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pagesofhistory Long Overdue


Many U.S. presidents of the 20th century have been honored with libraries, and now the country’s first president has one, too, at the Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.


T


hirteen presidents of the 20th century, starting with President Herbert Hoover, have been hon-


ored with presidential libraries — mu- seums and archives that house papers, books, and other historic artifacts from their respective tenures in the White House. Now the nation’s first president has one, too. On Sept. 27, 2013, the Fred W. Smith


National Library for the Study of George Washington* opened in Mount Vernon, Va., at Washington’s historic estate. The 45,000-square-foot facility, which houses numerous books and manuscripts the revered military leader and states- man owned, will encourage “scholarly research and educational outreach, and ... host leadership training programs in- spired by the first president’s sterling ex- ample,” according to a statement library officials released. “After serving as commander-in-chief of our victorious army, presiding officer of the constitutional convention, and [as] our very first president of the United States, Washington returned to Mount Vernon in 1797,” said Ann Bookout, regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. “In that year, he wrote to his friend James McHenry, ‘I have not houses to build, except one, which I must erect for the ac- commodation and security of my military, civil, and private papers, which are volu- minous, and may be interesting.’ Today, the general’s dream has come true.”


The Fred W. Smith National Library for


the Study of George Washington is open to visitors by appointment.


A


Museum Inherits Memorabilia private collection of nearly 240 tanks and other military vehicles, valued at $30 million, was donated


in July 2013 to The Collings Founda- tion in Stow, Mass. The collec-


tion belonged to Jacques Littlefield, a former Hewlett- Packard employee who left the com- pany in the 1970s to pursue his hobby. He died in 2009. The collection


holds tanks and other military equipment from France, Germany, Russia, the U.S., and other nations, says Hunter Chaney, The Collings Foundation marketing director, in- cluding a Scud missile and launcher. The foundation plans to sell part of the collection to raise funds for the construc- tion of a special museum that will highlight tanks and other equipment from World War I to the Gulf War. The Collings Foundation hopes to open that facility in 2015.


MO


— Don Vaughan, a North Carolina-based free- lance writer, authors this monthly column.


*online: Learn about the library dedicated to President George Washington at www.mountvernon.org/library. PHOTO: GEORGE WASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON


MARCH 2014 MILITARY OFFICER 101


The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington displays books once owned by the president.


History Lesson On March 9, 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was commissioned as a lieu- tenant general and be- came commander of the Union armies.


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