In a corner of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, beyond stately White House portraits and a sizable chunk of the Berlin Wall, Ronald Reagan’s legacy is playing out in an unexpected way.
On multimillion dollar sets replicating the Reagan White House, children play the parts of key officials and reporters to reenact the invasion of Grenada. The U.S. invaded the Caribbean island nation in 1983, fearing a communist takeover after a coup.
Making a 27-year-old invasion relevant for today’s children isn’t always easy. Kids have to be told what communists are, and why Grenada becoming a communist country would have been a big deal.
The reenactments are part history lesson, part interactive game. The kids decide whether or not to invade, how to carry out an invasion, even how to deal with media leaks. They are assigned roles in three groups – military, Oval Office, and press corps – and given official name tags and briefing cards with character backgrounds.