Presidential Libraries Offer Some Perspective Amid The Campaign Noise

Oct 20, 2016

As the nation prepares to pick its next president, we thought we’d take a moment and get some perspective on the people who’ve already held the job.

Knkx travel expert Matthew Brumley says he loves visiting presidential libraries and museums. There are 13 official presidential libraries, and a host of museums dedicated to past presidents.


Some of Brumley's highlights include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., which has the cane Lincoln was using the night he was assassinated. (The chair he was in is at The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Mich.) 

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, in Boston, includes not only memorabila from the turbulent time Kennedy was in office, but also a collection of Hemingway's writings, space race exhibits, and items owned, and written by, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, in Little Rock, Ark., is an architectural jewel, and also includes replica rooms from the White House that would be fun for kids (and adults) to explore.

And at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, in Simi Valley, Calif., you can see the plane Reagan used as Air Force One, among other exhibits.

There are many historical sites connected to each president. Below we've tried to link to the principal library, museum or site for each:

George Washington 

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison 

James Monroe 

John Quincy Adams

Andrew Jackson

Martin Van Buren

William Henry Harrison 

John Tyler

James Knox Polk 

Zachary Taylor

Millard Fillmore

Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan 

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson 

Ulysses S. Grant

Rutherford B. Hayes

James A. Garfield

Chester A. Arthur

Grover Cleveland

Benjamin Harrison

William McKinley

Theodore Roosevelt

William Howard Taft

Woodrow Wilson

Warren G. Harding

Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Harry S. Truman

Dwight D. Eisenhower

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Richard Nixon

Gerald R. Ford

Jimmy Carter 

Ronald Reagan

George Herbert Walker Bush

William J. Clinton

George W. Bush

Barack Obama - Site chosen, not yet built.

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"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel topics. Matthew Brumley is the co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions, which provides small group travel to clients including knkx. Special thanks to Kayla Roberts, for research help with this week's episode.