Visiting The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.” ~ Ronald Wilson Reagan
History of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs is the presidential library and final resting place of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.
In 1988 construction of the Library began. By 1991 The Reagan Library was dedicated and opened in Simi Valley, Ca. At the time it was the largest of the presidential libraries with 153,000 square feet.
For the first time in United States history, five Presidents gathered together in the same place including Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush.
Six First Ladies also attended the dedication including Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush.
The Reagan Library cost $60 million to build and was funded by private donations. Major donors included Walter Annenberg and Rupert Murdoch.The street address, 40 Presidential Drive, is numbered in honor of Reagan's place as the 40th President.
In 2004 following Reagan’s death, his casket was driven to the Reagan Library. Reagan's casket lay in repose from June 7th to the 9th in the library lobby. 105,000 people filed past and paid their respects. Early on the morning of June 12, 2004, President Reagan was laid to rest on the Library's grounds.
The hilltop grounds provide an expansive view of the area including a re-creation of a portion of the White House Lawn. Also located on the grounds is a large piece of the Berlin Wall and an F-14 Tomcat.
The Reagan Library is the repository for presidential records spanning Reagan's administration as President and Governor of California. The holdings include 50 million pages of documents, personal papers, 1.6 million photographs, half a million feet of motion picture film, audio clips, and video tapes.
The Library features permanent displays covering Reagan's life beginning with his childhood in Dixon, Illinois, life through his film and military days, his marriage to Nancy Davis, and his political career.
The gallery includes a 1965 Ford Mustang used in his first gubernatorial campaign, news footage of the 1981 assassination attempt on his life, and life on his ranch in Santa Barbara, Ca. A full scale replica of the Oval Office and Cold War exhibits are also on display.
Temporary exhibits continually change. One titled "Nancy Reagan: A First Lady's Style" featured over 80 designer dresses belonging to Nancy Reagan.
In 2005 The Air Force Pavilion opened as part of a comprehensive display of presidential travel. Air Force One, a Boeing 707, is on display. In service from 1973-2001,it was used by six other presidents including Nixon, Ford, Carter, George HW Bush, Clinton, and George W Bush.
Other exhibits include a Sikorsky VH-3 Sea King. A twin engine, anti submarine, warfare helicopter used by the President and know by the call name Marine One. Also on display is Reagan’s 1982 presidential limousine.
In 2007 the Library hosted the 2008 Republican primary debates. A few of the candidates included Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney. California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, also attended. The library announced it will also hold the 2011 Republican primary debates.
In 2007 the Regan Library had 305,331 visitors, making it the second most visited presidential library following the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Tx.
So put aside your view on Reaganomics and get out and enjoy some history with a magnificent view.
It gets windy so take a jacket.
Are we there yet? What to take on a road trip:
An ice chest with food, snacks and drinks for everyone. Forget sharing.
Don't forget your chargers, headphones, earplugs, meds, and a bag for garbage
Take along your Kindle and cell phone to keep yourself and the kids occupied on long road trips. Down load any e-books and apps that will help you.
Remember to take along a great camera. We found the Sony Nex-5 to be light weight and user friendly.
Streets, freeways, and traffic jams are frustrating. Take along a good GPS system and visit off season.
- REAGAN FOUNDATION
Reagan Foundation and Presidential Library. Visitor information, hours, exhibits, directions.