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Tag: Nancy Reagan

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: Managing the Materials of a Modern Eight-Year Presidency

We’re wrapping up our American Archives Month series of blog posts about the Presidential libraries. The records created by Presidents while in office will become part of the National Archives and eventually will be used by researchers. Here’s how it happens!

Today’s post comes from Emily Niekrasz, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.

President Reagan Speaking at Podium during his trip to California at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, November 21, 1988. (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

President Reagan speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, November 21, 1988. (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, held on November 21, 1988, President Reagan proclaimed, “But I believe that scholars of good will . . . will judge our efforts well. But as for us, at present we can only say this: we have done our best and we pray it has been enough.”

At its conception, the future Reagan Library was faced with three major questions:

Where would the library be located?

How would this new institution cope with being the first to adhere to the rules of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1978?

And how would the director and staff manage the papers and gifts of a modern Presidency that lasted two full terms (the first since 1961)?

Last Page of President Reagan’s Groundbreaking Ceremony Speech for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, November 21, 1988. (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

Last Page of Reagan’s groundbreaking ceremony speech, November 21, 1988. (Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

Just as the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library … [ Read all ]

Take a break with Presidential vacations!

Need a vacation? This summer, go on a vacation with 13 of our Presidents!  You can choose your own adventure on Instagram and chat with us on Twitter on August 19 using #POTUSvacation.  

Vacations are an integral part of Presidential history, a way for Presidents to relax and recharge outside of Washington. Many of the iconic images that we associate with Presidents were taken while on retreats from the White House.


The tradition of a summer White House dates back to the beginning of the Presidency, and several of our Commanders in Chief have had dedicated family retreats.  These retreats have been a place to recuperate, spend time with family, … [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest—May 10

"The Reagans catch members of Congress BEFORE they put on their suits and makeup."

The clothes must make the man! Last week’s photo caption contest winner featured Spring Fashion Week and canvas jumpsuits; this week’s winner pokes gentle fun at what our congressmen might look like before they are suited up for work.

Duke Blackwood, the Director of the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, took on his guest judging duties with a good humor that may make even the stoniest-faced terra-cotta warrior crack a smile.

Congratulations to Logan! Check your email for a code for a 15% discount in the National Archives eStore.

The original caption of the photo reads: “Photograph of the Reagans standing with the Terra Cotta figures in Xi’an, China” (April 29, 1984. ARC 198547). President Reagan’s 1984 trip to China marked only the second time a U.S. President visited since President Richard Nixon’s historic trip in 1972. Reagan met with Chinese President Li Xiannian in an attempt to resolve diplomatic differences between the U.S. and China. He also toured historical and cultural sites in Beijing with First Lady Nancy Reagan, including the Terra-cotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China. The terra-cotta soldiers were found in a massive burial site, intended to protect the emperor in the afterlife.

Our last photograph featured orderly soldiers below the ground, so this week we thought we’d take to the … [ Read all ]