Staunton: Legislation to preserve access to records of past presidents introduced in Congress

Story by Chris Graham

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library had a hand in crafting proposed federal legislation that would create a competitive grant program to encourage the preservation of and public access to historical documents and records of past presidents.

The legislation, The Presidential Historical Records Presentation Act of 2008, S. 3477, was introduced in Congress this week by Virginia senators Jim Webb and John Warner and Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte.

“This bill will help the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation, and other non-profit entities like it, preserve and make available to the public the historical records and documents of American Presidents.  Our country will be better off for having an improved, more complete understanding of American Presidents and their legacies,” Webb said in a statement today. “This project has the potential of benefiting not only the Staunton community, but the entire Commonwealth by strengthening an important cultural asset in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. More importantly, it will preserve valuable historical information for the use and enjoyment of Americans for generations to come,” Webb said.

“Facilities such as the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library are critical to preserving our nation’s history, and we should be encouraging more organizations to engage in these kinds of important endeavors,” Warner said. “Present and future generations can look upon examples of leaders from the past and learn from their accomplishments, their tribulations and their mistakes.”

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