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Press Release
August 15, 2011

Reagan Centennial Display Explores Life in the Reagan White House and Washington, DC

Washington, DC…The National Archives is hosting the third installment of a year-long display to commemorate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan. Replacing the earlier exhibition, “Ronald Reagan and the West,” is a new temporary display that explores the breadth of official activities in a single week (October 1-7, 1988) in the Reagan White House.  Included on the display are a number of items relating to Washington, DC, the city that President Reagan made his home for eight years.

The special exhibit - a large display case inside the Public Vaults exhibit - can be viewed at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, located on Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The exhibition is free and open to the public through October 5, 2011.

Exhibit:  A Week in the White House

Ronald Reagan maintained a busy schedule serving as President, including policy meetings, individual one-on-one meetings with Cabinet members, international travel, and hosting head-of-state visits.  The scope of official life in the White House can be seen through the calendar of one week in the Reagan White House, which ranged from working with individuals to negotiating with other nations.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • A Washington Redskins “Just Say No” football jersey and photograph of its presentation by Quarterback Doug Williams to First Lady Nancy at RFK Stadium.

  • A program from Georgetown University, where the President received an honorary degree.

  • A photograph of President Ronald Reagan and Chairman Miles Lerman laying the cornerstone of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  • White House calendars of the weekly and monthly schedule of President Reagan.

  • Photographs and Chi Wara male and female antelope sculptural “mask” figures from President Moussa Traore and the Bambara people of the Republic of Mali in Africa.

  • The “Kennedy Eagle,” which had sat in President Kennedy’s office and was given to President Reagan in 1985 by Senator Edward Kennedy.  Reagan especially liked the quotation on it from Kennedy’s Inaugural Address:  “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

Background

The National Archives and its Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum features a small, changing selection of rarely displayed original documents and three-dimensional objects in recognition of the Ronald Reagan Centennial. The special display is part of a year-long feature in the permanent “Public Vaults” exhibition at the National Archives Building.

On June 2, 2009, President Obama signed a bill (H.R. 131) which created the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission, an 11 person panel that is planning and carrying out activities to mark the 100th anniversary of the President's birth. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero is a member of the Commission.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, is marking this centennial with a number of special activities in 2011, including the opening of the Library’s completely renovated permanent exhibition in February.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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