The Ronald Reagan Library is both the presidential library and final resting place of the 40th President of the United States – Ronald Wilson Reagan. You can find the center at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California. This puts it approximately 40 miles northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Construction on the Ronald Reagan Library began in 1988, and the center was ultimately dedicated on November 4, 1991. Present at the dedication ceremonies were Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. This marked the first time that five U.S. Presidents gathered together at the same site. Also present were six First Ladies, including Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush.
Exhibits & Attractions
The various exhibits that can be enjoyed at the Ronald Reagan Library include temporary exhibits that change on a regular basis and a permanent exhibit that offers insight into Reagan’s life. Among the things that are featured in the permanent exhibit are the 1965 Ford Mustang that Reagan drove during his first gubernatorial campaign, the desk that he used while serving as the governor of California, and a table that once took up residence in the White House Situation Room. Visitors can also see footage of major moments in Reagan’s life, such as the famous 1981 assassination attempt, or explore a full-scale replica of the Oval Office. Other attraction highlights include, but are not limited to, a sizeable chunk of the Berlin Wall and an F-14 Tomcat. Complementing the various exhibits and attractions at the Ronald Reagan Library are the expansive southland views that can be enjoyed from the center’s hilltop location.
Air Force One Pavilion
Air Force One Pavilion Image: NinaZafaz (flickr)
When the Ronald Reagan Library was completed, it was the largest presidential library in the country. It maintained that distinction until 2004, when the William J. Clinton Presidential Library was dedicated in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2005, the Reagan Library retained its title as the largest presidential library in relation to physical size. This was achieved with the completion of the Air Force One Pavilion. The main attraction inside this 90,000-square-foot facility is the Boeing 707 aircraft that served as Air Force One during Reagan’s presidency.
Top image: inkknife_2000 (wikipedia), CC BY-SA 2.0