Presidential Libraries

A tale of two other libraries

The Arkansas Times looks at Presidential Libraries, the George H.W. Bush Library in TX, and the Clinton Presidential Center, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.
Last year, the National Archives and Records Administration needed $42 million to run the presidential library system, which is considerably more than the $64,000 that was required in 1955.
But for the residents of cities where presidential libraries are located, those costs are negligible. The local economic impact a library has is more significant. That is why the battle has already begun among schools in Texas to be the home of George W. Bush’s library. And as one president said, to the victors go the spoils.

Opening Week for Clinton Presidential Center

The celebration is about to begin down in Little Rock. has the Opening Week Calendar, if you are planning to be in the area. President George W. Bush and former presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will attend the dedication of Bill Clinton's presidential library on Thursday in Little Rock. Most of U2 will be there as well. "Sexy, no, but they’re the life of the party" from the Arkansas Times covers the archives. John Glenn, the former astronaut and former U.S. senator, will help open the exhibit "Space and the Presidency" at the Museum of Discovery in downtown Little Rock on Wednesday.

Later that evening, a free concert with rock bands Better Than Ezra, The North Mississippi All-Stars and B-Side will perform at the Riverfest Amphitheater. The concert will be followed by a fireworks display billed as the largest Arkansas has ever had.

LBJ Library Has Letter from Vietnam Vet Lost for 36 Years

In June of 1968, recovering Vietnam Vet William Swoveland wrote a letter to then President Lyndon B. Johnson from his hospital bed in Japan, questioning the war--how and why the country was fighting it. Swoveland, now 71, and a resident of South Florida never received a response from the President (though he had sent him one), due to a failure in the military mail system.

Here's a portion of the long-overdue response from LBJ

    "What have we gained from our global commitment that could possibly be worth the sacrifice of American lives? The answer to your question is not a simple or easily visible one."

Both parts of the correspondence can now be seen at his Presidential Library in Austin Texas. Interesting story of how the text of the letter finally got into Swoveland's possession after 36 years is here.

Clinton Library Brings New Hope to Little Rock

We usually hear about how a mall or large chain store revives a slumbering commercial area, but now, here's much better news...the Clinton Library's reviving Little Rock.

This Arkansas Times article about the soon-to-be-open Clinton Presidential Library focuses on how the library is strengthening and attracting new businesses to the area surrounding it in Little Rock. New apartment houses, formerly decrepit hotels renovated, new construction, new businesses coming to town, etc., are just part of what the library has brought to Little Rock.

Very exciting news!

Clinton Library Full of Undiscovered Goodies

One of the artifacts at Bill Clinton's new library is a letter from Sam Walton (Wal-Mart founder) saying that he was "willing to support Bill Clinton's run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination - but not his effort to unseat Republican President George H. Bush". Hmmmm

This and numerous other bits & pieces of Mr. Clinton's campaign, election and presidency will soon be available to the public when the Clinton Library opens in Little Rock on November 18.

AP story here.

Presidential Libraries Are Valuable Reflections of Their Eras

Anonymous Patron writes "The Chronicle: Presidential Libraries Are Valuable Reflections of Their Eras Presidential libraries, including the new Clinton library, scheduled to open in Little Rock, Ark., on November 18, are more museums than records and, at least initially, more closed records than public ones.

Like the other libraries, Clinton's is sure to be criticized, although less for how it operates than for what it represents. Presidential libraries have been lambasted for their cost and extravagance, for dispersing important documents to inconvenient locations, and for reifying a president-centered approach to American history."

Preview of Clinton Library shows finishing touches falling into place

The AP Takes Another Peek inside the new Clinton library two weeks before opening day. A crowd of 30,000 donors, reporters, celebrities and international dignitaries are expected to descend on the 30-acre presidential park for the Nov. 18 grand opening, with some 20,000 onlookers potentially overflowing onto adjacent streets.

Impeachment Exhibit in Clinton Library

A story from MSNBC says that Bill Clinton's presidential library will contain a ground-floor exhibit on the impeachment proceedings that were brought against him. The impeachment will be shown in the context of a "culture of confrontation" and will end with Clinton's moment of victory when he was acquitted by the Senate. Apparently, the blue dress is not part of the exhibit.

Clinton library architects win award for top design

Anonymous Patron writes "Associated Press: Clinton library architects win award for top design, The architects who designed Bill Clinton's presidential library, a gleaming glass-and-steel building over the Arkansas River that invokes his administration's theme of "building a bridge to the 21st century," have won a National Design Award for excellence in architecture."

Clinton library to boost Little Rock, Ark., tourism

Anonymous Patron writes "One From The AP, in the USA Today, on the Clinton Presidential Library. Just one month to go before the Clinton Presidential Library opens, officials are wrapping up plans for a huge celebration, but they want the festivities to leave the city with lasting benefits rather than a hangover.
The library, which is to be dedicated Nov. 18, is the key piece in what is developing as a corridor of major nonprofit headquarters east of Little Rock's downtown. The amenities of Heifer Project International and Winrock International will attract visitors and give folks coming to the Clinton Library more to do when they are in the area."


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