Whether or not you are an admirer of the late President Ronald Reagan, there is something for everyone at the impressive Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, just a one-hour drive from the Eagle Inn. There are both permanent and temporary exhibits as well as extensive outdoor areas. Here are 7 fun facts about Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
#1 Berlin Wall
There is an actual piece of the Berlin Wall on the west side of the property. In 1989, Reagan famously called upon Soviet Union General Secretary Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” The Berlin Wall had been erected in 1961 by the East German Communist government to seal off access to the West.
This exhibit holds the actual Air Force One airplane that carried seven United State Presidents from 1973 – 2001. Visitors may tour the interior of the plane, also known as the “Flying White House.” Also on exhibit is Marine One helicopter used by President Johnson, and a Presidential Motorcade featuring the limousine used by President Reagan in 1984.
Although the basic shape and architecture of the Oval Office in the White House has changed little since the 1930’s, each President makes changes to make it his own. At the Reagan Library, there is a full scale replica of the Oval Office as it was during President Reagan’s time in office. Do you remember that President Reagan always kept a jar of jelly beans on his desk (licorice was his favorite)?
Reagan’s ancestors on both sides were from Ireland, and, during his presidency, he was able to visit the town of Ballyporeen, where his great-grandfather was born. During the visit, he stopped at O’Farrell’s Pub, where he had a drink and a chat with some of the locals. He often reminisced about returning there and visiting the owners again. When the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Foundation went to Ireland, he made a point of going to visit the pub. He found it boarded up and for sale. He purchased it, and moved it, piece by piece to California, where it was re-assembled.
On March 30, 1981, President Reagan, along with his Press Secretary, Secret Service Agent, and a policeman were shot by John Hinckley as he was exiting the Hilton Hotel in Washington DC. The President was shot in the left lung, with the bullet just missing his heart. He was able to walk into the hospital under his own power, and was released after 12 days in the hospital. The exhibit has film from the attempt, letters from the hospital and other memorabilia.
In October 2018, Ronald Reagan returned to life at the Presidential Library in the form of a hologram. Together with experts from Hollywood, this effect was the first of its kind for a former President. There are three scenarios that rotate in the theater:
- The Whistlestop Train Tour
- The Tack Room at the Rancho de Cielo
- The Oval Office
Although an actor stood in for the President, all of the audio was created from actual speeches and recordings.
On the Western portion of the property is a replica of the White House South Lawn with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. There is a granite memorial where both the President and the First Lady have been laid to rest. The inscription reads: “I know in my heart that man is good, and what is right will eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
There are many other exhibits and things to see at the Presidential Library, enough to certainly fill an entire day. During your stay at Eagle Inn, plan a day for this fascinating museum.