Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library

Reagan Presidential Library

This was my 1st time visiting a Presidential Library – what an amazing experience. The thought, organization and detail that went into creating the Reagan Presidential Library was amazing – from birth to Governor to President to death & everything in between. We decided to become members and now have lifetime membership to visit any of the 12 Presidential Libraries.

Located in Simi Valley, California. The Library’s regular hours are 10 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. Please note there may be special events going on, so check ahead of time that you will be able to see all galleries and exhibits on your visit. The grounds are beautiful and offer visitors a picnic area – free parking. There is the Museum and Air Force One Pavilion – allow about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to view all the galleries and exhibits. Do not forget to head outside to see a piece of the Berlin Wall and Ronald Reagan’s Memorial.

The Life and Political History of Reagan

You really have to experience a Presidential Library in person. I will try and highlight the key elements from my experience to share a little insight into a Presidential Library.

First, I must say the docents are great and welcome you to and through the Presidential Library – amazing group of people and you can tell they love doing what they do. Second, you are greeted by the sculpture below and for me is very much an epitome of the man.

Beautiful Sculpture of Reagan with the Cowboy Hat and Boots (Photo by RSheridan)

Another Beautiful Sculpture of President Reagan & Nancy Reagan (Photo by RSheridan)

Portrait of Reagan made out of Jelly Beans (Photo by RSheridan)

Beautiful Portrait of Nancy Reagan (Photo by RSheridan)

Life and Political History Highlights

  • Born in 1911 in Illinois
  • Grew Up in Dixon and attended Eureka College
  • Radio & Film Career 1932-1964
  • 1942 Kings Row movie (felt made him a star)
  • 1937 to 1945 Military Service – did not get to celebrate the success of Kings Row (went to active duty)
  • March 4, 1952 married Nancy Davis
  • Governor of California 1967-1975
  • 1976 Presidential Campaign
  • 1980 Presidential Campaign

Campaign Buttons (Photo by RSheridan)
  • Presidency 1981-1989
  • 1st Term 1981-1985 (oldest man elected to the Office of the Presidency at 69)
  • Assassination Attempt March 30, 1981 – in front of Washington Hilton Hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.

Suit President Reagan wore during Assassination Attempt (Photo by RSheridan)
  • 1st Term Highlights – Reaganomics and the Economy, Escalation of the Cold War 1979-1985, etc.
  • 1984 Presidential Campaign
  • 2nd Term 1985-1989
  • 2nd Term Highlights – Immigration Reform & Control Act 1986, Iran-Contra Affair, End of the Cold War 1985-1991, etc.

The Berlin Wall Diagram (Photo by RSheridan)

President Reagan and Gorbachev Sculptures (Photo by RSheridan)

President Reagan’s Remarks before the Moscow Summit in 1988 (Photo by RSheridan)

Piece of the Berlin Wall (Photo by RSheridan)
  • 1994 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (lived with the disease for 10 years)
  • Death on June 5, 2004

Ronald Reagan’s Memorial (Photo by RSheridan)

In talking with one docent at the library we discovered a good majority of documentation of previous Presidents was simply destroyed because at the time it belonged to the families and was considered private. However, with Reagan he was a little bit of a pack rat in keeping scraps of paper, drafts of speeches, letters, etc. The man was a prolific writer that loved to journal too. He also loved his Jelly Beans!

Air Force One Pavilion

I enjoyed being able to see the inside of Air Force One – looks like a time capsule of the 1980’s inside. I read about the process of getting Air Force One in the pavilion – what a feat! Do not miss this part of the tour – you will enjoy it!


Air Force One (Photo by RSheridan)

Air Force One (Photo by RSheridan)

Presidential Limo – love the plate (Photo by RSheridan)

Presidential Helicopter (Photo by RSheridan)
 
Replica of the Oval Office
 
I enjoyed seeing the replica of the Oval Office during the tour. I have been to D.C. a few times, but have never taken a tour of the White House.
 

Replica of the Oval Office (Photo by RSheridan)

Closeup of the Desk (Photo by RSheridan)

Replica of the Oval Office (Photo by RSheridan)
 

Wall Mural on the way to the Air Force One Pavilion (Photo by RSheridan)
 

Highly Recommend Visiting a Presidential Library – A Great Experience!

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About cravesadventure

I love to adventure to new places to create new life experiences. View all posts by cravesadventure

2 responses to “Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library

  • nod 'n' smile

    How funny we both posted about libraries recently- maybe we can start a trend. 🙂

    I’ve never been to a presidential library, but this makes it sound really interesting. I didn’t realize that there would be so many artifacts- will need to add it to my “to do” list.

    • cravesadventure

      That is funny:) I did not even think about that when writing the post. What libraries should we tour next???

      What I enjoyed about visiting a presidential library is that it covers the political history, but also covers the life of the person too. Who knows now that we are lifetime members may go and check out some other presidential libraries in the near future – really interesting experience.

      Take Care – Renee

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