Since Franklin Roosevelt, every modern U.S. president has opened his own presidential library.
On Friday, President George Washington, the nation’s first, finally will get his turn, as a state-of-the-art presidential library is christened in his honor.
Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon steps into a bold new era with the formal opening of The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
Some 800 dignitaries, officials, and VIPs will be on hand to witness the unveiling of a library purpose-built to preserve the original books and papers from Gen. Washington’s personal collection.
Noted historian and best-selling author David McCullough will be the keynote speaker.
The 45,000-square-foot library includes a residence for visiting scholars. The collection includes approximately 450 handwritten letters and manuscripts, including Washington’s personal diary. They will be housed in a secure area dubbed "The Vault."
We can have a lot of fun arguing about which presidents belong in, say, the top five. But is there any doubt who should be No. 1? The future of this nation depended on Washington getting the presidency right, and he did, absolutely.