I recently went to the Reagan Library which is only an hour out of West LA.
I saw the Library from the point of view of a museologist, which is how I look at most museums. The Reagan Library is superb from this point of view.
Each room is dedicated to a single subject and the visuals and objects are perfectly suited to the subject. Every age group and visiting category will find something of interest. There are some of Nancy’s clothes, there are videos with plenty of action and there is a re-creation of the Oval Office.
One room was particularly poignant. This room has a short video of the shooting of President Reagan and a woman opens a door to the room to allow a small group at a time and to tell people to not look if they are disturbed by the video.
The day I saw the video was the day Hinckley was released from a mental hospital. I asked the woman if she would mention that. She said ‘no’. The subject matter was too disturbing for many people anyway. I noted that she was on duty for only half an hour. All docents continually rotate every half hour.
I haven’t seen any other Presidential Libraries, but I’m sure they are all upbeat and melodramatic. The trouble is that Jimmy Carter is hated more every year by Jews, Evangelicals and people who follow his trips to visit tyrants. Ronald Reagan was vehemently hated by Lefties: vehemently. That is nowhere recorded or presented.
That would help people put in perspective the hatred of G.H.W. Bush, G.W. Bush and his VP and Sec’ty of Defense, candidates McCain and Palin, candidate Romney and the extra special hatred of Donald Trump.
Some notice of that hatred would be historically important.