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Ronald Reagan Presidential Library


Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Over view of the library and parking lot nestled in the hills
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located in California
Location in California
Location Simi Valley, California, United States
Construction start November 21, 1988
Completion date November 4, 1991
Named for Ronald Reagan
Architect KlingStubbins
Size 243,000 square feet (22,600 m2)
Management National Archives
Reagan Library Foundation
Website .org.reaganlibrarywww

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 (1981–1989). Designed by Hugh Stubbins and Associates, the library is located in Simi Valley, California, about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles and 15 miles (24 km) west of Chatsworth.

The Reagan Library is the largest of the 13 federally operated presidential libraries.[1] The street address, 40 Presidential Drive, is numbered in honor of Reagan's place as the 40th President.


  • Dedication 1
  • Facilities 2
  • Exhibits and scenery 3
    • Artifacts controversy 3.1
  • Air Force One Pavilion 4
  • Center for Public Affairs 5
    • Ronald Reagan's funeral 5.1
    • Republican primary debates 5.2
    • Centennial and library renovation 5.3
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Husbands and wives alternate, as the subjects of the photo line up for the shoot, with the Presidential Seal in the foreground.
Presidents and First Ladies dedicating the library: Lady Bird Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, Gerald Ford, Betty Ford, Richard Nixon, Pat Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush

It was initially planned to build the Reagan Library at

  • Official website
  • The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library
  • The Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration
  • Video of the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 1991
  • Video of the Gravesite of Ronald Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
  • Video of the Replica of the Oval Office at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
  • U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

External links

  1. ^ Hufbauer, Benjamin (December 1, 2008). "The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Simi Valley, Calif.".  
  2. ^ "Reagan Library at Stanford OK'd".  
  3. ^ Lindsey, Robert (April 24, 1987). "Plan for Reagan Library at Stanford Is Dropped".  
  4. ^ "Museum". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c Mydans, Seth (November 1, 1991). "Elite Group to Dedicate Reagan Library". The New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b Giller, Melissa (2003). "Reagan Presidential Library". In Drake, Miriam A. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science 4. CRC Press. p. 2456.  
  7. ^ "Winds Tear Air Force One Pavilion Roof at Reagan Library".  
  8. ^ "Library Museum and Information". Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved November 20, 2007. 
  9. ^ United States nominal Gross Domestic Product per capita figures follow the Measuring Worth series supplied in Williamson, Samuel H. (2015). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved April 15, 2015.  These figures follow the figures as of 2013.
  10. ^ Presidential Libraries on C-SPAN: Exclusive Series Interviews and Additional Footage (Documentary).  
  11. ^ a b c "Archives: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library".  
  12. ^ "Early Years Gallery". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Citizen Governor Gallery". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  14. ^ "New Beginnings Gallery". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Oval Office". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Old Bill Williams sculpture". Arizona Highways: 38. May 1985. WPS33940. 
  17. ^ "The President's Residences". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  18. ^ "First Lady Nancy Reagan". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  19. ^ Corcoran, Monica (November 11, 2007). "The Nancy Years".  
  20. ^ Bakalis, Anna (November 9, 2007). "Style Exhibit Chronicles Nancy Reagan's Life". Ventura County Star. Retrieved November 22, 2007. 
  21. ^ "Calendar of Events". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2007. 
  22. ^ a b Chawkins, Steve & Salliant, Catherine (November 9, 2007). "The Talk of the Reagan Library". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo & Salliant, Catherine (November 10, 2007). "Reagan Library Has Lost Thousands of Artifacts". Tampa Bay Online. Retrieved November 21, 2007. 
  24. ^ "Air Force One Pavilion". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2007. 
  25. ^ a b "Facts and Stats". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2007. 
  26. ^ a b "Reagan Air Force One Moves to Presidential Library" (Press release).  
  27. ^ "The Journey of Air Force One". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. p. 3. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2007. 
  28. ^  
  29. ^ a b "Permanent Galleries". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on November 21, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2007. 
  30. ^ "Permanent Galleries: Presidential Motorcade". Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved November 23, 2007. 
  31. ^ Carlson, Cheri (June 9, 2008). Unmatched Creativity' at Reagan Library's Discovery Center"'". Ventura County Star. Retrieved June 15, 2008. 
  32. ^ Serjeant, Jill (May 23, 2007). "Rice, Australian Minister Evoke Reagan in Iraq Talk". Reuters. Retrieved November 23, 2007. 
  33. ^ Nasby, Robin (July 27, 2007). "Rare Visit from Polish President Draws Far-Off Visitors to Simi". Simi Valley Acorn. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Transcripts: American Morning".  
  35. ^ Welzenbach, Dennis (June 7, 2004). "Burial of a President: A Behind the Scenes Diary". Suhor Industries. Archived from the original on September 1, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  36. ^ Nagourney, Adam & Santora, Marc (May 4, 2007). "Republicans Differ on Defining Party's Future". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Romney Blasts McCain over Iraq War Charge".  
  38. ^ Camia, Catalina (November 11, 2010). ronald-reagan-library/1 "Nancy Reagan to Host Debate for 2012 GOP Hopefuls" .  
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Announces GE as Presenting Sponsor of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration" (Press release).  
  41. ^ Jackson, David (August 3, 2010). "Ronald Reagan Centennial Includes Youth Leadership". USA Today. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 


