George W Bush Presidential Library

When we started out on our travelling adventures in 2013, we stopped in Springfield, Illinois to see the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.  At that time, we decided it would be fun to see all the Presidential Libraries at some point in the future.  Fast forward to March 2018, and we finally made it to our second library, for the 43rd President of the United States,  President George W Bush, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  First lady Laura Bush attended SMU, which is why it is located there.

P1010546 (3)The museum is laid out in an easy to follow format, consisting of the four principles important to the Bush’s: Freedom, Responsibility, Opportunity and Compassion.  There is full-size reproduction of the Oval Office, complete with the furniture, statues, and photographs that were on display in the real Oval Office.  I opted to check out the desk, with my sister LuAnn as “Secretary of Education” standing by!

P1010551And of course I needed a conference with my “Cabinet” members.

P1010563 (2)The museum starts out with panels detailing the early years of Bush’s life and his family.

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Then you watch a short movie narrated by President Bush, with his reflections on what it meant to be president, and how the tragedy of 9/11 changed the agenda of his presidency.  Then you enter a room with one of his signature pieces of legislation, “No Child Left Behind.”

8837E691-B534-4A60-BD25-E6BF64B24CC4One of First Lady Laura Bush’s platforms was “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn,” to improve early childhood education.  On display were the books from a reading list that she recommended for children of all ages.  We recognized many of the titles, as books that we had read as children.

7FFB392C-EAFD-450A-B5F1-E042386177FBPresident Bush’s passion is baseball, and there is a display of many of the autographed balls and bats on display throughout the museum.  He was the first former Little League player to be elected President of the United States, and started a new White House tradition to play tee ball games on the grounds of the White House in 2001.  The bat in this display case was signed by 46 of the 62 living members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Priceless!

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When you round the corner of the museum, from the display of his early domestic policy work, the lighting is darker, and you are faced with a very in-depth, day-by-day timeline of the events surrounding the 9/11 Terrorist Act.  The museum contains steel from the World Trade Center, and has a memorial wall listing the names of every victim of the attack.

4A99B456-0A39-40C6-9254-5701D7EC3A96The television screens on the memorial walls shows the attacks at each of the locations.

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There are display cases showing speeches, letters, newspapers and other memorabilia from the days following the attack.  This display case contains the American flag that flew over the White House on September 11, 2001.

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Another display case contains memorabilia from the war in Iraq, including the 9mm Glock Model 18C Automatic Pistol confiscated from Saddam Hussein during his capture on December 13, 2003.

7EA4EEBC-6419-49F3-A4D5-D325B7A16C52Before 9/11, there were 22 federal government agencies handling homeland security issues.  In 2002, President Bush, and Congress, created the Department of Homeland Security, and put all those agencies into one department.

9BE93C79-F174-496F-996A-89E4A3C2AFDFMany other major events occurred during the Bush presidency, and the museum has many displays talking about the financial crisis in 2008, Hurricane Katrina, Immigration Reform, and the Environment.

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1A76B01C-5331-4BD1-B9DF-72EA17BBC192Once you are out of the policy area of the museum, there is a fun display on life in the White House, with the official White House Easter eggs given out every year…

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To photographs, china and formal wear worn at official State dinners…

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And some of the sports related items given to the President during visits by many sports teams.

5ACB1045-117B-47D6-A838-DFC699A7E35APresident Bush had two dogs during his White House days, Barney and Miss Beazley.  They have their own display case complete with toys, photos, letters from children and their dog dishes used when they traveled on Air Force One!

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Every President receives gifts from visiting foreign dignitaries, as well as citizens from around the world.  There were many display cases filled with jewelry, swords (seemed to be a popular gift), vases, figurines…

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…and things that made you go “what where they thinking?!”  Like these silver stirrups with gold, ruby, and emerald accents from the King of Morocco.

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At the time of our visit, the museum was hosting a special exhibit, on the influence of the First Ladies.  I did not take any photographs in that exhibit, but it was very informative, and there were many, many active  first ladies that worked hand-in-hand with their husbands.

My Quote for the Day is taken from a quote on the wall of the museum:

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10 thoughts on “George W Bush Presidential Library

  1. Hey, Thanks for sharing this………..very interesting! We are still enjoying Florida weather. However we had quite a rain storm today with extreme thunder and lightening, a tornado warning and hail. Our pool is right up to the walking level………guess it rained a lot! The first crack of thunder was earth shaking and sent me to the house quickly. I really couldn’t see the storm coming from where I was sitting and working on my computer. Yikes!!!! Don’t know if I mentioned to you that I was able to attend the Monday and Tuesday practice rounds at The Masters. What an experience!!!! Wonderful time and am really anxious to get back to golf in May (had the left hip replaced on Jan. 2 and decided to wait until May to golf again as to worked so well last year with the right hip). We’ve been told not to hurry back to Wisconsin because they are still getting snow and the temps at night are very low. Just a heads up for you……….⛄️🤦‍♀️. Travel safely when you do go back and can’t wait to get together again. ❤️ MJ

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    • Thanks Mary Jo. Glad to hear everything went well with the hip surgery. We are back in WI, surprised Dans parents for Easter. We were greeting with 6 inches of snow, and lows at night in the 20’s. So stay in Florida! Masters would be an awesome experience.

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  2. Wow, great post !! Wonderful pics, as well. I felt almost like I was there myself . Thanks you two !

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  3. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us! Perhaps someday I’ll be able to see this Presidential Library. President Bush is my birthday buddy, July 6. I can’t wait to see what your next adventure will be.

  4. We to worked on visiting Presidential Libraries during our year on the road in 2016. We visited LBJ, Bush Sr, Clinton, Truman, and Eisenhower that year. They are very enjoyable stops…

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