Brian Lamb, who founded C-SPAN, isn't just a Congress buff. He's likes all history, even that of dead presidents. After all, he and C-SPAN just reissued their Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb? A Tour of Presidential Gravesites with a new note from historian Richard Norton Smith.
And while Lamb is a famous nonpartisan, we got him to pick his five favorite presidential grave sites in honor of Presidents Day. But first, a little background. Like his pal Smith, Lamb has visited all of the presidential graves, but he has one-upped the historian. Lamb has also visited all but one vice presidential site. The missing one: the private grave of Nelson Rockefeller.
So Lamb has a good idea of what makes a notable resting place. And for him, it's one that incorporates a president's home with his approach to life and country. As a result, four of his top five picks are for presidents who were buried at their homes. The fifth, Ronald Reagan's Simi Valley, Calif., grave, is on top of a mountain and, says Lamb, has a view just like that of the Gipper's favorite ranch home.
- Calvin Coolidge, Plymouth Cemetery, Plymouth, Vt.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hyde Park, N.Y.
- Ronald Reagan, mountaintop in Simi Valley, Calif.
- James Madison, Montpelier Station, Va.
- Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJ Ranch, Texas