See also

The Reagan Centennial was also being led by the National Youth Leadership Committee. Notable members of the Committee include chairpersons Nick Jonas, Jordin Sparks and Austin Dillon, as well as famous non-chairpersons, including actress Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Olympic bronze medalist Bryon Wilson, Olympian and X-Games medalist Hannah Teter, and recording artist Jordan Pruitt. Several other Olympians and athletes are also members of the Committee.[41]

  • $10 million in the form of cash, advertising and promotion to support the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, including funds to support the completely transformed, state-of-the-art museum at the Reagan Library that will be unveiled on February 5, 2011. This will include a new General Electric Theater that will focus on Reagan's career in radio, television, and film.
  • An additional $5 million to the Reagan Presidential Foundation to launch and support the GE–Reagan Scholars Program, an effort that will begin in 2011 and that will provide 200 four-year college scholarships over the next decade to "students who embody the vision and values personified by President Reagan."
  • A donation from GE/NBC Universal to the Reagan Foundation of 208 restored episodes of General Electric Theater in which Ronald Reagan hosted or appeared from 1954 until 1962. The episodes, many of which were thought to be lost and some of which were damaged, were recently uncovered and restored to broadcast quality for purposes of the renovated Reagan Museum.
  • An ad campaign and interactive Internet presence on GE's web site to promote the centennial and celebrate Reagan's political career and time with GE.
  • A series of public affairs lectures with Reagan-era luminaries that focused on Reagan's legacy.

GE's overall participation as Presenting Sponsor of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration included:

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and General Electric (GE) announced a partnership beginning March 17, 2010, to support the two-year-long celebration of President Reagan's 100th birthday on February 6, 2011. GE, for whom Reagan hosted General Electric Theater and served as a goodwill ambassador from 1954 to 1962, prior to being elected Governor of California, served as the Presenting Sponsor of the historic Reagan Centennial Celebration.[40]

Centennial and library renovation

In September 2015, the library hosted the second Republican presidential debate of the 2015-2016 cycle, run by CNN.[39] 15 candidates took part in two sessions.

The library announced that it would once again host the first Republican primary debate of future 2012 Republican candidates on May 2, 2011. The debate was co-hosted by NBC News and Politico.[38] The debate took place on September 7, 2011.

On January 30, 2008, after the Republican candidates were narrowed to four—Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and John McCain—the library was the scene of the final GOP debate, once again hosted by the Reagan Foundation and Mrs. Reagan.[37]

On May 3, 2007, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mrs. Reagan, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Fred Ryan, Chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation were among those in attendance. Candidates discussed the War in Iraq, the War on Terror, taxes, healthcare, abortion, stem-cell research, gay rights, illegal immigration, and made at least 20 individual references directly or in passing, to Ronald Reagan and his presidency.[36]

Republican primary debates

Construction plans for the library included a tomb for the eventual use of Reagan and his wife. Following a sunset service on the library grounds the previous evening, early on the morning of June 12, 2004, Reagan was laid to rest in the underground vault.[35]

From June 7 to 9, Reagan's casket lay in repose in the library lobby, where approximately 105,000 people viewed the casket to pay their respects.[34] After flying the body to Washington, D.C., lying in state in the Capitol rotunda, and a national funeral service in the Washington National Cathedral, Reagan's casket was brought back to the library in California for a last memorial service and interment.

Following his death, Reagan's casket was driven by hearse to the Reagan Library on June 7, 2004 from Point Mugu through a 25-mile-per-hour (40 km/h) procession down Las Posas Road to U.S. Highway 101. Many people lined the streets and freeway overpasses to pay final respects. A memorial service was held in the library lobby with Nancy Reagan, Reagan's children, close relatives, and friends. The Reverend Dr. Michael Wenning officiated at the service.

A paneled, marble wall decorated with a seal and some inscribed words. A plaque with name and dates rests on the shiny marble floor.
Reagan's tomb and memorial site on the Library grounds

A casket draped with the stripes of the American flag and guarded by military personnel representing each of the five services, as the public files by in single file.
Reagan's casket lies in repose in the library lobby, June 7, 2004

Ronald Reagan's funeral

The Reagan Library has hosted many events, including the funeral of Ronald Reagan in June 2004, and the first Republican presidential candidates' debate of the 2008 primaries. On May 23, 2007, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer held a brief private talk and a press conference.[32] On July 17, 2007, Polish President Lech Kaczyński presented Poland's highest distinction, the Order of the White Eagle, to Mrs. Reagan on behalf of her husband.[33]

Center for Public Affairs

The pavilion has been used on several occasions as the venue for televised Republican Party primary-related debates (see below).

