Arkansas: Little Rock and Bill Clinton Museum | Ants in Pants

Arkansas: Little Rock and Bill Clinton Museum

Русская версия   What do you know about Arkansas? Going there we only new that its name is similar to Kansas, but the state appeared to be quite famous.
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In particular, here, in the town of Little Rock, Bill Clinton was born. Every town where American president was born has a library-museum founded, and every visitor may get to see the archive of the documents related to the period of a president’s rule there. The Clinton’s museum address is 1200 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201, United States (+1 501-374-4242, Monday-Saturday 9.00-17.00, Sunday 13.00-17.00, adults $7, seniors $5, students $5). There is a free shuttle from the museum to the souvenir shop.
The exhibition starts with the history of American presidents’ pets. The 33rd President of the United State, Harry Truman, once said: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog“. Bought or received as a gift, the pets of the presidents often became celebrities. The children of president Grant were playing with ponies, and Roosevelts had over 40 pets. Famous pets of Clinton.
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Today these are Portuguese Water dogs Bo and Sunny who are helping to Obama family with official duties, e.g. visiting childcare hospital, meeting official delegations, and holding excursions in the White House.
The visitors can examine the copy of the presidential cabinet, where Clinton took his most important decisions. A special man here makes a short excursion and takes the photo of you in the presidential armchair. The armchair of the president is two inches taller than the armchairs of the ministers and the vice-president; every minister has his own place. Following the tradition, Clinton chose the portraits of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt for his cabinet, and the portrait of George Washington due to his resemblance with Clinton.
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The inauguration of Clinton took place in 1993, when he uttered his famous “There is nothing wrong with America which cannot be cured by what is right with America”. A separate stand shows how the US progressed in education, healthcare, science, beating AIDS and crime during the Clinton’s rule.
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A huge hall (only half of it is on the photo) is dedicated to the main decisions and events which took place while Clinton was at power, and the documents accompanying these decisions and events are kept inside the columns. This hall accommodates only 1% of the documents collected during Clinton’s rule: the rest is kept in the archive and accessible for anybody – no need for some special permission. In the hall, you can also see the letters to Bill and Hillary from Woopi Goldberg, Dalai Lama, mother Teresa, and others.

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We were most impressed by the folders with documents reflecting what Clinton was doing minute-by-minute: June 1993, July 1993, August 1993… Listened to a hymn at 12.03, left the stage at 12.33… His whole life in detail is accessible by any visitor.
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Every stand in this huge hall reflects on the main directions of Clinton’s politics, for instance, his struggle with outer threats or the pollution of environment.
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The topic of Monica Lewinsky and impeachment is also there. The stand accommodates the photo of Clinton crying from remorse and the pieces of his speech on how much he is to blame towards his people.

The visitor can also see the gallery of presents and personal items which belonged to the presidential family. The tradition to send presents to the president from his people is very popular in the US, and Clintons got tens of thousands of presents. These presents are mainly related to the Clinton’s hobbies – golf and music, his motherland – Arkansas. Some sent patriotic souvenirs with American flag and eagles the portraits of Clinton’s family and pets.

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While we were there, the museum also hosted an interesting exhibition about spies, sabotage, and conspiracies from 1776 till nowadays, e.g. Ku Klux Klan, Washington 1814 fire, communists’ conspiracies, and 9/11.

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Little Rock is generally a pleasant town, where there is much more to see.
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Apart from Clinton’s library, the town is famous for its hot springs. They are mostly situated inside the bath houses and medical centers built in a row at the main street at the beginning of the 20th century. Meanwhile, there are taps in the streets too, where everyone may get healing mineral water for drinking.
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In the center of the town, on top of the hill, there is a park with hiking trails and the tower providing the view on the city.

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Among other entertainments, one can find the Gangster museum and multiple unuasual tiny shops.
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A potential visitor can find what more there is to see and do in Little Rock here.
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See also:
Baku side trips: Gobustan and mud volcanoes (Azerbaijan, intermediate level)
A Saturday in Hocking Hills
What to see in Virginia
Gori (Georgia) – Stalin’s Motherland