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Tag: President Reagan

Creating a Presidential Library

October is American Archives Month! We’re celebrating the work of archivists and the importance of archives with a 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 Alan Lowe, Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, November 6, 1997. (George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

Dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, November 6, 1997. (George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

My introduction to Presidential transitions came in a bit of a baptism of fire. I had transferred from the Ronald Reagan Library to Washington, DC, in early 1992 to work in the Office of Presidential Libraries.

Later that year, Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush, and suddenly we had to quickly plan a Presidential move. The day after the election, I was detailed along with others to the White House.

From then until inauguration day, I worked with terrific NARA, White House, and Department of Defense colleagues to inventory, box, palletize, and move a huge amount of material out of the White House complex.

Some of my previous experiences at Reagan helped—while working there as an archivist, I was part of that team as we moved from our temporary facility in Los Angeles to the permanent … [ Read all ]

Reagan and the “Turkey Bird”

Today’s post is by Duke Blackwood, Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Follow them on their Facebook page.

President Reagan during the presentation of the Thanksgiving turkey from National Turkey Federation President William Prestage and Executive Vice President Lew Walts in the Rose Garden, 11/23/1982. (Reagan Library, C11441-20)

One normally doesn’t associate turkeys with flying.  However, in 1966 they became synonymous with flight during Ronald Reagan’s first race for political office—Governor of California. Covering such a large state was advance man Curtis Patrick’s nightmare, as Reagan was reticent to fly and preferred to drive. But it soon became a necessity for the candidate to fly.

Enter Mervin Amerine, a former B-29 Superfortress pilot turned turkey farmer who had three DC-3 aircraft capable of ferrying up to 48,000 live baby turkeys per plane to various destinations.

The DC-3 was a workhorse in World War II, which made it well suited for flying to remote campaign locations that often did not have paved runways.  Being a huge fan of Mr. Reagan, Amerine offered one of his planes to the campaign. Of course, only after he had cleaned it up and added 28 seats.

On a bright and beautiful day in the idyllic town of Calistoga, California, Patrick introduced Ronald Reagan to Amerine on a weed-infested gravel runway. With the press corps in tow, they all … [ Read all ]