The William j Clinton Presidential Library and Park in little Rock Ar

On November 19, 2004, as a chilly rain pelted the stage, Bill Clinton and three fellow U.S. Presidents came together to celebrate the dedication of the $165 million William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. The dedication ceremony included repeated appeals for national unity, as the doors opened on a facility designed to represent a “Bridge to the 21st Century.”

The Clinton Presidential Center and Park is located just east of I-30 in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, in the heart of Little Rock’s River Market District. The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum hugs the banks of the Arkansas River and houses the largest archival and museum holdings in the Presidential Library system. These include some 76.8 million pages of paper documents, 1.85 million photographs and nearly 85,000 museum artifacts. The Museum also holds donated materials and official records that may be made available to researchers.

With 20,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Clinton Library contains numerous exhibits and hosts special events and educational programs suitable for the entire family. Visitors can tour replicas of the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office and view permanent exhibits, photos, videos, official documents, interactive stations, and a timeline that highlights the events and policies that framed the Clinton Administration. There is another section of the museum that showcases exhibits about life in the White House, depicting the preparation and decor for state events, holiday celebrations, and how the Clintons made the White House their home.

Admission to the Center is free each year on President Clinton’s Birthday (August 15), the Fourth of July, and other special occasions. Forty Two, a full-service restaurant, is located in the northern wing of the Presidential Center and features a new lunch menu and the option to dine inside or on the terrace overlooking the Arkansas River and the 1899 Rock Island Railroad Bridge. Forty Two is open for Sunday Brunch each week, featuring omelet and waffle stations, all you can eat traditional breakfast fare, and specialty items such as creamy mussels… all served with a mimosa for $17.95.

Throughout the year, the Center hosts several free festivals, musical performances, and special events, and also hosts lectures and conferences. Additionally, the Center is available for private dinners and receptions and offers an experienced catering staff that can provide everything from casual barbecues to formal dinners. The Presidential Center has become an active participant in the Little Rock community and its economic development and has been a major contributor to the growth and development of the River Market area of downtown Little Rock.

The Clinton Museum Store provides one-stop shopping for an impressive selection of unique collectible items, clothing, souvenirs and gifts. Shoppers will also find copies of President Clinton’s favorite books, entertaining music and games, authentically autographed items, and contemporary American art and crafts. The Museum Store is located two blocks west of the Clinton Presidential Center – an easy walk or a short (free) shuttle ride – at 610 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock. Hours of operation and more information can be obtained at www.clintonmuseumstore.com

The Clinton Presidential Center and Park is also home to the Clinton School of Public Service… the first graduate school in the U.S. to offer a Master of Public Service degree. The main campus is housed in the historic Choctaw Station of the Rock Island Railroad, now known as Sturgis Hall. Additional classrooms and meeting spaces are located at the Clinton School River Market Campus in the historic 1882 Porbeck & Bowman Building in Little Rock’s River Market district, six blocks from the main campus.

The goal of the Clinton School of Public Service is to inspire the next generation of leaders and public servants. According to the school website (www.clintonschool.uasys.edu), “Clinton School students spend much of their time participating in public service projects ranging from local work in the Mississippi River Delta to international internship programs in countries across the world.” Prominent leaders and guest lecturers who have visited the Clinton School include Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright; Senator Bob Dole; actors John Lithgow and Sam Waterston; journalists Gwen Ifill, Bob Woodward, and George Stephanopoulos; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and many others. The Clinton School of Public Service can be followed on Twitter and Facebook, and more information can be obtained on their website.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park offers much more than a museum tour and a research library. The campus is interactive, informative, entertaining, and appropriate for the whole family. Ample free parking is provided, and everything is accessible by shuttle or a short walk. The venue is scenic, with the Arkansas River flowing just to the north and the Little Rock skyline to the west. The Clinton Presidential Center and Park is an experience in and of itself. Combined with a visit to the lively and entertaining River Market shops, eateries and pubs, this experience can become a full day – or days – of fun… with little educational information thrown in for good measure. Experience President Clinton’s vision of a “Bridge to the 21st Century” by touring the Clinton Presidential Center and Park and learn more about the 42nd U.S. President and his continued efforts to create national – and international unity.

Resources:
http://www.clintonlibrary.gov/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60914-2004Nov18.html

http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org