Sunday, August 20, 2006

Visiting the Reagan Library & Ranch

I'm jealous. My friend Simon Jones is spending 5 days at the Reagan Library in California and David Farrer of Kiwiblog has visited the Reagan Ranch. I presume they must be on the same trip. I visited the Reagan Library in 1994 - it's built on a wonderful hilltop location and is now owned by the Young Americans Foundation. Kiwiblog has some great pictures of the ranch so do click HERE to see them.

Despite enjoying my visit to the Reagan Library I have to say the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda was even better. If you ever visit Los Angeles, do visit them both. It doesn't matter what your politics are, they're fascinating.

Some time ago I wondered about organising a trip to spend two weeks visiting as many US Presidential Libraries as possible. Two weeks of political geek heaven!


ian said...

I liked the JFK library in Boston. It's a pretty impressive building

Iain Dale said...

I have been to the JFK too but compared to the Reagan and Nixon libraries it is hugely disappointing. I'm not being politically biased - I spent two hours and the JKP one and 6 at Reagan and 10 at Nixon. There's just so much to see at the Nixon Library.

Anonymous said...

Awwww ... no one's been to see Jimmuh's libury?

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Carter's library I would like to see. Somewhere in Atlanta Georgia? - He always strikes me as a man of History, somehow ahead of his time - MPG car/auto targets and cardigans to the beat the

(Sadly, I think, these MPG targets got bi-passed by Detroit building "pick-ups" that became SUV's 30 years later).

JFK on the other hand seems to me a man who left no abiding legacy other than the importance of being photogenic and therefore loved by the media. St. Tone looked and learned, whilst the Media just looked.

Could the same be true of recent politics of the right in the UK recently? - IDS, Haig and Howard?

Anonymous said...

I found myself in Yorba Linda a few years back (on business and in a hurry: no time for presidental libraries) but as one entered the town there was a huge sign: "Welcome to Yorba Linda, birthplace of Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States"

Do you think that one day the citizens of Prestatyn will be moved to erect a similar sign celebrating their town as the birthplace of John Prescott?

Or will they just want to keep quiet and hope no-one notices?

Bob Piper said...

Could I recommend Thimblemill Library in Smethwick. A fine art deco building with a good stock of crime fiction.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that all Presidential libraries belonged to the US government. I stand corrected; is this a new thing?

In fairness to JFK his legacy includes the space program and the introduction of a sense of mortality to the Presidency, thereby making the VP much more important than he had been before. Hence all the crap Dan Quayle took for being such an eedjut and the crap that Cheney takes for being such a sinister creature of darkness.

Anonymous said...


I think this is all a part of the IYDU conference going on right now... kinda miffed, because my current project and house move meant I couldn't be out there for this one

As for libraries, what would the President Schwarzenegger Library contain if they ever changed the constitution???? the mind boggles....

Inamicus said...

Reminds me of the v old joke about a devastating fire at the Reagan presidential library..... the President was reported to be distraught as he hadn't finished colouring in a number of the volumes.

David Farrar said...

Yes all there as part of the IYDU Freedom Forum.

The Presidentlial Library was fascinating and like Iain would love to see all 16 of them at some stage.

The ranch visit was the highlight though. Incredibly serene, and very personal to Reagan. You can see how his values were shaped by the life he led there.

Now in Las Vegas investigating a different set of values :-)

Anonymous said...

Another easy two-fer is the Eisenhower & Truman libraries, both of which are within easy reach of Kansas City. Now, sure, you're more likely to be visiting LA than KC, but still.