The Reagan library is hosting the second GOP debate, but do you know the true history it holds?

David Trulio, president and CEO of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute discusses the second GOP debate location with Fox News Digital

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum sits atop a stunning landscape with perfectly paved walkways for visitors in Simi Valley, California. The exterior is equipped with areas for seating, casual picnicking and breathtaking sunset views. 

Since the museum was first established by Reagan himself in 1991, the institution has expanded upon its historical elements and housed many important events, including book signings, discussions and presidential debates.


The Library's historic Air Force One Pavilion will be the backdrop for the second Republican presidential debate of 2023.

"I can think of no better place than the Reagan Library when it comes to having the ideal location for people seeking the presidency," David Trulio, president and CEO of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute told Fox News Digital.


Exterior of the Ronald Reagan Library

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum is located in Simi Valley, California. There have been many events held at the Reagan Library, including presidential debates. (George Rose/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Trulio said the presidential library is the ideal location for this election cycle, as he believes America is facing similar problems to those Reagan faced during his presidency.

"What it boils down to is that President Reagan was an unquestionably successful two-term Republican president who excelled at facing down challenges in his time, and those challenges are deeply relevant to today," Trulio said. 

These problems include economic challenges such as high inflation, international threats — specifically with People's Republic of China, run by the Chinese Communist Party — and a feeling that America's best days have passed, Trulio explained.

Reagan was successful in earning the support of many millions of Americans, a feat that 2024 presidential hopefuls are pursuing, too.

"This is also a perfect place to host a debate because President Reagan was a conservative leader who was able to stick to his principles, and at the same time, forge a successful compromise with Democrats in Congress to achieve great legislative successes for the American people and that's an important model for the whole country and beyond to have in mind when there's a presidential debate," Trulio said.


President Ronald Reagan in oval office

The Reagan Library features artifacts, exhibits and interactive learning opportunities where guests can explore more about former President Reagan's two terms in the White House. (Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"President Reagan made the case for and succeeded in earning the support of millions and millions of people, and that included Democrats and independents. He won an astonishing 49 states when he was elected in 1984. So his example, his track record is a superb context for those seeking the highest office in the land to come debate," Trulio explained. 

While the Reagan Library is no stranger to hosting events, including debates, holding an event of this magnitude requires all hands on deck and preparation long before the evening of the main event.

"We've constructed a massive tent on our south lawn to hold 400 members of the media for a filing center, I can look out my window and see it right now" Trulio explained. "We're also turning our auditorium into a spin room that Fox Business and all other media organizations are going to use immediately after the debate to talk to the candidates and their surrogates."

While still maintaining its historic value, the Reagan Library & Museum has undergone additions in the time leading up to the debate. Each detail contributes to the ideal environment for everyone from the candidates, to the media to the attendees.

Air Force One Pavilion

The Air Force One Pavilion will be the setting for the Fox Business Republican Primary Debate. (Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Air Force One Pavilion, featuring the plane President Reagan flew during his presidency, will be the setting for the main stage. Reagan flew for 660,000 miles around the world to 26 countries on the plane that will act as a backdrop for the presidential event.

Exhibits to see at Reagan's Library

"The Reagan Library & Museum are a tribute to one of the most influential U.S. presidents. Visitors explore the life and the legacy of Ronald Reagan who played a pivotal role in winning the Cold War, unleashing an economic boom and restoring national pride. The museum itself offers a wide range of exhibits and multimedia presentations that provide insights into President Reagan's life and his policies," Trulio said.


The Air Force One plane is a popular exhibit where guests can actually step inside the same plane President Reagan flew in.

During President Reagan's presidency, raising and maintaining a strong military was a primary focus. Many exhibits at the museum reflect the causes Reagan felt strongest about. A public display of the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter, F-14 Tomcat, M-1 Abrams Tank and Marine One showcase Reagan's dedication to modernizing the U.S. military. 

The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument emphasizes his love, respect and gratitude for the families of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country.

Additionally, an exact replica of the Oval Office during Reagan's presidency is furnished with stunning woodwork and artwork at the museum.

Onlookers can commemorate an unforgettable event in history, the fall of the Berlin Wall, by visiting a piece of the actual wall featured at the library. 

The grounds also serve as the final resting place of President Reagan and his wife and former first lady Nancy Reagan.

Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy

The grounds of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum is the resting place of President Reagan and his wife Nancy. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

In addition to the permanent exhibits at the museum, there are also one or two special exhibits featured each year. The special exhibits are carefully selected with consideration for important issues to President Reagan.

"In terms of how exhibits are chosen, we know that our audience appreciates exhibits that are rich on history and on artifacts and to President Reagan," Trulio said to Fox News Digital.


"Auschwitz: Not Long Ago, Not Far Away" is a special exhibit that features over 700 original artifacts that were direct witnesses to the horrors of the Holocaust. The exhibit is open from March 24, 2023 to January 28, 2024, and visitors should expect to tour the experience for 2–3 hours.

"This exhibition is about more than the Holocaust, it's about telling the story of what happens when people turn a blind eye to hate," said Trulio. "So it's really important."

"President Reagan himself felt very strongly about never forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust, and also about preserving freedom and dignity," Trulio said. Over 130,000 people have visited the Holocaust exhibit.

The "Vatican Splendors" exhibit was highly toured and featured in 2016. This exhibit included objects and artifacts from Vatican City, and also "told the story of the relationship between President Reagan and then Pope John Paul II," Trulio said.

Reagan Library & Museum events

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum hosts guest speakers for book signings, discussions and holiday events.

Later in 2023, the library will host former second lady Karen Pence to discuss her book "When It's Your Turn to Serve: Experiencing God's Grace in His Calling for Your Life." Additionally, guests Mark Levin, Fox News chief political correspondent Brett Baier and Rep. Elise Stefanik will be hosted by the library and museum this year.

Baier will be discussing his book, "To Rescue the Constitution: George Washington and the Fragile American Experiment."

"We seek to live up to what President Reagan wanted us to be when he established this institution that bears his name back in 1991," Trulio said. One way the museum has succeeded in being "a dynamic intellectual forum," as Reagan wanted it to be, is through the thought-provoking, educational programs offered year round to guests.

Ronald Reagan at the dedication of the library in 1991

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum was established in 1991, and has continued to implement Reagan's vision of the "dynamic intellectual forum." (J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)


In addition to the museum's fresh lineup of guests each month, some events are held on an annual basis. The Veterans Day Commemoration is held each year in November to honor the men and women in the armed forces. Book signings, documentary screenings and musical guests are just a few of the activities one can expect from the commemoration.

Every December, the museum hosts the Reagan National Defense Forum, "the nation's premier defense gathering, discussing global challenges, threats and opportunities with top civilian military leaders regardless of presidential administration, and top uniformed military leaders, as well as key leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate," Trulio said of the event.

The second GOP debate hosted by FOX Business will be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum on Sept. 27, 2023.