Presidential library and museum re-opens following government shutdown

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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The library and museum for the only Iowa native to serve as a U.S. president has reopened following a vote by Congress to end what had been the first government shutdown in 17 years.

Janlyn Slach, public-affairs specialist at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, said Thursday that the complex has resumed regular operations.

The library-museum honoring the 31st U.S. president is set in a 187-acre park situated approximately 15 minutes east of Iowa City. It was shuttered Oct. 1, when funding for its activities ran out.  

Hoover, who served as president from 1929 to 1933, was born in West Branch.

Slach said the only true impact of the shutdown came in the cancellation of the Red Cedar Chamber Music program that had been scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 20.

Rep. David Loebsack, D-Iowa, visitied West Branch on Oct. 6 and he spoke about the center’s closure as one unfortunate effect of the government shutdown.

Several West Branch residents had reported decreases in business activity when the tourist attraction closed.

In an interview with the DI last week, Jonathan Blundall and Laura Rierson, the co-owners of the Reid’s Beans coffee shop at 106 E. Main St., said they noticed a 50 percent drop in sales and revenues following the first few days of the shutdown.  

— by Quentin Misiag

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