Thursday, April 25, 2013

Presidential Library Blight

I like libraries. As a rule I find them wonderful, enlightening places. That said, there are way too many libraries dedicated to dead presidents. There are 21 presidential libraries, including Bush Jr.'s opening in May, and one under construction. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has one.

Ford Overkill
Gerald Ford was president for just three years and his single accomplishment was pardoning the criminal Richard Nixon. Yet, somehow, Ford is the only president who rates two libraries.

Founding Father Dearth
Of the first fifteen presidents only one has a library. Not Jefferson nor Madison nor any other accomplished leader. The one library belongs to John Quincy Adams. Not his father, who deserves a library, but the one-term son who finished second in the election and stole the office from Andrew Jackson. There is a library planned for George Washington (finally) that is supposed to open in September.

They Have Become Shrines
Several of the early libraries - Quincy's, Woodrow Wilson's, FDR's, were put in old homes. Now they have become massive temples. Every president since Herbert Hoover, except JFK, is entombed at his library. The Reagan library is the biggest, built on 29 acres the buildings alone are twice the size of the Taj Mahal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually go to them. I don't even know where any are, and I don't care.