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Reagan museum won't cave to shutdown, keeps Air Force One exhibit open --- and free

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Ronald Reagan,Government Shutdown

The spirit of former President Reagan won’t be dulled during the federal shutdown that is closing the presidential libraries operated by the National Archives.

That’s because the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library operates its hugely popular Air Force One exhibit on foundation-owned land adjacent to the Reagan museum in Simi Valley, California, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Foundation Executive Director John Heubusch said that the foundation is offering the Air Force One exhibit for free during the shutdown. He said the decision was made because the foundation didn't want to disappoint visitors who missed the notice on the museum and library's website that the facility was closed.

“Imagine that couple that drives all the way from Las Vegas or something and expecting to see Reagan’s library and are told to go away. So what we’ve done is offered them to see what they can legally and do it for free” he told Secrets.

The library and museum website says, “In the Air Force One Pavilion, you can tour Air Force One (tail number 27000). This airplane carried Presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush all over the world and the United States. This 'Flying White House' was integral to Reagan’s presidency: he wrote many speeches, signed legislation, and relaxed while traveling in Air Force One.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.