Fort Vasquez Museum, Colorado

Fort Vasquez was an important center for the Rocky Mountain fur trade in the first half of the nineteenth century. Native Americans brought hides and pelts to the post to exchange for blankets, kettles, whiskey, and even such items as black silk handkerchiefs and ivory combs. The fort was built by traders Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette. It had living quarters, a barn, storage, and trade rooms. Competition from other fur trade posts in the region forts forced Vasquez and Sublette to sell out in 1841, and over the next century the adobe structure fell into ruins. By 1937 only portions of the original walls remained. The Works Progress Administration reconstructed the fort in the late 1930′s and archaeological excavations were conducted in the 1960′s. Museum exhibits describe the fur trade, display Native American artifacts, and discuss information on such unusual topics as mountain man etiquette.

Fort Vasquez Museum is located at 13412 U.S. Route 85, one mile south of the town of Platteville, Colorado. Platteville is north of Denver.

Washington Crossing State Park , New Jersey

At the end of 1776, the American cause in the Revolutionary War looked to be finished. George Washington’s Continental Army had suffered a series of disastrous defeats as the British drove them out of New York and across New Jersey. Many of Washington’s troops had drifted away as their enlistments ended, and few replacements were stepping forward after the disasters of the recent campaign. Washington reversed his poor fortunes and restored the morale of the cause with a series of small victories against British detachments at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey. To do so, he had to execute his famous crossing of the Delaware (no, he probably was not standing up in the boat). Washington landed at Johnson’s Ferry on the New Jersey side of the river, at the site now preserved as Washington Crossing State Park. From Johnson’s Ferry, Washington marched to Trenton where he defeated Hessian troops in a surprise attack on Christmas Day. Washington followed up with victories in the Second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777, and the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. As a bonus. Washington Crossing State Park is also well known for its trails and wildlife habitat. A wide variety of migrating birds use the stream and ravine as a resting place and for nesting. Many bird species also winter in the park.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, California

A lot of us still don’t get what it was that gave Ronald Reagan such a broad appeal to the American electorate, to say nothing of the adulation accorded to him by one part of that electorate. (OK, I at least don’t get it.) Maybe that means we especially need a visit to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The complex houses the usual collection of presidential and official records and exhibits of Reagan memorabilia. The Ronald Reagan Library is part of the presidential libraries system administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

From Los Angeles and points south, take the 405 North to the 118 West. Exit at Madera Road South. Turn right on Madera. Proceed 3 miles to Presidential Drive. From Santa Barbara and points north, take the 101 South to the 23 North, Exit at Olsen Road. Turn right on Olsen. Proceed 2 miles to Presidential Drive. Follow Presidential Drive up the hill to the Library, follow signs for parking.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Texas

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library Museum is part of a system of presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library preserves the papers and memorabilia of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and provides access to these materials for research purposes. In addition, the Library actively collects the papers of Johnson’s contemporaries and conducts an oral history program designed to supplement the written record. The library holds more than 44 million documents, an extensive audiovisual collection, and oral history interviews with more than 1,000 individuals. The papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, which form the core of the Library’s holdings, include the White House files of his presidency, 1963-1969, and papers from his service as a U.S. Congressman, 1937-1949; U.S. Senator, 1949-1961; and Vice President, 1961-1963. Materials in the Library are available on an equal basis to all researchers. However, some collections have not yet been processed and therefore are not open for research. Contact the library for information about access to the library’s collections. Museum exhibits include the 1968 “stretch” Lincoln automobile Johnson used in Washington and a scale replica of the Oval Office as it was during the Johnson presidency, with audio activated by a button.

The Library is located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, just off Interstate 35. It may be reached by taking the 26th Street exit, marked “LBJ Library and Museum,” and following the signs to the Library.

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Massachusetts

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum is part of the Presidential Library System administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The research collections of the Kennedy Library comprise nearly 34,000,000 million pages of documents and manuscript material, more than 1,000 oral history interviews, 147,000 photographs, 6,600 reels of film, nearly 11,000 reels of audiotape, and 25,000 cataloged books. Contact the library for information about access to the library’s collections. The museum houses a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits on the life and career of John F. Kennedy, the Kennedy family, and twentieth century American history.

The Kennedy Library is located on Columbia Point in Boston, close to route I-93. From the South: Route 3/I-93 (Southeast Expressway) to Dorchester. Take Exit 14 to Morrissey Boulevard. Follow signs to the University of Massachusetts and JFK Library. Buses take Exit 15, turn right off ramp and follow signs. From the North: Route I-93 or Route I-95 south to Boston and onto Southeast Expressway (Route 3/I-95). Take Exit 15, follow signs to the University of Massachusetts and JFK Library.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Kansas

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. The Presidential Library preserves papers, audiovisual materials, and other historical items relating to President Eisenhower. Contact the library for information about access to the library’s collections. The adjoining museum depicts President Eisenhower’s life and career. Five major galleries include exhibits ranging from presidential gifts from the world’s heads of state to highlights of Mamie Eisenhower as First Lady to the simple artifacts of everyday life. The Place of Meditation is the final resting place of the President, his wife and their first-born son, Doud Dwight Eisenhower.

Abilene is located on I-70 approximately 150 miles west of Kansas City and 90 miles north of Wichita on K-15. The Eisenhower Library is about 2 miles south of I-70 on K-15.

