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About half the town, roughly 20,000 people, wasn’t even born when the scandal flared. Only about 600 people still live in homes they occupied in the ’70s or earlier, according to the latest U.S. Census surveys.
Director Klehr has not consulted the remaining members of the Stans family, none of whom are local, about mounting the exhibition. But she is sure that the cautious piety that kept the museum sidestepping Watergate in the past was out of keeping with the man himself.
“He would have appreciated a warts-and-all approach,” she said; after all, he wrote two books addressing the scandal and his role in it.
The staff of the museum seems to have emerged from its research with a lot of sympathy for Stans. Said Klehr: “He was vilified in the press, which ate him alive … it really bothered this man.”
She herself has been caught up in his wishes. In leaving an endowment, Stans was so concerned to keep the money in his hometown, supporting loans, that the museum has gotten a piffling return compared with what the stock market has done in recent decades.
The bank account has meant interest of, “like, .0003 percent or something,” she lamented. But she did finally manage to get that condition reversed.
David Peterson • 952-746-3285