artifact at the Reagan library is that piece of the Berlin Wall that presented after Mr. Gorbachev tore down that wall.

My favorite Nixon library artifact is the house that his father built when he moved to Yorba Linda (from a Sears and Robuck kit), filled with family treasures. Among them, ironically, was a cookbook that his mother had bought of First Ladies favorite recipes. Also, there is an amazing recreation of the East Room of the White House.

Nixon, because of the circumstances of his leaving the white house, thought it would be inappropriate to take the federal funds that are available for ex-Presidents. As a result, his is the only one that was built through private funds and is self-supporting.
I have learned that some pain cannot be healed, but must be endured. I believe our Higher Power will help us to endure and find peace. I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable and he is taken from me-yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it."
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#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted January 15 2007 - 04:07 AM

I used to toil in the Gerald Ford Library during college. Can't say as we did too much business but it was a great place to get my classwork done while getting paid.
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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted January 15 2007 - 05:32 AM

I've toured the George Bush library at Texas A&M University a few times. It's a very cool experience. I love all the artifacts displayed. If I'm not mistaken, they have one of the fighter planes Mr. Bush flew during WW II. Pretty cool. There is a rather lavish apartment on the top floor of the Library where George, Barbara and the crew can hang out at....They both attend most of the home football games during the Fall.

Having a Presidential Library also gives some clout to the school as well.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 15 2007 - 07:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Jackes
Nixon, because of the circumstances of his leaving the whit house, thought it would be inappropriate to take the federal funds that are available for es-Presidents. As a result, his is the only one that was built through private funds and is self-supporting.

That's an interesting way of putting it

Presidential Libraries are a blend of shrine, museum, and records depository. Sometimes, those missions conflict.

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted January 15 2007 - 08:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyErwin
Presidential Libraries are a blend of shrine, museum, and records depository. Sometimes, those missions conflict.

Now that it's become almost customary to bury the president at his respective museum, you can draw an interesting parallel to the pyramids in Egypt and Latin America, among other such monuments. Because of this, I'd rather see them buried at a regular cemetery, or a place like Arlington National Cemetery.
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#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Randy Tennison

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Posted January 15 2007 - 09:19 AM

I enjoy the Truman Library in Independence, MO quite a bit. Good exhibits, fascinating history. It's something I've done a couple of times.
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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted January 15 2007 - 09:59 AM

The LBJ Library is in Austin and I visit it usually once a year.
They have wonderful rotating exhibits.
Last year there was one with a 60s theme and they had a lot of photos of the rock groups from that period, many that I had never seen before. It was very cool.
Several years ago they had a 40' long scale model of the White House that apparently just travels around the country.
There is a 7/8 scale Oval Office.
LBJ is not buried there; he's in the yard of the family home, which you can also tour, near Stonewall.

But, I really am surprised they did not put Lyndon’s museum in Connecticut.
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#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted January 15 2007 - 03:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtEP
Because of this, I'd rather see them buried at a regular cemetery, or a place like Arlington National Cemetery.
Makes me wonder, when Bush 41 passes, will he be buried at Kennebunkport, somewhere in Texas, or at Arlington? As a decorated war vet I believe he's entitled to be interred at Arlington, correct?

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick_S

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Posted January 15 2007 - 03:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtEP
Now that it's become almost customary to bury the president at his respective museum, you can draw an interesting parallel to the pyramids in Egypt and Latin America, among other such monuments. Because of this, I'd rather see them buried at a regular cemetery, or a place like Arlington National Cemetery.
The interment of Presidents at their libraries is nothing new. There are actually only 11 Presidential Libraries that are run by the Federal Government. (As already stated Nixon's is not run by the Federal Government.) Of the 11 Presidents represented by these Libraries 8 are deceased and 5 of them are buried at their Libraries.

As for the proposed library at SMU, it is to be built with private funds and then like the others run by government funds. The one at SMU is not only going to be a library but is also going to have a think tank (not jokes please) like the Hoover Institute located at Stanford.
Quote:
But, I really am surprised they did not put Lyndon’s museum in Connecticut.
Why would they do that? He was from Texas so it makes sense to have it in Texas.

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 15 2007 - 04:57 PM

Maybe people are afraid that those $20 million dollar a pop donations will come with strings attached.

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted January 15 2007 - 11:51 PM

Quote:
But, I really am surprised they did not put Lyndon’s museum in Connecticut.

Why would they do that? He was from Texas so it makes sense to have it in Texas.

Oh, that's right! I feel so stu...ignorant now!
Now that you mention it, both Lyndon Johnson & Dwight Eisenhower were born in Texas.
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Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   AjayM

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Posted January 16 2007 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
As a decorated war vet I believe he's entitled to be interred at Arlington, correct?

