Skip to comments.George Washington Finally Gets His Presidential Library
Posted on 09/27/2013 8:55:36 AM PDT by re_tail20
Since Franklin Roosevelt, every modern U.S. president has opened his own presidential library.
On Friday, President George Washington, the nations first, finally will get his turn, as a state-of-the-art presidential library is christened in his honor.
Washingtons beloved Mount Vernon steps into a bold new era with the formal opening of The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
Some 800 dignitaries, officials, and VIPs will be on hand to witness the unveiling of a library purpose-built to preserve the original books and papers from Gen. Washingtons personal collection.
Noted historian and best-selling author David McCullough will be the keynote speaker.
The 45,000-square-foot library includes a residence for visiting scholars. The collection includes approximately 450 handwritten letters and manuscripts, including Washingtons personal diary. They will be housed in a secure area dubbed "The Vault."
The Mount Vernon Ladies Association the organization that owns and maintains Washingtons stately, colonial-era manse on the banks of the Potomac just west of the Nations Capital anticipates that the new library will trigger renewed scholarly study of Americas first president. It will host conferences, seminars, and educational programs available to every student in America via the Internet.
"Im absolutely thrilled," says philanthropist Gay Hart Gaines, former chairman of the associations board and a key planner and fundraiser who played an instrumental role in bringing the library to fruition. "Its so wonderful. The grand opening of the library is now a dream come true."
The library represents the fulfillment of one of Washingtons personal dreams as well.
After enduring humiliating setbacks early in the war, Washington pummeled British Lt. Gen. Edward Cornwallis into submission at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
Washington harbored one last ambition when he left public life, however.
He confided to a friend that he wanted to build a place “for the accommodation and security of my military, civil, and private papers, which are voluminous and may be interesting.” Not long after he wrote those words, however, Washington contracted a severe chill while inspecting his plantation in a cold downpour, fell sick, and died.
On Friday, some 214 years later, thanks to the generous support of donors, and the Ladies Association’s staunch commitment to vouchsafing the legacy of the nations first president, Washingtons dream of establishing a library will finally be fulfilled.
It is good to see that we have not forgotten one of the greatest of the founders of our country. He was the right man in the right place, and this nation was truly blessed to have him as our military leader and our first president.
“As a matter of both tradition and principle, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association accepts no government funding. To build and operate the library, it raised more than $106 million from some 7,000 donors.”
Nice work Ladies!
Now...I want to go back to Mt. Vernon!!! Thanks for posting.
may God bless all who accomplished this for our beloved founder and framer. our first and foremost American man. my fond hope is to visit before i pass on.
Same here. Our beloved President George Washington will always be in the Hearts of patriots of this county. God Bless President George Washington.
GOD WE NEED HIM BACK!!!
If it wasn’t for his brother and his brother’s connections...
So worth revisiting. This new library promises much! Love the recently-opened visitor center with life-size latex figures of George at various ages, large displays and movies, and of course the scale model of the Mount Vernon residence. Tours of the grounds are wonderful — I learned so much about Washington’s business acumen as a farmer and exporter.
Fantastic news, photo gallery of the new library here: http://www.mountvernon.org/library/gallery
Not quite true. To say he was "one of the greatest" is far too cautious, and reflects an ignorance of his importance, character, and roles.
George Washington was without a doubt THE GREATEST founder. Without him there would be no USA. He alone could bridge the gap between the north states and south states post-revolution. He could have been king, but refused. He laid his life down twice, to serve as commander during the Revolution and then as the first President, all the time being absent from his beloved and beautiful Mt. Vernon.
We have forgotten how great this man was, for whom the nation's very capitol is named, and where in the very center of that capitol is a monument to his greatness, and where there was crypt for his remains constructed under the center of the Rotunda.
Where is this new building in relation to the mansion, and the existing museum/education center?
Just North of the Mt. Vernon Inn, about 3200 Mt Vernon Memorial Hwy (not shown here yet: http://www.mountvernon.org/visit-his-estate/map but is off the lower left hand corner near the circular drive)
Of course you’re right. I shouldn’t have said “one of the greatest.” I am well aware of his character and contributions. Who else among his peers could have defined the presidency as he did, when there was no role model before him? I greatly admire George Washington, and of all of the founding fathers, if I could have the abilities of just one, it would be him.
My parents amongst them. Extremely faithful GW devotees.
My mother regretted that her recent diagnosis of cancer and the treatment partly made her decide not to make the drive for the event.
He is much more than the greatest founder. To me, he is the greatest man ever.
While the General's extensive papers (>30 volumes) has been kept at the University of Virginia and can be accessed online here, this is the first collection of the books he had in his library over the years. Praise be to the Mount Vernon Ladies!
While Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and Adams (among others) are always praised for their brilliance, it is rather Washington's character and courage that are universally acknowledged. I believe the General's wisdom and intelligence receive too little praise.
Why is this? I believe there are several reasons: first, although his older (half) brothers were sent to England to complete schooling, young George's father died when he was 11, and he had to remain in the colonies to help mother with the farm and other family business (they owned an iron mine). While he did get his surveyor's certification at William & Mary when just a teenager, his formal education was lacking compared to the above-mentioned Founders who had degrees from William & Mary, Princeton, Columbia and Harvard.
Second, he was a man of action more than words. And, associated with this fact is his self-consciousness about the state of his mouth (his bad teeth). He was very uncomfortable about speaking in public and avoided doing that.
And a third reason is that his character and courage outdid any other trait he may have had that was critical for the Founding of this great Republic.
But what is the evidence that he was indeed smart--even brilliant? Well, it's hard to imagine his history of decision making without seeing his inherent smarts. Whether it related to Mount Vernon or his carrying out the RevWar, he learned by experience--quite quickly--what he had to do to improve.
Further, he ran a complex and multi-pronged spy network during the war that required knowing the measure of a man (and woman) and playing chess with the Loyalists and the Brits. Running spies traditionally takes extraordinary intelligence.
His innovations in farming techniques (crop rotation) were more advanced than almost any other Virginia planter. And finally, this reproduction of his library helps prove the point.
My personal favorite portrait--after Battle of Princeton. Great smug attitude.
The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list
I have always believed he was heaven sent. The stories of his escape from harm while under direct fire during numerous battles have no equal in history. Several combatants, including native Americans, testified to prolonged attempts to bring him down. His coat with the bullet holes no longer exists but family members said they saw it.