Monday, February 28, 2011

Being Tourists in LA: Reagan Library

Over the weekend we played "tourists" in our own town, and finally visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

A while ago we visited the Kennedy Library in Boston and really enjoyed it. And so began our desire to visit more Presidential libraries.

So on Saturday we made the hour drive from our home in Long Beach to the Reagan Library in the beautiful, rural, Simi Valley north of Los Angeles.

The museum contains more history of the Regan Presidency that you could ever see read or see in day. Tapes of speeches and campaign ads. Actual news articles, presidential and personal photos, and actual White House itineraries. As well as explanations of various domestic and foreign policy decisions and events. Regardless of your political leaning, it's fascinating to see the history of our country and it's leaders.

Reagan was known as the "great communicator" because of his speeches and his effective use of teleprompters. In the museum they have podium where you can read Reagan speech off a real teleprompter.

(I think he looks pretty Presidential, don't you?)

There's also replica of the Reagan Oval Office. So cool to feel like you're in the President's office.

These are some Nancy Reagan's actual dresses. I always love reading about first ladies and seeing what there wore.

(Currently I can't get enough of Michelle Obama's fashion!)

A lot of Reagan's foreign policy focused on the USSR which was really interesting to read about considering that I visited the USSR in 1990, but was I so young and didn't have much context for what was happening around me.

In the part of the museum about the USSR and communism there's a replica of the Berlin Wall that you can crawl under.

Maybe the coolest part of the museum may be that the actual Air Force One used during Reagan's presidency is housed there.

And you can even go on board!

(We couldn't take pictures on board but it was really cool to see the inside of Air Force One!)

Oh, and did I mention that the views from the museum were spectacular?! What a beautiful place.

The Reagan Library and Museum was fabulous! We learned a lot about what was happening in the world during our early childhoods and had a ton of fun.

I can't wait to visit another presidential library. Maybe Nixon next, since it is near LA too? But I'd really like to visit Clinton's Library in Arkansas. Has anyone been there?


Dee Stephens said...

LOVE THIS POST! I've been to Kennedy too and wanted to do Reagan when in the LA area for my friend Dawn's wedding in October. BUT, hubby didn't have any interest :(
I can't believe I lived out West and never saw the Nixon library. That would be cool.
As for Clinton, that too.. I haven't seen despite my family living in that area.
Maybe our next visit to AR. I hear it's amazing.

BudgetBabe said...

The Clinton Library is SO cool! I went when I was in Little Rock 6 years ago. I'd definitely recommend it, and I'd recommend having a lot of time. I had about 3 hours and it wasn't quite enough.

I love the idea of visiting more Presidential libraries. I'll have to put it on my to do list. :)

Kate said...

Oh my gosh, how neat! My parents went a couple months ago but I never saw any photos -- so col that you got to go on his Airforce 1! My prom was at the Nixon Library and I have such a great memory of that place... Reagan is next, definitely!

Erin said...

The Nixon Library is beautiful-such a great place for events too. I would really love to go see the Regan Library soon-he's my favorite president and slightly less scandalous than dear Nixon ;)

Lil' Woman said...

Looks cool...I'll have to look for some.

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

that's so neat! and I love that last pic of you, you look beautiful and the scenery is gorgeous too!

Laura said...

I'm ashamed to admit, I have lived in Southern California my entire life and never visited the Reagan Library. After reading this post, I am definitely going to change that. I heard this is the year to go since they recently re-opened a lot of special exhibits for his 100th birthday. Thanks for the push!

Katie J. said...

What a fun date idea :-)

Here in Kansas City, we have the Truman Library. It's definitely worth a trip if you're ever in the area!

Lindsay said...

That library looks awesome! I played tourist in my own city this weekend too - sometimes it's fun to do stuff like that :)

Sarah @Newlywed and Decorating said...

Fun! It's so great to take advantage of things we take for granted because we live so close to them! The museum looks interesting too! I sometimes marvel when I see the monuments in DC at night that I get to live somewhere where a lot of people travel far to see!

Sonya said...

I bet it was really interesting! I've only ever been to the Lincoln Library and it's wonderful! They have an area that is a replica of him lying in state after his assassination and it's like you are right there. It would be really neat to see other presidential libraries!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Oh wow!! It looks so fun and amazing! I need to add this to my visit list for when I'm back in CA!

Shoshanah said...

I'm pretty sure I've never been to a single presidential library. But I would definitely go to one if I had the opportunity

B. Wilson said...

I grew up there... I'm kicking myself for never having gone there in my 26 years as a Californian! Ugh!

Nice post though. Very cool. :)

Amanda said...

Love this post!

I love being a tourist in my own city - it's always amazing the stuff you do in other parts of the world, but never in your own backyard.

The Southbay Newlyweds said...

We have been there two times now... and the very first time we went..i cried! the love story between Mr. and Mrs. Reagan... the letters he wrote her.. omg!! emotional!!

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