Gates breaks ground for GW presidential library

Thursday - 4/14/2011, 3:40pm EDT

Library aims to honor Washington's legacy

The Founding Father himself gave remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony for his new library. WTOP's Kathy Stewart has the story.

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'George Washington' gives a speech at the groundbreaking for his library. (WTOP Photo/Kathy Stewart)

Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Va. - The father of our country is on track to get a new $47 million library.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke Thursday at groundbreaking ceremonies for the library at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Gates said no president merits the creation of a presidential library more than Washington.

The building will be called the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. Mount Vernon also expects the library to serve as a scholarly retreat.

Smith is chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas, which donated $38 million to the library. Unlike modern presidential libraries linked to the National Archives, the Washington library will be entirely privately funded.

Completion is scheduled for 2013.

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