November 8, 2012 - Today's adventure brought us to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA. After serving two terms as America's 40th president, Reagan felt that he had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore "the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism."
In addition to seeing the presidential archives, we were also able to view a special exhibit entitled "D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives." D23 is the official Disney fan club (D is for Disney and 23 stands for 1923 when Disney founded the company in Hollywood). The relationship between Reagan and Disney spanned almost five decades. Ronald Reagan, the actor, introduced Walt Disney when Walt made his dedication speech at Disneyland's grand opening on Sunday July 17, 1955.
Unlike our typical weather here, today was overcast and it drizzled during our visit. However, the building and grounds on the Library's 100 acre site were beautiful.
There are more pictures of the Reagan archives to follow, however, there are a few pictures of the Disney exhibit that are worth looking at first. There were over 500 of Disney's crown jewels here, including original artifacts, props, artwork and costumes. If you're a real Disney buff, it doesn't get much better than this.
This is a typical animator's desk, which could have been Walt's.
These are a few of the props and costumes from the Tim Burton collaboration on Alice in Wonderland.
Now it's back to main event, the archives of the 40th president, Ronald Reagan.
Reagan wrote in long hand prolifically for all of his life. This applies to all of his speeches, his diaries, his notes and his famous "cheat sheets." These were a set of index cards with famous quips and quotations that were always carried with him and which he constantly updated.
He was known as the "Great Communicator" for good reason.
Judy was so inspired, she had to try her speech making as well.
Air Force One, Marine One, the presidential motorcade and an F-14 Tomcat Fighter Jet are all on view here. We even had the opportunity to walk through Air Force One. Air Force One, a Boeing 707 with the tail number 27000, flew seven U.S. presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush. It seats 52 plus the Air Force crew.
After the fact, we realized that the "walk through" on Air Force One was quite a big event. Not many people have had the opportunity to see its interior. No photography was allowed for anyone on the tour, for obvious security reasons. It also doesn't seem like the press is allowed any photography while traveling with the president. It was pretty cool.
O'Farrell's Irish bar where Reagan tossed down an ale has been disassembled and installed here.
Reagan's "Sunset" speech, written in his hand.
On November 4, 1991 the Library was dedicated with five United States presidents in attendance: Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. On June 12, 2004, Ronald Reagan was laid to rest in the underground vault shown below.
"Once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end. We meant to change a nation, and instead we changed the world." - Ronald Reagan, Farewell Address to the Nation, January 11, 1989
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