TODAY   |  September 27, 2013

George Washington gets ‘house to hold his papers’

NBC’s Chuck Todd reports from Mount Vernon in Virginia at the opening of George Washington's presidential library, 213 years after he served as commander-in-chief.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> george washington is being honored today with a tribute that looks to both history and future. political director chuck todd is in mt. vernon , virginia to tell us about it. lucky guy today. good morning.

>> this building behind me 216 years in the making. george washington wanted to build a building to house his books and papers, otherwise known as the presidential library . well, today, he finally gets one. he is a bridge, a university, a city, even money. but while he is everywhere in our lives, many americans know very little about him.

>> we always talk about george washington cutting down the cherry tree .

>> of course the wooden teeth. the couldn't tell a lie. i think that was him, wasn't it.

>> house at mt. vernon .

>> now on the grounds of his home at mt. vernon , a place to fill in the blanks. our first president, the last to have a presidential library .

>> there was an inventory of his books, roughly 900 volumes. we today have 650 of the volumes and we're continuing to collect them.

>> but that wasn't clear to anyone.

>> the library director took me into the rare book vault which includes washington's personal copy of written in spanish.

>> he doesn't read spanish.

>> you won't find a wing for the first first lady because martha washington burned almost every letter she ever received from her husband though this library rescued a few.

>> i obtain an affection for you which neither time nor distance can change.

>> just a love letter written with better words than we might use.

>> that's right. i might copy that.

>> given that we're 14 miles from the capitol and all the craziness of the shutdown talk the theme today is going to be washington might not have let this happen.

>> another place to take the family for a holiday and a place to learn as well. thank you very much.