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Geo. Washington Presidential Library: $38 million gift to build library at Mount Vernon
Washington Examiner ^ | 2/19/10 | MATTHEW BARAKAT

Posted on 02/20/2010 7:57:16 PM PST by HokieMom

MOUNT VERNON, VA. — There were no presidential libraries in the days of George Washington, so his papers and writings are scattered around the world. Some are lost forever — Martha Washington, for instance, burned nearly all of her personal letters from her husband shortly before she died.

But an unprecedented $38 million donation will allow George Washington's Mount Vernon estate to establish a library dedicated to scholarship on the nation's first president, in many ways filling the role of the modern presidential library.

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington is expected to open in 2012 on the grounds of Washington's estate off the banks of the Potomac River, the estate announced Friday.

Mount Vernon Director James Rees said they don't want to call it a "presidential library," though, for several reasons. First, Mount Vernon has long prided itself on eschewing all forms of government funding, a contrast with modern presidential libraries that are part of the national Archives.

Rees also said a library focused only on Washington's presidency would be too limiting, ignoring his significant contributions as a military general and as an 18th century entrepreneur.

The library will not only serve leading scholars and historians, but is designed to reach out to the general public. It will help train teachers and can host conferences and seminars for corporate boards to learn about Washington's leadership skills.

The estate also wants to create a Mount Vernon Press that will publish new research on Washington.

Rees said he wants to engage the public in new ways. As an example, he suggested developing a George Washington video game, highlighting Washington as an 18th-century action hero.

"Mount Vernon has to reach beyond these gates," Rees said. "We have to get involved with what's called pop culture."

Several years ago, concerned that the public viewed Washington as a stodgy, irrelevant figure, the estate built a new museum and orientation center that highlighted Washington's vigorous youth and his military exploits, using interactive exhibits and even a 4-D theater. The new exhibits spurred a 20 percent increase in attendance that has not abated.

The $38 million donation, the largest in the estate's history, comes from the Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a longtime supporter of Mount Vernon.

Fred W. Smith, the foundation's chairman, said his organization does not typically get involved in historical preservation efforts, but he was spurred to action in 2001 after learning that the Smithsonian Institution might lose possession of a famed Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington. He learned from Rees that history textbooks in recent years have devoted less and less attention to Washington. Since then, he has been a staunch supporter of Mount Vernon.

"When I was in school, every schoolhouse had a picture of George Washington," Smith said.

The estate also announced a partnership Friday with the University of Virginia, in which the new library will serve as the home for The Papers of George Washington, a 90-volume edition being compiled by the university consisting of copies all the known letters and documents written and received by Washington.

Mount Vernon plans to break ground on the library only after it raises $20 million in matching funds.


TOPICS: US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: georgewashington; godsgravesglyphs; library; mountvernon; presidents
http://www.mountvernon.org/
1 posted on 02/20/2010 7:57:17 PM PST by HokieMom
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To: Pharmboy

Ping!


2 posted on 02/20/2010 7:58:03 PM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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Visit Mount Vernon

3 posted on 02/20/2010 8:00:03 PM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom

Fred W Smith = Fed Ex


4 posted on 02/20/2010 8:11:55 PM PST by Coldwater Creek ("We must have pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of pie." David Mamet)
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To: Coldwater Creek

Ah, thanks. I couldn’t remember why that name sounded familiar. I was wondering if the Reynolds donor was of the family who donated a similar amount to the Smithsonian then reclaimed their gift when the lefty columnist in the WP, Richard Cohen, ranted for weeks on end that an exhibit at the Smithsonian as a tribute to the “American Spirit” was outrageous.


5 posted on 02/20/2010 8:25:17 PM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom

Great news. We visited Mount Vernon when our younger son was 6. He learned about President Washington and really wanted to visit Mount Vernon. Until that visit, I hadn’t realized that it was maintained by a private organization. It’s a site well worth visiting.


6 posted on 02/20/2010 8:31:11 PM PST by Think free or die
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To: HokieMom

Probably could have done the job for a couple grand if they’d got right on it back in the day...


7 posted on 02/20/2010 8:34:13 PM PST by bigbob
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To: HokieMom

Hm...not sure I like this idea. The original grounds should be left as is. Build it somewhere else.


8 posted on 02/20/2010 8:35:45 PM PST by DennisR (Look around - God gives countless, indisputable clues that He does, indeed, exist.)
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To: All

Martha Washington, for instance, burned nearly all of her personal letters from her husband shortly before she died.
____________________________________________________________

Though I would dearly love to read them, Martha was a smart woman.


9 posted on 02/20/2010 8:45:55 PM PST by Irenic
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To: HokieMom

Beautiful home. Visited there many times while stationed in D.C. in the 60s.

So sad that so much of Washington’s papers and other items may be lost forever due to the delay while klintoon’s things are... never mind.


