Presidents Day gives us pause to consider American history, democracy, and government. Getting in touch with a sense of patriotism means more than celebrations. Two presidential museums, art collections, a family day with George Washington, and conversations with a former L.A. mayor give Southlanders pleasant opportunities to center in on the American Dream.
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Price: $20 / Adults on weekdays; $23 / Adults on weekends;
discounts for seniors, students and youth
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Since 1919, The Huntington Library and its art collections have brought American history to countless people young and old. As a research, cultural and educational center, The Huntington boasts several works of art depicting the first president. The Virginia Steele Scott Gallery of American Art has a collection of American art from the 1690s through the 1950s. Through other galleries, visitors will see the historic development of American art, furniture and folk literature — it’s a true American experience.
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Skirball Cultural Center
February’s Last Weekend – A Celebration of President’s Day
2701 N Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Price: $10 adults/$7 seniors & students/$5 Children 2-12
Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To celebrate Presidents Day, the Skirball will dedicate its series, Last Weekends, to a family presidential art project. Held at the Family Art Studio, President George Washington shares stories from his presidency and youth. This is the first in a new event series that combines live performances and hands-on activities for families. This is a great chance for families to share and take part in history.
Leading From The West: A Conversation With Richard J. Riordan
USC – Bedrosian Center on Governance
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 201E
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Free with registration at www.usc.edu/esvp (code: riordan)
Feb. 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
www.usc.edu/esvp (enter code: RIORDAN)
The University of Southern California’s Bedrosian Center on Governance presents the first in a series of conversations with major political leaders. Presidents Day is all about democracy and self-governance, and this is an opportunity for Southlanders to hear from one of their proven leaders of recent history. From the time of the first president, government has become increasingly complex. Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan shares with the audience his perspectives on effective democratic government.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library And Museum
40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Price: $21 adults/$18 seniors 62 and older/$15 youth 11 to 17 years/$6 children
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum provides an opportunity to learn and appreciate one of the Southland’s most famous personalities. The late actor-turned-politician comes alive in an austere and spacious environment that includes gardens, presidential aircraft and memorabilia on display. Tours are self-directed and many will enjoy an atmosphere dedicated to a president that continues to impact the nation.
Richard Nixon Presidential Library And Birthplace
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Price: $11.95 adults/$8.50 seniors 62 and older/$6.95 students and military/$4.75 children
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Considered infamous by many, Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States. His legacy has mixed reviews, but the Southland native has his place in history. Located at his birthplace in Yorba Linda, this library will leave visitors with a new appreciation of his contributions to the nation and his unique drive as a politician.
Robert Cuthbert is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. His work can be found on Examiner.com.