Sunday, February 6, 2011
Ronald Reagan and the Dixon Public Library
Today is the centennial of the birth of Ronald Reagan, and there will be activities throughout the year to celebrate this occasion. Dixon, Illinois was Reagan's hometown from 1920 to 1933. I wanted to see if Reagan used the public library in that city and I found the answer on the Dixon, IL page of the Ronald Reagan Trail Website. According to the website, the Reagan family moved to Dixon when Ronald Reagan was 9 years old and within 3 weeks Reagan and his brother both had library cards at the Dixon Public Library. Ronald's library card number was 3695. The postcard above shows the Dixon Public Library pretty much as it would have looked when Reagan was using it during his years in Dixon. According to the history on the library's website, the building was completed in 1901 and wasn't significantly modified until 1955. The building was built by O. B. Dodge, the library's first board president, and not Andrew Carnegie. Many activities related to Reagan's birth centennial will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. That library is a far cry from the one used by Reagan in Dixon, IL.