Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Presidential Libraries

The US capital moved to Washington DC from Philadelphia in 1800. When it did Congress earmarked $5,000.00 for the purchase of books that would become the Library of Congress. During the War of 1812, the capital building was burned to the ground by the British. In September 1814 Thomas Jefferson donated his personal library to the Library of Congress so that it could start over. Three wagons carried the over 6400 books fromMonticello in Virginia to the building in Washington DC.

Today, some of Jefferson's books are still used. On January 4th this year, when Congress swore in its first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Jefferson's Koran was used.

Franklin Roosevelt was the first President to create a presidential library. He was president for so long, he accumulated a lot of books and documents that he thought should be preserved. So he donated them to a library in Hyde Park, NY upon his death. Since then, it has been expectation for a president to have a Presidential Library.

One has to wonder what W. Bush is going to be donating to his library. Can you have a library with only a kids section featuring My Pet Goat?

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