Sunday, November 12, 2006

Clinton Presidential Library; Little Rock, Arkansas

The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas is worth a visit whether you voted for Bill or not. It provides a fascinating look at not only the history of the Clinton administration from 1992-2000, but also a revealing peek into the workings of the Executive branch of government normally unseen by the public. The library has a replica of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room. Personal papers and mementos, gifts from foreign dignitaries, the President's daily schedule for every day he was in office, White House china, photos and videos of significant events, and shelves upon shelves of blue boxes filled with just 3% of the all the documents produced by the Clinton administration, are displayed in alcoves on two floors.

The building is located on the river just a few blocks from downtown Little Rock. The exterior and framing of the building are made of recycled aluminum. Everything was constructed to be as "green", or environmentally friendly and energy efficient as possible.

Here's a view of Little Rock from the second floor of the library , using that nifty "stitch" feature on my camera.

A view of the Oval Office showcases its unique shape. Another view of the lounge opposite the President's desk, that the cameras never show.

This is the interior display area, including a glass sculpture by Dale Chiluly, that he crafted for the White House for the Millennium celebrations. See the endless stacked blue boxes?

Clinton family mementos of their pets; Socks, the cat and Buddy, the chocolate lab.

If Ed was writing the blog, I don't think table settings and the White House china would get much press. But since it's my blog, this is a table set for a state dinner.

Finally, part of the Clinton legacy is a new school associated with the University of Arkansas. It is the Clinton School of Public Service, a place where grad students can prepare for careers in government. The school is housed in this restored railroad station, right next to the library.

The Clinton Foundation, with an office in Harlem in New York City, is working to combat AIDS worldwide, especially in Africa.

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