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Missouri

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is part of the Presidential Library system administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Library preserves the papers and other materials produced during and before Truman’s presidency. The Truman Library’s collections are available to all researchers on an equal basis. A small portion of the library’s manuscript collection, less than one percent of the total volume, is restricted and not open to research (primarily for national security reasons). Visit the library’s Web site or contact the library staff for further information.

Harry S Truman Library (500 W US Highway 24, Independence, MO 64050) is approximately 35 miles from Kansas City International Airport, about three miles east of the Winner Road exit off I-435 (Kansas City’s circle highway). from the airport: east and south on I-435 (Kansas City’s circumferential highway) approximately 32 miles, to the Winner Road exit (Winner Road becomes U.S. Highway 24), and then east 3 miles to the library, which is prominently visible on the north side of U.S. Highway 24.; from the north: I-35 to I-435 south to Winner Road/U.S. Highway 24 east.; from the east: I-70 to Noland Road north (about 5 miles) to U.S. Highway 24 west (about 1 mile). Watch carefully for the Truman Library direction sign at the intersection of Noland Road and U.S. Highway 24.; from the south: I-35 to I-435 east and north, to Winner Road/U.S. Highway 24 east.; from the west: I-70 to I-435 north, to Winner Road/U.S. Highway 24 east.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, New York

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, located in Hyde Park, NY, is the nation’s first presidential Library and the only one ever used by a sitting president. It is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States Government. In addition to artifacts from the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, this facility also houses their papers, and additional material belonging to those who served with them. Prior to Roosevelt’s Presidency, the final disposition of Presidential papers was left to chance. Although a valued part of the nation’s heritage, the papers of chief executives were private property, which they took with them upon leaving office. Some were sold or destroyed and thus either scattered or lost to the nation forever. Others remained with families, but inaccessible to scholars for long periods of time. The fortunate collections found their way into the Library of Congress and private repositories. In erecting his library, Roosevelt created an institution to preserve intact all his papers and set a precedent followed by most presidents since.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum is located on the grounds of the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site. From the New York State Thruway (I-87): Exit 18 (New Paltz), take 299 east to 9W south, follow signs to Franklin D. Roosevelt Bridge. After bridge crossing follow overhead signs to Route 9 north. The park entrance will be about 5 miles on the left. From the Taconic State Parkway: Northbound vehicles exit at Route 55 west (Poughkeepsie). Follow Route 55 west to Route 9 north. Located approximately 5 miles north on Route 9. Southbound vehicles exit at Red Hook onto Route 199 west. Take Route 308 from Route 199. Proceed to Route 9 south (left hand turn at light). Located approximately 12 miles from Rhinebeck on Route 9. (NOTE: commercial vehicles are not allowed on the parkway) From New York City: Henry Hudson parkway (Route 9A) to the Sawmill River parkway to Taconic State Parkway. See Taconic State Parkway (northbound) directions above. OR – Proceed north on the Palisades Parkway to the New York State Thruway (I-87). See directions from New York State Thruway (I-87) above. From Long Island: Proceed west on the Cross Bronx Expressway to the New York State Thruway (I-87) northbound. See directions from New York State Thruway (I-87) above. OR – cross the Throgs Neck Bridge, follow I-95 to the Hutchinson River Parkway north to I-684 to I-84 west. Take exit for Taconic State Parkway north. Follow directions from the Taconic State Parkway (northbound) above. From New Jersey: Proceed north on the Garden State Parkway onto the New York State Thruway (I-87). See directions for New York State Thruway above. From Connecticut: Take I-84 west to exit 13 to Taconic State Parkway north. Follow directions for the Taconic State Parkway (northbound) above. From Massachusetts: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) to the Taconic State Parkway (south). See directions from Taconic State Parkway southbound above. OR: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) to the New York State Thruway (I-87) south. See directions from New York State Thruway above.

Fort McClary State Historic Site, Maine

The first fortifications were erected on Kittery Point during the French and Indian Wars in the eighteenth century. Fort McClary was occupied during the Revolutionary War but never attacked by the British. The fortifications were strengthened several times during the nineteenth century, and the fort continued to be garrisoned during the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. Although Fort McClary is one of the few forts in the country that was in active service during five wars, it never came under fire. The buildings preserved in the present state historic site come from several different periods during which the fort was garrisoned.

Fort McClary State Historic Site is located at Kittery Point Road, Route 103, in Kittery, Maine 03904, two and a half miles from U.S. Route 1 and Maine Turnpike on Kittery Point Road (Route 103) (turn at rotary).

Congaree Swamp National Monument, South Carolina

Congaree Swamp National Monument preserves the largest intact tract of old-growth floodplain forest in North America. The old-growth forest has some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States, with one of the highest canopies in the world. The floodplain (it is not a true swamp) contains remarkably diverse animal and plant life, including approximately 90 tree species. In the early twentieth century, the old-growth forest had been threatened by logging operations. When relatively high timber prices prompted private landowners to consider resuming logging operations in 1969, a “grass roots” campaign organized to protect the forest, and Congress established Congaree Swamp National Monument in 1976.

Congaree Swamp is located off of South Carolina Highway 48 (Bluff Road) approximately 20 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina Highway 48 is accessible from Interstate 77 via exit 5 and from Interstate 26 from Charleston via South Carolina Highway 601. Follow the brown and white directional signs once on South Carolina Highway 48.