One of the great things about RVing is the flexibility you have to see things you might not normally make time for (like I mentioned last time). Why, just a few weeks ago, while heading home from Iowa City, we spied a big brown sign announcing the birthplace and presidential library of Herbert Hoover, which was just up the way.
We were in no huge hurry, so we decided to stop by West Branch, Iowa, and check out the boyhood home of this little known president. What we found was what we find in all the presidential museums — inspiration.
It’s hard to not be inspired by an average guy who became President of the United States…and we’ve been to plenty of presidentialmuseums. There’s a list of presidential museums and libraries online you should check out. Hoover’s was first with each modern-day president adding to the list.
Because we RV, we’ve had the freedom to visit the presidential museums of Hoover, Eisenhower, Truman, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, and Bush Sr. and Jr. Each one is different and…inspiring.
At Ronald Reagan’s, I walked away thinking, “This man loved his wife and his country.” At Jimmy Carter’s, I learned about a man who served others and then found himself in the Whitehouse. George Bush Sr. loved his family and George Bush Jr. focused on others.
At each site, you get to see artifacts from significant events in history. You don’t just read about them…you see them up close! Talk about a homeschool lesson.
Hoover’s library isn’t as fancy as some of the others, but it’s situated right near the tiny house he grew up in and the church he attended as a boy. Several presidents‘ museums are near their childhood homes. You get to see the actual beds they slept in and the landscape that helped form them.
Abe Lincoln’s (although not on the list) might be the single most inspiring place we’ve ever been. The museum could have been designed by the people at Disney. It’s simply amazing.
We still have others to see, like Woodrow Wilson’s and Gerald Ford’s, which is just a couple of hours from where we live. But we won’t see them…and my kids will miss out…if I don’t make it happen.
Until next time…swing wide and keep your eye on your tail.