$38M Gift to Build Library at Mount Vernon

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    George Washington's Mount Vernon estate has received the largest donation in its history -- $38 million -- to build a library dedicated to scholarship of the nation's first president.

    The donation comes from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a longtime supporter of Mount Vernon.

    Estate director James Rees said he wants the library to serve not only leading scholars and historians but also host seminars and clinics for teachers to reach out to the general public.

    Mount Vernon plans to break ground only after it raises $20 million in matching funds, and hopes to open for business in 2012.

    The estate added a museum and orientation center in 2006 that contributed to a 20 percent jump in attendance.