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George Washington Presidential Library Opens at Mount Vernon

Image: George Washington Presidential Library Opens at Mount Vernon

Friday, 27 Sep 2013 06:33 PM

By Robin Farmer


The $106 million state-of-the-art George Washington presidential library opened Friday at the homestead of the nation’s first president in Mount Vernon, Va.

Hundreds of dignitaries, officials, and VIPs were on hand to witness the unveiling of the three-level limestone and wood library, which sits on 65 acres.

The library features 18,000 published works about Washington and a digital library containing more than 250,000 items, as well as personal books, MSNBC reported. It also features a rare-book room that includes letters both Washington and his wife, Martha, wrote and received.

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Designed to be the global hub for all things Washingtonian, the 45,000-square-foot Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington is poised to attract scholars, the Washington Post reported.

“I wouldn’t say we, as an institution, would be thought of as a place of serious scholarship around the founding era and Washington,” Curt Viebranz, Mount Vernon’s president, said at the library this week. “I think now, if we do this correctly, we will be.”

Washington always wanted a structure to house his military, civic and private papers, the newspaper reported.

Now, more than 200 years later,“we are building his dream,” Ann H. Bookout, head of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which owns and operates Mount Vernon, told USA Today.

Viebranz told USA Today that "No president in American history deserves the honor of an official library more than our first chief executive – nor is there a better story to tell. This library will share Washington's leadership lessons for generations to come."

The library’s opening was generally praised by online readers.

“We would have been drinking tea and eating crumpets if it were not for George. Kids today have no perspective,” wrote one commenter. “The Revolutionaries were remarkable. Victory or death!!!”

Wrote another: “It's time to recognize those who built the foundation for the United States and stop thinking about ourselves. If we focus on the greatness of our Nation, it may lead us back to greatness. Our children don't even know what Washington stood for, we owe him much more than we have given him--and his fellow Revolutionaries--in recent years.”

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