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The day five presidents showed up in Simi Valley

In 1991, five U.S. presidents gathered in Simi Valley for dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

In 1991, U.S. presidential history was made in Simi Valley.

The Times called it "the ultimate photo opportunity."

The presidents were drawn to California for the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The Times reported:

"For the first time in history, five U.S. presidents — several of whom had waged bitter campaigns against each other over the years — were gathered in one place.

"Warmed by a California sun and clearly aware they were basking in the light of history, they appeared jovial and fraternal, as political rhetoric melted into buttery praise for each other.

"Even the lone Democrat, Jimmy Carter — who had failed to join Presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford at last year's opening of the Richard M. Nixon Library in Yorba Linda — on this day seemed more a colleague than a political opponent."

Just three years later, another presidential scene occurred just a freeway ride away at the Nixon Library. For Nixon's funeral, the living presidents met again — this time including Bill Clinton. The classic photo from this event has the presidents soberly sitting with their wives.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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