10 posted on 02/20/2010 8:57:33 PM PST by Dick Bachert (THE 2010 ELECTIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN OUR LIFETIMES! BE THERE!!!)
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To: HokieMom
This is wonderful - I smile thinking how this must infuriate the libs - and nothing they can do about it. It's private money.

no child in America should grow up without knowing the entire history of this remarkable man...and how, but for him and his indomitable spirit, faith and fortitude, we very likely would never have known the freedoms we have...

People should contemplate on the many instances when all seemed irretrievably lost and when most men would have folded in the face of what seemed insurmountable odds.

He's a great example for all ages - none more so than today.
We need to remember who we are. We need to turn the tide on our present day “enemies within.”

Hopefully, this will be such a a success that others will follow -

11 posted on 02/20/2010 9:23:59 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help" Lincoln)
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To: DennisR

According to the Mount Vernon website:

“Construction of the 45,000 square foot facility, which will be named the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, is expected to begin in early 2011, with a completion date in 2012. The facility will be tucked into the woods across from Mount Vernon’s conservation complex and within walking distance of the Mansion itself.”


12 posted on 02/20/2010 9:52:37 PM PST by re_tail20
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To: HokieMom
The new exhibits spurred a 20 percent increase in attendance that has not abated.

Are these really conservators or are they just building Mt. Vernonland?

13 posted on 02/20/2010 10:12:20 PM PST by Between the Lines (AreYouWhoYouSayYouAre? Esse Quam Videri - To Be, Rather Than To Seem)
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To: HokieMom

On a similar note, the Rutherford B. Hayes home (Spiegel Grove) and library in Fremont, Ohio is privately funded. They are an agressive group. A great visit for people in the Ohio area.


14 posted on 02/20/2010 10:43:41 PM PST by healy61
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To: HokieMom
...............Mount Vernon has long prided itself on eschewing all forms of government funding...................

I treated my total family's visit Mt. Vernon in 2008. I had not realized that the grounds had never received government funds - the building was maintained impeccably!

To me it sounds wonderful to include an outbuilding for his memorabilia, maybe as part of the sprawling visitors center.

15 posted on 02/20/2010 10:53:17 PM PST by Noob1999 (LOOSE LIPS, SINK SHIPS)
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To: HokieMom

Why do we need a ‘presidential library’ for every president?
Why not have just one huge library that honors all presidents.


16 posted on 02/20/2010 11:03:15 PM PST by tflabo (Restore the Republic)
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To: Between the Lines

I’m going to guess you’ve never visited Mt. Vernon. The people who work there consider it sacred ground. Most are volunteers, with some paid staff.

The estate was forsaken and gone to seed before a group of women in the area bought it and began the slow process of restoration that’s gone on now for over 100 years. To fund its operation, there’s an admission charge, and there is a gift shop at the entrance, but it is no “Mt. Vernonland.”


17 posted on 02/20/2010 11:12:09 PM PST by EDINVA (Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: Pharmboy

Ping.

Great news!


18 posted on 02/20/2010 11:12:41 PM PST by EDINVA (Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: HokieMom; Coldwater Creek; Freedom'sWorthIt; STARWISE; maggief; hoosiermama; SE Mom; Liz

I am delighted!

Yes, Fred Smith of FedEx! God Bless him!
Thank you, Coldwater Creek!


19 posted on 02/20/2010 11:21:25 PM PST by onyx (BE A MONTHLY DONOR - I AM)
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To: onyx

Wonderful news!

(also please check out my recent posts -we have much prayer needed tonight - glad you are awake....LOL)


20 posted on 02/21/2010 12:00:40 AM PST by Freedom'sWorthIt (Ronald Reagan: If American ever ceases to be a nation under God, she will be a nation gone under.")
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To: maine-iac7
People should contemplate on the many instances when all seemed irretrievably lost and when most men would have folded in the face of what seemed insurmountable odds.

I truly believe that what George Washington was for his time in history (and for all time), Sarah Palin will be for our time, and that history will credit both for their vision, loyalty, stamina, and leadership.

21 posted on 02/21/2010 2:00:37 AM PST by b9 (Hi Mom!)
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To: b9
I truly believe that what George Washington was for his time in history (and for all time), Sarah Palin will be for our time,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Minnie Pearl aint fit to be mentioned in the same breath. As an admirer of the man, I don't know whether to be insulted or amused by your comment.

22 posted on 02/21/2010 2:14:27 AM PST by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Clemenza

They represent the birth, and rebirth, of our nation.
The Fatherhood and Motherhood, symbolically.


23 posted on 02/21/2010 2:16:41 AM PST by b9 (Hi Mom!)
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To: Think free or die

I haven’t been since they finished the new Visitor’s Center. I need to go back. The annual February festivities were snowed out this year.


24 posted on 02/21/2010 4:34:23 AM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: EDINVA

It’s an absolutely wonderful place. The employees are extremely dedicated and the place is in picture perfect condition with wonderful views of the Potomac.

