While on a road trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for my birthday in October of 2020 we decided to check out the William Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. Politics aside, we had visited the Arkansas State Capitol building and we just thought it would be cool to see the museum while in the area. We had never been to one before. Sadly we still haven't really, as it was closed (Ugh, I think you can guess why) but we still checked it out from the outside and took some pictures of the library/museum and the beautiful area surrounding the building.
It is quite a large area, 17 acres of land actually, and is located next to the Arkansas River. One thing that was really interesting is that the main building sticks out over the Arkansas River, echoing Clinton's campaign promise of "building a bridge to the 21st century". I wish we could have seen it from the inside. Next to the building is the Clinton Presidential Park, which occupies nearly 30 acres of said land and is located on the riverfront next to the museum. Such a beautiful and peaceful area. We spent a little while walking around the area enjoying the peace and the views.
William Clinton Presidential Museum
Even though we couldn’t go inside on that trip, I still decided to share some of the basics about the William Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. I will start with the museum. The museum showcases artifacts from Clinton's two terms as president. Apparently, there are full-scale replicas of the Clinton-era Oval Office and Cabinet Room. You will also find over 100,000 objects and works of art in their collection. These also include items related to his life, his campaigns for the presidency, and the actual presidency. They state that there are also many gifts given to the Clintons including citizens of the United States as well as foreign heads of state.
While they have some temporary exhibits that change here and there, mostly they concentrate on their permanent exhibits. These exhibits reflect on the day-to-day workings of the White House and the Clinton administration. They include the domestic and foreign policy, ceremonies, and events, as well as the daily life of the Clinton family. Each of the three floors at the William Clinton Presidential Library and Museum holds something of unique and interesting value.
The main or ground floor holds the Presidential limousine (I didn’t know a president got to keep a limousine, interesting), and temporary exhibit. The second floor houses the Orientation Theater and a replica of the White House Cabinet Room. On this floor, you will also find what they call the presidential timeline, which is where the work of the Clinton administration is shared. What I think would be cool to see is the third floor. Here you will find a replica of the Oval Office and another temporary gallery. I wonder if you can sit in a chair and take a picture. That would be cool. Hopefully, we can find out one day in the future.
William Clinton Presidential Library
As I said earlier, this building is also a library. The archives at the William Clinton Presidential Library and Museum are the largest of any presidential library, containing 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 21 million e-mail messages, and 79,000 artifacts from the Clinton presidency.
For the history buffs, I thought I would end this post by sharing that the William Clinton Presidential Library and Museum were dedicated on November 18, 2004, and was attended by approximately 30,000 people including such notables as Willie Mays, Robin Williams, and Barbara Streisand. Of course, former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and George W Bush were also in attendance. There were speeches, and music, as well as a video tribute from Nelson Mandela. Sounds like an amazing turnout, especially since it was raining.
Like I said it is a beautiful area and I hope to be able to visit one day. Here is a link to their website if you are interested in visiting on a future trip and want to learn more (as well as keep up to date on when they open again). Please let me know if you have visited and share your experience below in the comments. Would love to hear from you. Happy travels.
1200 President Clinton Ave. Little Rock, AR 72201
Adults (18-61) $10
Seniors (62+) $8
Youth (6-17) $6
Children (0-5) Free
Active Duty US Military Free
Free Admission Days
The Saturday before President Clinton's birthday (Aug. 19)
On Veteran's Day, all active and retired military and their families receive free admission in honor of their service.
Tours are offered to the public at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sundays. The daily tours are free with paid admission and reservations are not required.