All Presidents regardless of past military service are eligible for burial in Arlington.

Here is the list from their website;
Eligibility for Interment (Ground Burial)
The persons specified below are eligible for ground burial in Arlington National Cemetery. The last period of active duty of former members of the Armed Forces must have ended honorably. Interment may be casketed or cremated remains.
a. Any active duty member of the Armed Forces (except those members serving on active duty for training only).
b. Any veteran who is retired from active military service with the Armed Forces.
c. Any veteran who is retired from the Reserves is eligible upon reaching age 60 and drawing retired pay; and who served a period of active duty (other than for training).
d. Any former member of the Armed Forces separated honorably prior to October 1, 1949 for medical reasons and who was rated at 30% or greater disabled effective on the day of discharge.
e. Any former member of the Armed Forces who has been awarded one of the following decorations:
1. Medal of Honor
2. Distinguished Service Cross (Navy Cross or Air Force Cross)
3. Distinguished Service Medal
4. Silver Star
5. Purple Heart
f. The President of the United States or any former President of the United States.
g. Any former member of the Armed Forces who served on active duty (other than for training) and who held any of the following positions:
1. An elective office of the U.S. Government
2. Office of the Chief Justice of the United States or of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
3. An office listed, at the time the person held the position, in 5 USC 5312 or 5313 (Levels I and II of the Executive Schedule).
4. The chief of a mission who was at any time during his/her tenure classified in Class I under the provisions of Section 411, Act of 13 August 1946, 60 Stat. 1002, as amended (22 USC 866) or as listed in State Department memorandum dated March 21, 1988.
h. Any former prisoner of war who, while a prisoner of war, served honorably in the active military, naval, or air service, whose last period of military, naval or air service terminated honorably and who died on or after November 30, 1993.
i. The spouse, widow or widower, minor child, or permanently dependent child, and certain unmarried adult children of any of the above eligible veterans.
j. The widow or widower of:
1. a member of the Armed Forces who was lost or buried at sea or officially determined to be missing in action.
2. a member of the Armed Forces who is interred in a US military cemetery overseas that is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
3. a member of the Armed Forces who is interred in Arlington National Cemetery as part of a group burial.
k. The surviving spouse, minor child, or permanently dependent child of any person already buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
l. The parents of a minor child, or permanently dependent child whose remains, based on the eligibility of a parent, are already buried in ANC. A spouse divorced from the primary eligible, or widowed and remarried, is not eligible for interment.
m. Provided certain conditions are met, a former member of the Armed Forces may be buried in the same grave with a close relative who is already buried and is the primary eligible.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Hugh Jackes

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Posted January 16 2007 - 09:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyErwin
That's an interesting way of putting it

Presidential Libraries are a blend of shrine, museum, and records depository. Sometimes, those missions conflict.

Well, I avoided politics! (Though I see I let in some typos.)
I have learned that some pain cannot be healed, but must be endured. I believe our Higher Power will help us to endure and find peace. I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable and he is taken from me-yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it."
-- William Wordsworth 1812

 

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 16 2007 - 10:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Jackes
Well, I avoided politics! (Though I see I let in some typos.)

True. Posted Image

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted January 16 2007 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for posting the list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjayM
f. The President of the United States or any former President of the United States.
I'm sure what they mean is that if the incumbent President passes away in office, he's eligible, as is any former President, but surely a person who is goign to be interred at Arlington has already passed away, and is by definition at that time already a "former President"? Posted Image

Reading the list, I was trying to figure out, does it mean that any former member of the Armed Forces that was honourably discharged is eligible? In particular (b) and © citing "veterans". Otherwise, why additionally list the decorations that confer eligiblity?

As an aside, eligibility via decorations goes down to the Silver Star, but not the Bronze, yet includes a Purple Heart. So oddly, if you were unlucky enough to get shot but otherwise didn't do anything remarkable on your tour of duty, you are eligible, yet if you were reasonably brave enough to earn a Bronze Star and lucky enough never to get hit, you aren't? Or does that all get subsumed under the "veteran" category anyway?

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted January 16 2007 - 03:40 PM

AFAIK, "retired veterans" form a subset of the set of veterans-- those who have served twenty years in the armed forces, and then retired.

And an individual who "only" received a Bronze Star, but was never wounded in combat, and served less than twenty years would presumably not get into arlington. But I don't work for them, so I don't really know all the details.

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted January 19 2007 - 12:47 PM

> I'm sure what they mean is that if the incumbent President passes away in office, he's eligible, as is any former President, but surely a person who is goign to be interred at Arlington has already passed away, and is by definition at that time already a "former President"?

I was thinking the same thing- it would be pretty cruel to bury a living President.


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