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Reagan Library: They Don't Stop Democrats at the Door

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My folks are Republicans. I am not. On a recent visit from the East Coast, they wanted to go to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. I kinda didn't. But since they were only in town for a few days -- to see me and I wanted to spend time with them -- I put our political differences aside and drove them out to Simi Valley (via the 118 -- the Ronald Regan Freeway).

I had a better time than I expected. Seeing a president's propaganda history preserved was pretty cool. (They really gloss over Iran-Contra and his House Un-American Activities Committee participation.) But the grounds were cool, and the library houses a retired Air Force One and Marine One in a hangar. Visitors get to go inside Air Force One, which was the highlight of the day.

If you're interested in visiting, head to:
40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley
800-410-8354

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Regular admission is $12 and it's open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day of the week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Along the way, I captured a few other photos for your enjoyment:

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Old timey kitchen that replicates Reagan's childhood home in Illinois. Note no microwave.

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Before Ronnie was governor of California and president of the United States, he was an "actor." Can you imagine TV today in black-and-white and no high-def?

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Ronald was a die hard military man -- on the screen and off. He enlisted as a private in the Army Reserve in 1935, served in World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945 with the rank of captain.

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The poster boy for the Republican party was once a Democrat.

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A new era begins.

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Political propaganda.

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Air Force One was pretty cool. Visitors get to walk through the plane, with careful supervision.

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Who took a limo like this to their prom?

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How many of you were subjected to Nancy and Ronnie's "Just Say No" campaign. Did it work? Ok, say it with me now: Just say no! Just say no!

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A lot of the furniture was from the original Oval Office.

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"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987

Photos by Christine N. Ziemba