Explore American History at These Presidential Libraries and Museums

Feb 22, 2023

Each year on the third Monday in February, Americans throughout the country celebrate Presidents’ Day, a holiday meant to recognize and honor all of those who have served as presidents of the United States. The now federal holiday was first established in 1885 specifically to honor George Washington, but today is widely observed as an opportunity to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.

In honor of Presidents’ Day, take a look at some of the many presidential museums and libraries across the country which can offer groups an inside look at this history of the country and those who have led it along the way.

Through artifacts, letters, mementos and personal items, visiting groups can be fully immersed in a particular moment in time and explore how the country’s leader at the time moved through the political realm.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

At the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, groups could immerse themselves in a variety of rotating exhibits, including Exploring Watergate, which explores the events of Watergate using a range of artifacts, including courtroom sketches and one of President Nixon’s tape recorders.

Groups could also explore the museum’s permanent exhibit which shares highlights from President and Mrs. Ford’s lives and teaches democratic citizenship, along with allowing time and space for quiet reflection. Located in Ann Arbor about an hour and half away, groups could also visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, where they’ll find 25 million pages of memos, letters, meeting notes, reports and other historical documents, along with 500,000 audiovisual items.

Boston, Massachusetts

Located on a 10-acre park, overlooking the sea and the city that launched him to greatness, is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which honors the 35th U.S. president. During their visit, groups could learn about JFK’s life and legacy through permanent exhibits on his campaign, inauguration, involvement in the U.S. Space Program (including a moon rock from Apollo 15), artifacts from his desk in the Oval Office and more.

The museum also shares an exhibit on Jacqueline Kennedy’s early life, in addition to her many achievements as First Lady.

Hyde Park, New York

At the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, groups could take a look inside FDR’s life and his many personal artifacts. The 32nd U.S. president is on record saying he believed the public should have access to the workings of the government, even at an executive level. The permanent exhibit on his life begins in the depths of the Great Depression and continues through the New Deal and World War II.

Groups could enjoy immersive audio‐visual theaters, rarely seen artifacts, touch screens and much more—even a recreation of FDR’s secret White House Map Room. Don’t forget to stop by the nearby Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, which is the final resting place of the president and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Learn more by visiting the National Archives and Records Administration.

Courtesy of Groups Today. 

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids.