Presidential libraries are a relatively new concept. President Franklin Roosevelt “surveyed the vast quantities of papers and other materials he and his staff had accumulated. In the past, many Presidential papers and records had been lost, destroyed, sold for profit, or ruined by poor storage conditions. President Roosevelt sought a better alternative. On the advice of noted historians and scholars, he established a public repository to preserve the evidence of the Presidency for future generations. Beginning a tradition that continues to this day, he raised private funds for the new facility and then turned it over to the United States government for operation through the National Archives.”
There are three major cities that are in competition to land the Presidential Library of Barack Obama. They are Chicago, Honolulu and New York City. Each location is connected to a major university. Chicago has two universities vying for the honor. They are the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. New York’s Columbia University and Honolulu’s University of Hawaii are the other potential locations. The President and Mrs. Obama will make their decision by March.
There is a great deal of academic prestige, tourism dollars and local pride that will be bestowed upon the chosen city.
Let’s hope that President Obama will remember his family history, as well as his educational and political connections to Chicago.