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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 07:17 PM
Original message
Presidential Libraries Pursue Visitors
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- Mary McKnight calls herself Ronald Reagan's No. 1 fan. Gazing somberly at the 40th president's tomb, the retired nurse from Kansas murmured, "It's humbling to be here."

Nearby, a boy in a New York Yankees jersey seemed less impressed by Reagan's library and museum, muttering something about wanting to go to Disneyland.

The contrast illustrates the challenge facing the nation's 11 presidential libraries -- soon to be 12 with the opening of Bill Clinton's this fall -- as they compete for visitors at a time when many tourists would rather be riding a roller-coaster than sifting through presidential archives.
...
The Johnson library in Austin, Texas, has drawn the most visitors in the last five years, averaging about 200,000 annual visitors. The John F. Kennedy library in Boston was next, averaging 192,213 visitors. The least visited presidential library is Herbert Hoover's in West Branch, Iowa, which attracts an average of 66,209 visitors.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-pre...
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TheDonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. poor Hoover
I wonder why democrats top the list on who's is most visited. Where is FDR's library didn't think he had one.
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's what interested me.
Reagan got lots of visitors this year because he died but other years, even with all the talk about how popular he was, the list is still topped by two dems.

But it figures. Clinton says, "when the people think, Democrats win".

FDR's library is in (at?) Hyde Park
http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. FDR Library & home is in Hyde Park, NY...
It's my Mecca - was there 2 weeks ago. Eleanor's home (Val Kill) is there as well. I highly recommend going there...
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Cool LBJ library story...
My sister visited the LBJ library a few years ago, and during the tour mentioned that as a child she had written a letter to LBJ. Without any hesitation, the docent grabbed a phone and made some inquiries. Soon an archivist appeared and invited her into the storage area where, not one, but two letters she penned in 1964 were produced. None of that microfilm crap either, they were the actual letters my sister wrote on stationary that Grandma had given her. Hey, I thought it was cool.
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. That is a nice story
I'll bet it blew her away!
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. That's a great story...
The only Presidental Library I've ever visited was the LBJ Library; I'd love to go see the FDR Library..
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. dupe..
Edited on Thu Aug-19-04 07:04 AM by enigmatic
n/m
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-18-04 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. so when is Clinton's library opening?
or has it....can't imagine the press slept during
that...
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. If the media has mentioned it, it was probably while talking about...
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wishlist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 07:04 AM
Response to Original message
10. Clinton's library is to open in November
and I am looking forward to going on a road trip there with friends. I believe it opens the week before Thanksgiving.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
11. I've always thought that they should have built a PRESIDENTS' Library
in DC.. They all served there, and their papers and memorabilia should be there..If their communities want to honor them, that would be OK too.. But for scholars who want to visit them, it seems like a lot of hopping around..
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
12. The only Presidential library/museum I've been to is the G.R. Ford Museum
It's in my home town. We took a field trip there my senior year of high school, when it was brand new. It's interesting-my favorite part was the display of the gifts from other world leaders that Ford received as presents. They had a replica of the oval office, also, and a propaganda film for the GOP. I've heard that it's better now, that they got a new director who made the museum a lot more interesting.

I'll never forget the day it was opened. We all joked that if the russians wanted to take out all the leaders of the west, all they had to do was bomb Grand Rapids. Begin, Sadat, Reagan, Poppy, Thatcher, Miterrand, Trudeau, Helmut Schmidt, etc. were all there, as were Carter and Nixon.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. I've been to the Eisenhower
It's so "empty" it's almost creepy..
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Ghetto_Boy Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
14. My wife would need an ether rag, & duct tape to get me to go
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
15. The Truman Library is pretty cool
It's in Independence, Missouri (just outside of Kansas City) but I really enjoyed it. It's laid out well and I had just read the Truman bio that came out a couple of years ago so I was up on my Truman trivia. It has lots of neat pics of the White House reconstruction that happened during his presidency also- something that isn't widely known.
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I visited the Truman library more than thirty years ago...
but recently I've been communicating with the archivist with wonderful and interesting results. I got on a military desegregation kick a while ago and started visiting the Truman desegregation file (online). I was looking around when I found a 1946 article written by my uncle titled the 'Report on the Negro Soldier': A firsthand report based on three and one-half years of wartime service with the 93rd Infantry Division It was a very bigoted yet honest report that bothered me for a long time until I came to realize and understand how prevalent the racist undertones were at that time. It's been an interesting education for me. Truman was a brave, fair, and very unpopular person to start the desegregation process in the military.

Baby, we've come a long way!

The archivist has continued to send me other letters and reports that were not online that have given me insight as to how Truman came to make his huge decision. I get a kick out of the Truman Library's postal meter stamp, "The Buck Stops Here". Bush* would do well to heed these words.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-19-04 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
17. is it the LBJ Library that has the animatronic figure of him?
I'm just imagining what Dubya will have in his exhibit -- maybe the robot Bush will strut around in that aviator costume, greeting visitors and rubbing the heads of bald guys.
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