After our visit to Oklahoma City, we headed a short distance east to Little Rock, Arkansas. We decided to stay right downtown, at the Downtown Riverside RV Park. It is right on the river, and within walking distance to many attractions. Here is a view from the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the river. Yes, it is more of a “parking lot,” but the fact that we could walk to almost everything we wanted to see was a big plus.
Just on the other side of the river is the Clinton Presidential Center and Park. This was our third President library to visit, after Abraham Lincoln and George W Bush.
The museum contains three floors of exhibits, along with a special traveling exhibit. The first floor has the presidential limousine, gift shop and conference center.
The second floor has a time line of the presidency, with a year by year display of events, bills passed, and other historical information on the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III).
The second floor also has alcove exhibits on various policy accomplishments during his 8 years in office. And yes, there is one exhibit on the four-year special investigation that was started in 1994 to investigate the Clinton’s Whitewater real estate purchase.
Technology changed quite a bit during the 1990’s, and a push was made to expand the internet into schools.
The Brady Bill and a 10 year ban on assault weapons was passed. Only 19 guns were banned, and by 2000, crimes committed with guns dropped 46 percent.
A replica of the oval office as well as the cabinet meeting room is on display.
The third floor contains the gifts that were received, along with photographs and displays from state dinners.
There is a formal setting from one of the state dinners.
Socks, the cat, also received gifts, including this patriotic cat basket.
The Easter Eggs, from the annual White House Easter Party.
Dale Chihuly created two identical glass sculptures, entitled Crystal Tree of Light, for the White House Millennium Celebration on New Years Eve, 1999. This one was donated to the museum. It’s about 6 feet tall.
In this overview from the third floor, you will see a lot of blue boxes. There are 4,536 boxes in the museum, all containing letters written to the President and First Lady.
The current traveling exhibit is ‘Louder than Words – Rock, Power, and Politics’ was very interesting. Many of the items were on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum. It covered the period of Eisenhower through Trump, their campaign songs (Trump was the only president without one), and covers the scandal in the music industry. Alan Freed, a DJ who is credited with the phrase “rock and roll” was one of the many DJ’s who accepted money to play certain music on the radio. At the time, it was legal to do so, but in 1959 Congress held a number of hearings on the “payola” scandal, and made it illegal to record companies to pay radio stations to play their music.
Songs were written based upon current events and for some of us listening back on them can bring us back to a different place and time.
How we listen to music over the years has changed as well, from 45’s to 8-tracks to the Ipod.
We had an enjoyable time visiting the Clinton Museum, and plan on continuing our quest to visit more presidential museums. No matter your politics, it is a fun look back in time.
Quote for the Day: “When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web…Now even my cat has its own page.” – William J Clinton