It all started six years ago on my drive out west. While I was in Missouri and passing through Independence I saw a sign for the Truman Library. I did something very unusual for me. I changed my plans and visited the Library. It was very impressive, a good history lesson. I was quite young during the Truman years and didn't pay much attention to politics.
After the Library, I continued on my way. But something stuck in my mind and I had a new goal. I had to visit all the presidential libraries. Since many of our earlier presidents did not have libraries, I've added homes to the plan.
A few years ago I visited the Kennedy Library and the Kennedy Memorial in Massachusetts, so far this is the biggest I've seen.
Last November, while I was visiting my niece and a friend, I stopped Oyster Bay on Long Island for a tour of Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt.
I was just in time, since they closed the home the following week for two years for renovations and updating of the electrical. This was a simple home, filled with his hunting trophies. There were many animal heads and skins. Theodore Roosevelt is the only president to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was awarded to him posthumously.
Last week I went to Gettysburg, PA and toured the battlefield. I also took a short tour of the Eisenhower Farm.
These are pictures of the sunroom, or what we would now call the family room and living room which was filled with much memorabilia from the White House years. When Ike was at the putting green, Mamie would sit in the family room and watch him. It was a very interesting tour.
Eisenhower raised black angus cattle and showed them. He won many blue ribbons and awards. Of course, who would tell the president his cattle wasn't the best?
I can't decide where to go next. I'm leaning toward Hyde Park, FDR's home. I could combine that with lunch at the Culinary Institute.
I have to work out a schedule for future visits. I think a trip to Texas for LBJ and the two Bush's, then in California I could visit Reagan and Nixon. I guess Mount Vernon (Washington) and Monticello (Jefferson) would probably be close enough to visit on one trip.
All I have to do now is locate the rest of the presidents and then live to be 100 so I can get to them all. The only problem is that every four years, there will be another one.