Here’s a link to the history of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union:

http://www.mountvernon.org/visit/plan/index.cfm/pid/809/

With the purchase of Mount Vernon behind them, Cunningham and the Vice Regents of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association began the challenging task of restoration. Fortunately, Ann Pamela Cunningham possessed the sensibilities of a true preservationist. She immediately dismissed all proposals to tear down Washington’s outbuildings or to transform the landscape. The words of her farewell address to her fellow board members would establish a concise and eloquent mission statement that would serve as a guide for future historic preservation sites and which continues to be followed at Mount Vernon today:

“Ladies, the Home of Washington is in your charge. See to it that you keep it the Home of Washington! Let no irreverent hand change it; no vandal hands desecrate it with the fingers of – progress! Those who go to the Home in which he lived and died, wish to see in what he lived and died! Let one spot in this grand country of ours be saved from “change!” Upon you rests this duty.”


25 posted on 02/21/2010 7:22:19 AM PST by khnyny (Our government is becoming "The Committee of Public Safety")
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To: wagglebee; EDINVA; indcons; Chani; thefactor; blam; aculeus; ELS; Doctor Raoul; mainepatsfan; ...
Thanks for posting HokieMom, and for the pings wagglebee and EDINVA


The Washington Family Coat of Arms (the Capitol District's license plate design comes from)

This is a terrific development for Mount Vernon...The Mount Vernon Ladies Association has done a magnificent job since they took over the estate 150 or so years ago.

The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list...

And for those of you in the DC area, a Christmas morning visit to Mount Vernon is something I would highly recommend. They do some special things that day...we did it several years ago and it was our family and a family from Georgia and that was it until around 9:30 (we got there at 9).

26 posted on 02/21/2010 9:01:42 AM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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To: HokieMom

Tomorrow is Washington’s (real) Birthday (none of that ‘Presidents Day’ nonsense. When I was a kid we celebrated both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays, and each was quite special.

Rather pathetically, I was recently having an online chat with my nephew’s 12 year old daughter, and mentioned we live near Mt. Vernon. She’s in upstate NY. She had absolutely NO CLUE what I was talking about! So I am inviting her down for a visit and will get her educated.


27 posted on 02/21/2010 9:29:38 AM PST by EDINVA (Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: Pharmboy

Trivia: young George carved his initials in rock (which are still visible) while visiting here:

http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/


28 posted on 02/21/2010 9:34:16 AM PST by aculeus
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To: HokieMom; Pharmboy
As an example, he suggested developing a George Washington video game, highlighting Washington as an 18th-century action hero.

Let's hope they forget this idea.

29 posted on 02/21/2010 9:36:41 AM PST by aculeus
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To: aculeus
[Johnny Carson voice] "I did not know that!"

Thanks for this...I will visit someday.

30 posted on 02/21/2010 9:59:12 AM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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To: b9

Good Grief. Our nation does not need a mother.


31 posted on 02/21/2010 11:15:26 AM PST by huldah1776
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To: aculeus

Personally, I would love to see more documentaries or movies. There are so many books! Also, to speak to the younger generation, a General or President, are more foreign than space aliens, and may need a little graphic entertainment.. Come to think of it, not going to happen since we fought the Native Americans first. :)


32 posted on 02/21/2010 11:24:04 AM PST by huldah1776
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To: huldah1776
Good Grief. Our nation does not need a mother.

Respectfully, I disagree.
Palin is a perfect Mother-symbol for the rebirth of our nation, just as George Washington is the symbolic Father of our Country.

33 posted on 02/21/2010 11:45:54 AM PST by b9 (Hi Mom!)
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To: HokieMom

This is awesome news.


34 posted on 02/21/2010 12:25:25 PM PST by Captain Jack Aubrey (There's not a moment to lose.)
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To: Captain Jack Aubrey

It’s an exciting project.


35 posted on 02/21/2010 5:01:02 PM PST by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: HokieMom

This is good news, HokieMom, thank you.


36 posted on 02/22/2010 12:26:42 PM PST by La Enchiladita (wise gringa)
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To: EDINVA
a group of women in the area bought it and began the slow process of restoration

God bless them!!

37 posted on 02/22/2010 12:29:11 PM PST by La Enchiladita (wise gringa)
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To: HokieMom; Red Steel; El Gato; LucyT; BP2; STARWISE; pissant; Fred Nerks; hoosiermama; ...
Geo. Washington Presidential Library: $38 million gift to build library at Mount Vernon

A ping, on Washington's birthday!

38 posted on 02/22/2010 12:51:31 PM PST by rxsid (HOW CAN A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN'S STATUS BE "GOVERNED" BY GREAT BRITAIN? - Leo Donofrio (2009))
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To: Pharmboy
In case you can't make the trip:

When I visited the tour guide said he was nineteen years old when he did the carving.

39 posted on 02/22/2010 1:40:32 PM PST by aculeus
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To: aculeus

Excellent! Thank you...


40 posted on 02/22/2010 1:49:47 PM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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To: Pharmboy

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Pharmboy.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · LiveScience · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


41 posted on 02/22/2010 8:23:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
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