Today’s entry - Will President Trump’s decision to relocate to Florida mean we get the Presidential Library as well?
Bottom Line: That’s to be determined, but you might be able to influence the outcome. It’s kind of odd that Florida, the third most populous state, still hasn’t produced a president. Donald Trump is the closest we’ve come and there’s probably a 50-50 chance we’ll get the library.
The purpose of Presidential libraries is for public access/disclosure to a President’s papers and important work while president. FDR was the first president to set up what became a library for this purpose upon leaving office. It became associated with a president’s home because FDR donated part of his estate to build a library that’d be home to the documents he’d turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration. Truman did something similar and the Presidential Libraries Act was passed in 1955, which formalized the process. The Act provided an opportunity for all presidents to have a library that would be a public-private partnership. The law called for private donors to raise the funds to build the libraries which would then be managed by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Two additional laws were passed that play into the process. In 1978 the Presidential Records Act was passed stating any political, legal and ceremonial presidential documents are owned by the National Archives and in 1986 the Presidential Libraries Act created a standardized process for the use of private endowments for the libraries. Nowhere in any of the laws does it mandate for where the libraries have to go. In fact, the Obama Presidential Library, which is currently under construction, is being built in Chicago. Barack is from Hawaii and the Obamas currently live in Washington D.C. but he and his donors decided to build the library where he’s lived the longest.
When the time comes for the Trump Presidential Library, it’ll come down to New York or Florida. Given the unceremonious dispatch, New York has given him, perhaps he’ll be more inclined to build it here. Who knows, perhaps even on the grounds of Mar-A-Lago, just a thought. However, he’s from New York, his family is from New York, his company was founded in New York and he’s certainly lived most of his life there. Perhaps a strong lobbying effort from a more receptive South Florida contingent would do the trick. Time will tell.
Submit your questions by one of these methods.
Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1
photo by: Getty Images