I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Presidential libraries, homes and historic places. Most of the ones I have visited are centered around a home. Visiting Spiegel Grove, Rutherford B. Hayes’s home in Fremont, Ohio, is a quiet affair…a lovely home, a library for research, his final resting place. Mount Vernon, the magnificent home and final resting place of George Washington, has a sprawling museum and estate and has been lovingly cared for by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association since the 1850s. Other homes include those of Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and FDR.
Some Presidential libraries lack a home, but have outstanding museums and artifacts. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL tends toward the Disney-esque, with life-size dioramas and high-tech holographics along with a rotating display of artifacts in a more traditional portion of the museum. The outstanding Library is across the street from the museum; Lincoln’s home, operated by the National Park Service, is across town and his tomb is also nearby.
The newest Presidential center will apparently be Obama’s. There is some controversy regarding the location, appearance and function of the center. John Kass, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, calls the proposed Presidential center, to be built on public land near the golf course in Jackson Park, “The Barack Obama Temple of Adoration and Fealty.” The center won’t house any Presidential papers, nor will it be a center for research. Kass even has a couple of suggestions for the inevitable shop at the center, “Presidential golf clubs or a Michelle Obama vegetable peeler for nutritious school lunches would be nice.”
Regardless of what ends up in the Obama center, I would like to suggest that there only be one item in the future Donald J. Trump Library:
This document captures everything about the current President…all anyone needs to know. American can-do bravado, shades of General McAuliffe’s memo to the German command “NUTS!”, captured in a letter so clearly dictated by Trump that I can imagine the hand of a nice Katie Gibbs secretary flying across the page in perfect Gregg shorthand. Presented on the finest Crane Presidential stationery, he signs it with a graffiti-esque Sharpie. Permanent. Bold. Yes–this is all we need, in so very many ways.
I guarantee his feet weren’t on the surface of the Resolute desk when he signed it.