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-   -   Arkansas, From Hope To The White House (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/arkansas-from-hope-to-the-white-house-915401/)

DMBTraveler Dec 19th, 2011 10:10 PM

Arkansas, From Hope To The White House
 
No matter your political persuasion or party affiliation, anyone should be able to appreciate a visit to The William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. The story and journey of a little boy from a small town in Arkansas, Hope, who's father dies before he is born but nonetheless he becomes The President Of The United States is impressive.

For me, William J. Clinton's rise to become one of the most important men in the world is reflective of one of the great things I love about this country, my second birthplace. It is a land of opportunity for anyone to succeed if one has the courage and fortitude to take advantage of what is offered.

Raised by his mother and nurtured by his grandparents, Bill Clinton overcame many obstacles and challenges to become not only one of the youngest governor's ever to win (and lose an election) but to also serve two terms as President. Some even believe that if it were constitutionally possible, Clinton may have even serve three or four terms.

Did you know that the first Presidential vehicle used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one seized from the famous gangster, Al Capone? Or that today Presidential limousines are proudly built in Warren, Michigan.

Also, did you know that after World War II President Truman redesigned The Presidential Seal? Originally, the eagle faced the talon holding the arrows of war, now it faces the olive branch. Truman believed that the President, although prepared for war, should always look towards peace.

While this is President Clinton's library, it is not all about him. Here, I have learned more about the First Lady, life at the White House and the Office of The Presidency itself. There is also currently even an impressive Lego exhibition. I did not know so many things could be made from such small colorful plastic pieces.

Done with my afternoon tour of the library, I walk back into downtown Little Rock just in time for Happy Hour. Sliders with a side order of Pickles & Peppers along with a pint or two or three of a cold micro brew hits the spot at Big Whiskey's.

Although this is no McDonalds, I have a feeling someone from Hope, Arkansas just might like hanging out here. I hope he brings his saxophone.


Video:
http://youtu.be/a_ffo6OhpVU

kansasmom Dec 20th, 2011 10:11 AM

I do want to visit the Clinton Library. Sounds fascinating!

yk Dec 20th, 2011 10:21 AM

During one of our cross-country moves, we stopped at Hope, AK to visit Clinton's Childhood home. I remembered it as a very modest home. Another thing Hope is famous for, is it's annual watermelon festival in August. http://www.hopechamberofcommerce.com/festival_info.htm

maitaitom Dec 20th, 2011 10:37 AM

Good stuff as always!

((H))

DMBTraveler Dec 20th, 2011 01:37 PM

kansasmom,

I think it would be aworthwhile visit. Besides Little Rock, Arkansas has some beautiful scenery which would be nice on a drive from Kansas.

yk,

Maybe I can get to Hope in August. I'll have to brush up on my seed spitting skills to be ready for the watermelon competition. Your recollection of Clinton's Childhood home only adds to belief that his journey to The White House was an incredible one.

DMBTraveler Dec 20th, 2011 01:44 PM

maitaitom,

Appreciate your stuff too ... Did you finish your "Mission Possible"? I see Tom is at it again and he is making me want to visit Dubai!

Happy Holidays :)

MP07950 Dec 21st, 2011 09:34 AM

Nice report. I visited 8 years ago while on sabbatical and really enjoyed the museum.

Lee4 Dec 22nd, 2011 12:50 PM

Great report!

I live in Little Rock and really believe the Clinton Library is one of the best things about our city! So much to learn, so much to see, and there are great traveling exhibits as well. One other bonus is that on certain days of the year, it's FREE!! So happy we have it here.

tomfuller Dec 22nd, 2011 01:17 PM

If you do plan on visiting Arkansas, also plan on seeing Alice Walton's art. http://crystalbridges.org/About
I hope to make it back to Arkansas someday.
Bill is the only President I ever shook hands with.

DMBTraveler Dec 22nd, 2011 02:55 PM

Lee4,

Big Whiskey for Happy Hour, Iriana's Pizza and watching The Peabody Ducks are also nice offerings in your hometown :)

I agree FREE is nice but at $7.00 visiting the library is still a bargain.


tomfuller,

That must have been very cool. I would enjoy the opportunity to do that and hangout with any President.

In the politics of everything it is easy to lose sight of their accomplishments to achieve one of the highest and most prestigous position on the planet.

xoe Dec 29th, 2011 08:55 AM

Be sure if you go to Hope in August that you LOVE hot and humid weather. It will be a steamer!!

DMBTraveler Dec 29th, 2011 12:09 PM

xoe,

As long as the watermelon is cold, one should have no problem surviving :)

Ozarksbill Dec 30th, 2011 05:57 AM

Yes, the Clinton Presidential Library visited not long ago is well worth the visit...well done. Did you sit in Clinton's chair in the cabinet room? By the way, a good side trip while in LR is a museum across from Central High, scene of racial desegregation.

DMBTraveler Dec 31st, 2011 01:41 AM

Ozarksbill,

They were doing some rearranging in the room when I visited :(

However, what a cool library. Will have to check out your recommendation next time I visit LR.

Placename Dec 31st, 2011 05:56 AM

Cool

Lee4 Jan 1st, 2012 07:48 PM

DMB--you have mentioned some great places in my town!!:) Iriana's is my favorite pizza place and we've taken our son to see those ducks many times. Usually, those 2 activities/places are combined for our family. You're also right about the $7--a great price indeed. Gotta love Little Rock!

Clinton was in town a few weeks ago to sign his new book at Barnes and Noble. I did not make it to see him but had some friends who waited around 2 to 3 hours -- and felt it was well worth the wait. He was his usual charming, friendly self to those who met him. Although he no longer lives her, he has certainly done a lot for this area by choosing to put the Library here.

DMBTraveler Jan 2nd, 2012 05:57 PM

Lee4,

I also think a 2-3 hour wait to meet Clinton would be worthwhile. Although we would disagree on some political issues, I admire his drive, his accomplishments and of course his charm.

Maybe I'll see you and the family at Iriana's the next time I am in LR .. Love That Pizza :)

Happy 2012!


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