Why presidential libraries are controversialBreaking News
tags: presidential libraries, Obama, presidential history
THE BUILDING of Barack Obama’s presidential library in Chicago ought to be uncontroversial. Unlike many other such libraries, it will not be maintained by American taxpayers. The Obama Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by the 44th president, will foot the bill for maintaining the building, overseeing its exhibits and running its events. But not all Chicagoans are thrilled by what the foundation has called a new “economic engine for the city”. A local pressure group, Protect Our Parks, has taken city authorities to court for its decision to grant 20 acres of land in Jackson Park, on Chicago’s south side, on a 99-year lease costing just $10. Indignant at this relinquishing of public space, the group calls the act an “illegal land grab”. If legal matters can be sorted out, the complex will open in 2021. It will not be a presidential library in the traditional sense of housing Mr Obama’s records. Instead, the foundation has formed a partnership with the National Archives and Records Association (NARA), a government agency, which will digitise them. The building will be part museum, part community centre.
The libraries use exhibitions and events to chart the lives of their respective presidents. Some contain recreations of the Oval Office. They also hold archives of documents from the presidents and their staffers and, in the cases of Lyndon B. Johnson and Nixon, recordings of conversations they had in office.
comments powered by Disqus
- 5 Ways to Rebuild Labor and Transform America
- Trump's Praise for China over Tiananmen Square Years ago was a Preview of his Support for Military Crackdowns on the George Floyd Protests
- For the First Time in 30 Years, Hong Kong Will Not Hold a Mass Vigil Commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre
- America's New Nihilism
- National Museum of African American History and Culture Releases “Talking About Race” Web Portal
- Why Teachers, Not Reformers, Should “Reimagine Education”
- COVID, Race, and a Pivotal Moment for America
- The Memo: Trump Lags in Polls as Crises Press
- Explaining the Insurrection Act of 1807 and Looking Back on Nixon’s Law & Order Campaign (Podcast)
- Trump Declared Himself the 'President of Law and Order.' Here's What People Get Wrong About the Origins of That Idea