United States Stories and Tips

Passport to the Presidential Libraries "The Presidents Are Expecting You"

Richard M. Nixon Photo, Yorba Linda, California

Of the 43 former American Presidents, 13 have established Presidential Libraries as a repository and archival means of preserving the work of the great men who have served our country as the President of the United States (aka: POTUS).

The need was first recognized by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his second term as the US President. Raising private funds to retain and preserve the papers of his time as president, he built a facility in Hyde Park, NY and then turned it and all of his work to the US Government for management through the National Archives.

In 1955 the US Congress institutionalized this policy through the Presidential Libraries Act. Today through archives, museums and special programs, the Presidential Libraries continue to preserve the documents and artifacts of our Presidents while teaching us about our nation's history.

The Passport Program is a way to get folks involved and interested in visiting each of the 13 Presidential Libraries & Museums, dating back to Herbert Hoover, our 31st US President (1929 - 1933). Modeled after the passport booklet used by the US National Park Service to promote their 400+ locations, the Presidential Libraries & Museum Passport Book allows visitors to obtain "stamps" from each location that they visit. I just learned recently that once you have collected stamps from all of the Presidential Libraries, you can show your booklet to any of their museum gift shops for a special gift. I was told it is a "handsome paperweight with the presidential seal."

I must admit, when I first learned of the passport program earlier this year, I was excited about obtaining stamps as my travels might take me around America. I had no idea that in just six short months, I would have visited not only the two in California (Nixon & Reagan) but also Hoover (Iowa) and George W Bush (TX); with plans to tour LBJ's later in the year.

I was also successful in obtaining the "stamps" for two that I had previously visited before obtaining my passport - Clinton (Arkansas in 2005) and Kennedy (Massachusetts in 2006). So far, I'm about halfway there, with just the following left to go: George Bush (#41) in Texas; Eisenhower in Kansas; Truman in Missouri, Ford in Michigan; Roosevelt in New York and Carter in Georgia. It may take me a few years, but I'm confident I will collect all 13 before the Obama Library & Museum is built.

Visitors may purchase a Passport to Presidential Libraries at the gift shop or admission desk located at any of the 13 Presidential Libraries & Museums noted above.

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