Tuesday, August 2, 2011

RONALD REAGAN'S PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM ( Part 2 ) AIR FORCE ONE, Berlin Wall and Reagan's final resting place

The Air Force One Pavilion contains Air Force One that flew from 1973 – 2001.  It is the most important artifact in this library...According to the reading material on the wall --- " This Air Force One flew Presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George H. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush ".....The Air Force One is a Boeing 707 in a glass walled hangar over looking the valley. This is Air Force One, has been long retired (  in the early 1990's ) and from what I gathered is that the new Air Force One is a Boeing 747.

Before we move on to this part of Reagan's Presidential Library and Museum... Photography is not allowed inside the AIR FORCE ONE. Although The Reagan Library is surprisingly unrestricted to photographers. The only area that is off limits for photography is onboard Air Force One. Otherwise, you are free to draw your camera whenever you please, as long as you know how to turn off the flash. Touching any of the displays inside the plane and/or sitting onboard the aircraft are strictly prohibited. There are some guides inside to make sure NO ONE can take photos aboard the aircraft.

This impressive plane rests on pedestals and there is a walkway that circles the plane which allows you to view it from all angles.

One question that entered my mind ( and I bet it entered your mind too ) was ---- How were they able to transport the whole plane to the Library which was located on top of a hill?? I couldn't imagine how they brought such a huge aircraft up the hill -- I was lucky enough to talk to one of the museum guides and they explained it to me... and let me share it with you. Air Force One was disassembled over 2 months by the Boeing Company into 6 sections : fuselage, tail, stabilizers, engines, main landing gear and its wings. Then it was transported by truck on a specially designed trailer which crossed 4 freeways traveling 104 miles from San Bernardino to Presidential Library in Simi Valley. The roof of the pavilion ( look at the photo above ) with the 2 1/2 walls were constructed after the plane was towed in.... and Boeing reassembled the plane once more.... that took the Boeing crew another 3 months to put it together again and mount it on top of the pedestal... The final task of painting and polishing AIR FORCE ONE took 5 months. AIR FORCE ONE was unveiled on September 25, 2005 and the pavilion was opened to the public a month after, October 2005. Fantastic huh!!

As I joined the long queue at the entrance of Air Force One... there was an official photographer right before you enter the aircraft that was allowed to take souvenir shots ( like this one below ) ....

Yes, you can walk through the plane.... and see what life is like onboard.... As you walk through Air Force One ( you enter through the bulkhead of the plane and exit your way through the tail end of the plane ), you will see the President's office onboard, as well as the cabin occupied by staff members and the members of the press who traveled with the President... I was a bit discouraged when I entered Air Force One... I was expecting to see more---- the aisle was very narrow, the galley where they prepared the meals of the president was just like any ordinary galley that you see when you ride a transatlantic plane -- it had another galley located at the rear end of the plane that prepared the meals for his staff. His sleeping quarter was so tiny,  cramped was more like it... There were no sleeping quarters for his staff ( perhaps I was watching too much movies about the AIR FORCE ONE and expected to see a lot more!! ).....The only part of the plane that really impressed me was the president's office wherein you saw all the gadgets that made the president " accessible  24/7  " even when he was high up on the air.

Here you can also see Reagan’s presidential limousine and secret service suburban right behind ..

At the lower level... you can see the Marine One, the President’s helicopter,

Our next stop .... to see the BERLIN WALL Pavilion .. 

some memorabilia found inside the Berlin Wall Pavilion..

Do not forget to watch the video presentation on the Berlin Wall Pavilion ...

As you exit the pavilion you will see the remnant of the BERLIN WALL ( a 9 1/2 feet concrete slab ) that is located at the lawn outside the Presidential Library.  This segment was part of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin where President Reagan famously declared om 1987,  "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! "... This piece of the Berlin Wall, which fell just two years later, stands here at the Library to commemorate President Reagan's commitment to freedom.

Let us make our way to the final place of President Reagan which is located at the lawn of the LIBRARY. As we pass through the manicured lawn... we can see the lovely view of the valley.

Ronald Reagan's body was sealed inside a tomb at his hilltop presidential library following a week of mourning and remembrance by world leaders and the American people. A headstone of gray granite was set up at the memorial site above the crypt, where an inscription from Reagan himself is set into a curved wall adorned with ivy.


I hope you enjoyed our little tour to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.... remember when you are in Los Angeles, You should not miss visiting this place... 


40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley, CA 93065

ADULT -- $12.00
SENIOR -- $9.00
YOUTH -- $6.00
CHILD – Under the age of 11 years: Free

The Reagan Library is opened everyday of the week from 10:00am to 5:00pm. The only days closed are Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Parking is FREE

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