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SUMMERTIME : Discoveries : If you've exhausted the usual tourist spots, here are some destinations off the beaten path. : From Gipper to Gorby, Library Chronicles the Reagan Years

June 26, 1992|MICHAEL ARKUSH

Gorby's been there, and so has each of the five living American Presidents.

No, not Disneyland or Universal Studios. It's the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Take a short hike up the Simi Valley Freeway and down memory lane. From George Gipp to George Bush, the Reagan shrine chronicles the history of a man and a nation. Among its noteworthy collections: the only full-scale replica of the Oval Office outside the White House, gifts from foreign dignitaries and a piece of the Berlin Wall.

The library opened in November. Reagan was honored by Bush and former presidents Nixon, Carter and Ford. Mikhail Gorbachev visited in early May.

The facility contains numerous videos and photos chronicling Reagan's progression from a small-town boy to a Hollywood star to the leader of the conservative movement. The library shows photos of the assassination attempt in 1981 and donates a whole wall of posters to Nancy Reagan's early career as an actress, when she was known as Nancy Davis. In all, the library contains 47 million documents from Reagan's presidency.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for senior citizens, and children 15 and younger free.

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