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04/24/2013

Ranking the presidential libraries

Library24n-1-webBefore we delve into the new opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and Learning Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good, it's important to note there is a museum for the greatness that is former Vice President J. Danforth Quayle.

Not kidding - there is a museum dedicated to the men who served as No. 2, who were often treated as such.

This week, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will open on SMU's campus and will feature a load of dignitaries from all over the world to celebrate what may be the greatest eight years of this very proud nation's history.

Click here for more updates about the ceremony and events.

The great state a Texas will now lead the country in presidential library/museums - (Bush I, Bush II, LBJ). Eat it, California!

Lbj-museum-on-ut-austins-campus-floresvilleGeorge W. Bush will be the 13th president to have a library/museum to honor his life. This will be the 15th presidential library/museum; President's Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon have their respective libraries and museums in different locations (just a bit self important).

Regardless of what you think of Dubya or his policies, the respective Presidential museums are must-see visits. Even the one for Jimmy Carter in Atlanta is great. These are not one-sided smooch fests for the President's tenure. They are an honest look at the times, the change and the events that defined that four or eight year period.

If you have to pick one, find the time period that was most eventful - I have been told Ike's museum/library in Abilene, Kansas is outstanding because it contains so much about World War II. 

Personally, I am partial to the George Bush Presidential Library/Museum in College Station because it mentions my dad in the 1,000 Points of Light Exhibit.

Here is a rank of the museums according to the most lively timeline:

Fdr.jpg
1. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Museum

Hyde Park, New York
The Depression and WWII. The home is incredible because this man had money to burn.

2. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum
Abilene, Kansas
WWII general, president during of arguably the most prosperous time in this nation's history. 

3./4. Richard Nixon Presidential Library
Yorba Linda, Calif.

& Richard Nixon Presidential Museum
College Park, Maryland 
Vietnam, Watergate, the '60s, Checkers, God knows what else behind closed doors. 

5. Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
West Branch, Iowa 
Eight months after he took office, the Great Depression began. That leaves a mark.

260px-Harry_S._Truman_Presidential_Library_and_Museum6. Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
Independence, Missouri 
Dropped the bomb, helped create the CIA, Korean Conflict, sacked MacArthur.

7. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Boston, Mass
Cold war tensions with USSR, space race, Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuban missle crisis
 
8. Lydon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum
Austin, Texas
President Kennedy shot, civil rights movement, Vietnam war

9. George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
9/11 attacks, invasion of Iraq, capturing Saddam Hussein, recession

10. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Simi Valley, Calif.
Cold war tension, assassination attempt, Challenger explodes, war on drugs

11. Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
Atlanta, Georgia
Iran hostage crisis, '80 Olympic boycott, Camp David Accord, Panama Canal treaty 

12. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
Ann Arbor, Michigan

&
13. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Pardons Richard Nixon, mass inflation, pull out of Vietnam

6a00e54f7fc4c588330133f4a4ce4f970b-320wi14. George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
College Station, Texas
Iraq war, NAFTA, end of Cold War

15. William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum
Little Rock, Arkansas
Conflict in Somalia, OKC bombing, widespread economic growth, Columbine tragedy, Lewinsky scandal 

 

 

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Comments

Gary

Frankly, I do not understand the criteria by which you have ranked the museums. Obviously it is not done by the ranking of the presidents. Also, while World War II is important to the biography of Eisenhower, it has nothing to do with his presidency (as to prosperity, the 1960s might have been tumultuous, but they were far more prosperous than the 1950s--the decline set in with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973).

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