Friday, August 15, 2008
A VISIT TO THE REAGAN LIBRARY
An Aeriel shot of the Reagan Library-- Beautiful!
Yesterday, the 14th,John Nugent and I took a little trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. I must tell you that I came away from this most beautiful and classy place with a profound new respect for Ronald Reagan, our 40th president. I was reminded and educated on just how many amazing things he did for this country in two terms as our president. The Berlin wall came down during his administration and Russia went from "the evil empire" to our friend. What a difference a few years make. I also came away with a new profound respect for dear Nancy Reagan. My goodness, what an amazing lady. She was a very classy first lady and supported her husband in so many ways. She had style, originality, dedication and courage you would not believe. Reviewing the assassination attempt on Reagan's life in March of 1981, I was amazed to discover just how close Ronald Reagan came to death during his hospitalization. Ronald Reagan made an ultimate journey from his hometown in Dixon, Illinois to California. I was reminded of a great quote by his dear friend and fellow actor Jimmy Stewart who summed it up best "Only in American can a man begin by being second banana to a chimpanzee and in his same lifetime become President of the United States" Of course, the chimpanzee reference is of his "Bonzo" movies that he made in the 1940's. Here are some other facts that I learned The actual construction of the library , itself began in 1988, and the center was dedicated on November 4, 1991. The dedication ceremonies were the first time in United States history that five United States Presidents gathered together in the same place: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. On that historic day, six First Ladies also attended: Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush.When the Reagan Library opened it was the largest of the presidential libraries (with roughly 153,000 square feet).It held that title until the dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas on November 18, 2004. With the opening of the 90,000-square-foot Air Force One Pavilion in October 2005, the Reagan Library reclaimed the title in terms of physical size; however, the Clinton Library remains the largest presidential library in terms of materials (documents, artifacts, photographs, etc.). Like all presidential libraries since that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Reagan Library was built entirely with private donations, at a cost of 60 million dollars. For fiscal year 2007, the Reagan Library had 305,331 visitors, making it the second-most visited presidential library, following the Lyndon B. Johnson Library; that was down from its fiscal year 2006 number of 440,301 visitors, when it was the most visited library. The Reagan Library, under the authority of the Presidential Records Act, is the repository of presidential records for Reagan’s administration. Holdings include 50 million pages of presidential documents, over 1.6 million photographs, a half million feet of motion picture film and tens of thousands of audio and video tapes.The Library also houses personal papers collections including documents from Reagan’s eight years as Governor of California. Also a surprise when I got home was a job lead for Pre-Paid Legal. So we shall see where this leads. I also went to see my old friend J. Eric Schmidt and finally met his kids who are now sixteen year old twins. Eric looks better than ever, laid back, money secure and is sitting on top of the world with damn little worry. He dis everything right! I was happy for that, but a wee bit jealous--oh well! I was sorry to hear that his dad (who is so wonderful) is dying of brain cancer. Well, acceptance of that is tough, but Eric has had his parents much longer than I got to hold on to mine. Today the 15th is the feast of the Assumption of my heavenly Blessed Mother-- of whom I am very devoted. She has intervened so many times in times of trouble for me.