October 15, 2013

10/10/13 - Clinton Presidential Library

Because of the stupid national park closures, we've already had to bypass a couple of parks I'd planned to visit--the Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinois, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  We were on our way to Texas for a couple of months and I found a place to stay in Little Rock, Arkansas.  I figured the Clinton Library would be out of bounds too.

Although we didn't actually get to visit the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, we did get inside the building.  The two upstairs levels house the national archives and museum, located in the Clinton Presidential Center run by the Clinton Foundation.  Since it's a private organization, they had the lobby open.  You still had to go through a security check to see the Clinton video and go into a special exhibit.

We were staying at a city RV park just across the Arkansas River from the Park.
We walked across the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge (formerly known as the Rock Island Railroad Bridge).  Now it's part of the 14-mile River Trail.
The park is really nice.  That's downtown Little Rock in the distance (which isn't actually too far away).  Not a lot of skyscrapers in Arkansas.
The view of the Clinton Library from the bridge looks like's it's floating in the air.  Someone told us that when it was being built, it was compared to a double-wide mobile home.  Bet Hillary loved that!

George wandered into my picture again.  This is the right side of the building--the one that's connected to the ground.
Clinton's Presidential Limousine is in the lobby.  The volunteer told us that this is the last limo to be put into a presidential library.  Apparently they don't want the Secret Service technology available to the masses.  
The special exhibit is about the 1963 March on Washington called "And Freedom for All". The photography is by Stanley Tretick.
We joined the guy in the corner to see a video about Clinton.  It stopped before it finished and the lady couldn't figure out what was the matter.  (PLEASE NOTE:  At this point I make absolutely NO political or personal comments.  Feel free to fill in your own.)
Since we couldn't go upstairs, we headed back across the bridge. You can see where the lift part of the drawbridge was.  It's in a permanently raised position now.
We haven't visited any of the other Presidential Libraries--actually we still haven't visited one, now that I think about it. (There are only 13--we've had lots more presidents than that!  Wonder why nobody before Herbert Hoover got their own library?)  After looking at the brochure about the stuff that's upstairs that we didn't get to see, I think they'd be kinda cool.  So I wandered around behind an information desk (I asked!!!!) and picked up some brochures about the other libraries.  Maybe some day the government will open the parks again.  (This is where I'd put a nasty little comment about the whole shutdown and the way they're handling it in Washington, DC--if this were that kind of blog.  It's not, so I won't--but I'll tell you if you ask me.)

I'll probably put a few more pics on Flickr:  Click here.  Clinton Library 

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