Unlike his predecessors, Franklin D. Roosevelt made his papers available to the public by donating them to the federal government. On sixteen acres of land donated by himself and his mother Sara Delano Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt had a facility constructed to house his collection of historical papers, books, and memorabilia adjacent to his family’s estate of Springwood. Roosevelt turned the building over to the National Archives upon its completion in 1940, but the museum section of the facility was not dedicated until June 30, 1941.
Following his presidency, George H.W. Bush selected the campus of Texas A&M University to be the home of his presidential library. Although Bush did not have previous connections to College Station or the university, stories say that Michel T. Halbouty approached Bush about the idea shortly after the 1988 election. In 1991, Bush informed the university’s board of regents that he wanted to build his presidential library in College Station.
In addition to the presidential library, the university built a conference center that also houses an apartment for the Bushes to use when visiting and a building for the newly established George Bush School of Government and Public Service. The presidential library and museum was dedicated on Nov. 6, 1997. Following an overhaul of the permanent exhibits, the library was re-dedicated on Nov. 10, 2007.
“The Day the Wall Came Down: A Monument to Freedom” by Veryl Goodnight celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall and is made with pieces of the wall.
“Duty, Honor, Country” exhibit with restored 1944 TBM Avenger, which is the type of plane Bush flew during World War II in the U.S. Navy.
“Working for Peace” exhibit details Bush’s two years as ambassador to the United Nations.
“The President and Mrs. Bush Request” exhibit displays a gown and tuxedo from a state dinner.
“Age of Freedom” exhibit features a 12-foot tall section of the Berlin Wall.
After battling Alzheimer’s disease for a decade, Ronald Reagan died from pneumonia complicated by Alzheimer’s at his Bel Air home on June 5, 2004. Following his death, Reagan laid in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum from June 7 to 9. Reagan’s body was transported to Washington, D.C., where a state funeral was conducted at Washington National Cathedral. He was later buried at his presidential library.