On June 9, 2008, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings joined Nancy Reagan to dedicate the Reagan Library Discovery Center, located in the Air Force One Pavilion. The center is an interactive youth exhibit in which fifth through eighth grade students participate in role-playing exercises based on events of the Reagan administration.[31]

SAM 27000 is part of a comprehensive display about presidential travel that also includes a Johnson-era Sikorsky VH-3 Sea King, call sign Marine One,[29] and a presidential motorcade—Reagan's 1984 presidential parade limousine, a 1982 Los Angeles Police Department police car (as well as two 1980s police motorcycles), and a 1986 Secret Service vehicle used in one of President Reagan's motorcades in Los Angeles.[30] The pavilion is also home to the original O'Farrell's pub from Ballyporeen in the Republic of Ireland that President and Mrs. Reagan visited in June 1984, now called the "Ronald Reagan Pub."[29] Also featured are exhibits on the Cold War and Reagan's extensive travels aboard Air Force One.

A 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) exhibit hangar serves as the setting for the permanent display of the Laura Bush.[28]

A metal-trussed hanger with a glass front and a shiny floor holds a large jet emblazoned with
The Air Force One Pavilion collage

Air Force One Pavilion

On November 8, 2007, Reagan Library National Archives officials reported that due to poor record-keeping, they are unable to say whether approximately 80,000 artifacts have been stolen or are lost inside the massive museum complex.[22] A "near-universal" security breakdown was also blamed, leaving the artifacts vulnerable to theft. Many of the nation's presidential libraries claim to be understaffed and underfunded.[23] NARA labeled the Reagan Library as having the most serious problems with its inventory.[23] In an audit, U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein blamed the library's poor inventory software for the mishap. Frederick J. Ryan Jr., president of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's board of directors, said the allegations of poor management practices at the library reflect badly on the National Archives.[22] The library has undertaken a massive inventory project that will take years to complete.[23]

Artifacts controversy

The hilltop grounds provide expansive views of the area, a re-creation of a portion of the White House Lawn, and a piece of the Berlin Wall. An F-14 Tomcat (BuNo 162592) is also located on the grounds.

A full-scale replica of the Oval Office—a feature of most presidential libraries—is a prominent feature of this museum as well.[15] Among the items Reagan kept on his desk was a 16 inches (41 cm) copy of a bronze statue of "Old Bill Williams", by B. R. Pettit; Williams was a renowned mountain man of Arizona.[16] Other parts of the exhibit focus on Reagan's ranch, the presidential retreat Camp David, life in the White House,[17] and First Lady Nancy Reagan.[18] The most recent temporary exhibit ran from November 10, 2007, to November 10, 2008; titled "Nancy Reagan: A First Lady's Style," it featured over 80 designer dresses belonging to Nancy Reagan.[19][20][21]

The museum features continually changing temporary exhibits and a permanent exhibit covering President Reagan's life. This exhibit begins during Reagan's childhood in Dixon, Illinois, and follows his life through his film career and military service, marriage to Nancy Davis Reagan, and political career.[12] The "Citizen Governor" gallery shows footage of Reagan's 1964 "A Time for Choosing" speech and contains displays on his eight years as governor. The gallery includes a 1965 Ford Mustang used by Reagan during his first gubernatorial campaign, as well as the desk he used as governor.[13] His 1980 and 1984 presidential campaigns are also highlighted, as well as his inauguration suit and a table from the White House Situation Room is on display. News footage of the 1981 assassination attempt on his life is shown, and information about the proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, dubbed "Star Wars") is included.[14]

A chunk of cement, painted with natural shapes, such as insects and flowers.
A large piece of the Berlin Wall located on the library grounds

A twin-tailed jet fighter is posed on the lawn.
An F-14 Tomcat depicting the F-14 involved in the 1981 Gulf of Sidra incident on display on the Library grounds

Exhibits and scenery

As a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Reagan Library, under the authority of the Presidential Records Act, is the repository of presidential records for Reagan's administration.[11] Holdings include 50 million pages of presidential documents, over 1.6 million photographs, a half-million feet of motion picture film and thousands of audio and video tapes.[11] The library also houses personal papers collections including documents from Reagan's eight years as Governor of California.[11]

When the Reagan Library opened it was the largest of the presidential libraries, at approximately 153,000 square feet (14,200 m2).[5] It held that title until the dedication of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Arkansas, on November 18, 2004. With the opening of the 90,000-square-foot (8,400 m2) Air Force One Pavilion in October 2005, the Reagan Library reclaimed the title in terms of physical size;[7] however, the Clinton Library remains the largest presidential library in terms of materials (documents, artifacts, photographs, etc.).[8] 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 (equivalent to $130 million in 2013[9]).[5] Major donors included Walter Annenberg, Lew Wasserman, Lodwrick Cook, Joe Albritton, Rupert Murdoch, Richard Sills, and John P. McGovern.[6] 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.[10]


did not attend; but, her children Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg and John F. Kennedy Jr. were in attendance along with Luci Johnson Turpin, younger daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and descendants of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Only Former First Lady [6].Barbara Bush, and Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson also attended: First Ladies Six [5]

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