PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY—POTUS 43

December 20, 2014


During Thanksgiving my wife and I visited our youngest son and his fiance in Dallas, Texas.  It’s always a marvelous visit and we see them far too few times during any one year.  One afternoon we toured the Presidential Library and Museum of George W. Bush, our forty-third President.   If in Dallas, I would recommend you visit the following areas of interest while there:

  • AT&T Stadium.  This is where the Dallas Cowboys play.  It’s a marvelous structure.
  • The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
  • The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
  • The Texas Rangers Stadium
  • The Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • Any good restaurant that sells Texas brisket

With this post, we will be taking a look at the Presidential Library and Museum.   According to their web site:

“The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum “serves as a resource for the study of the life and career of George W. Bush, while also promoting a better understanding of the Presidency, American history, and important issues of public policy. The Library and Museum accomplishes its mission by preserving and providing access to Presidential records and other donated collections, hosting public programs, creating educational initiatives, preserving artifacts, and producing innovative museum exhibits.” – Mission Statement

The Library is the repository for textual, audiovisual, and electronic Presidential records created or received throughout the Administration of President George W. Bush as well as other donated collections.  Over 70 million pages of textual Presidential materials are housed at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The Bush library, which was dedicated on April 25 and opened to the public on May 1, cost an estimated $250 million to build. According to officials, the money Bush raised went towards the construction and operating costs of the library which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The remainder of the money raised will go to the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy foundation.

During the tenure of President Bush, several remarkable events occurred as follows:

  • The Bush administration affirms its decision to abandon ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty signed by 180 countries to reduce global warming that set limits on industrial emissions. March 29, 2001 
  • President Bush signs a $1.35 trillion tax cut into law. Although the amount falls short of the $1.60 trillion the administration has been seeking, the bill does slash income tax rates across the board and provides for the gradual elimination of the estate tax. June 07, 2001 
  • President Bush addresses the nation, outlining his plans for the federal funding of stem cell research. The new policy allows for government funding of research on already extracted stem cells but prohibits the extraction of additional stem cells from human embryos. August 09, 2001 
  • On September 11, 2001, the United States endured a deadly attack when terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed them. The hijackers intentionally flew the first three planes into important targets: both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. The fourth plane, which some speculated was headed for the White House, crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Passengers aboard the plane, talking on their cell phones, learned what the hijackers intended to do and with astonishing heroism tried to overtake the hijackers, saving the fourth target and sacrificing their lives.
  • Speaking from the Treaty Room of the White House, President Bush announces the commencement of military action in Afghanistan; an operation code-named “Enduring Freedom.” October 07, 2001 
  • After conferring with the National Security Council, President Bush notifies Russia of his intention to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Meetings with Russian president Vladimir Putin fail to establish an agreement between the two nations. In June 2002, the United States officially withdraws from the Treaty, allowing it to conduct anti-missile defense tests. December 13, 2001 
  • At the Kremlin, President Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin sign a nuclear arms treaty, vowing to reduce their nations’ arsenals by two-thirds over the next ten years. May 24, 2002 
  • Bush signs a landmark bill overhauling Medicare that includes the program’s first prescription drug benefits to begin in 2006 and creates incentives for private insurance companies to cover Medicare subscribers. December 08, 2003 
  • Bush authorizes bailout of financial institutions to negate run on banks and bank failures.

These events and more are detailed and chronicled in the Presidential Library.

I would like now to take you on a pictorial tour of the library.  ONE NOTE: some of the digital pictures are not exactly professional.  I used my cell phone for all of the JPEGs but the lighting inside the library accomplishes an affect that is not conducive to the best photographic quality.  The digitals indicate several major areas of interest.

The main entrance to the library is a sweeping path allowing access from the parking facility to the front door.

Presidential Library (1)

As you can see, it was an overcast day with low-hanging clouds.  Not exactly an F-8 day.

Library Exterior

My wife is wearing a heavy coat and a scarf. It was one of those cold days in Dallas and very cold, I’m told, for that time of year.

One marvelous feature of the library is the ability of the visitors to interact with computer systems pulling up and displaying facts about the White House and the presidency of George W. Bush. You can see from the slides below consoles available for viewing on a variety of subjects relative to his presidency.

Inneractive (2)

 

Each console employs touch-screen technology facilitating access to information relative to each educational cell.

Inside(1)

The TV “tree” in the JPEG below will also indicate viewing available in the library.

TV Displays

Every president is given gifts from visiting dignitaries.  The Bush presidency was certainly no different.   All of the gifts belong to the American people; consequently finding their way into the library and the archives.

Gifts(2)

Gifts(Lion)

YES—it is a stuffed lion!

There are many many others but this is just a flavor of what has been given over the course of eight (8) years.

This presidential library has an exact replica of the oval office.  I think some, maybe most, do.   The following digitals show the Bush office starting off with the presidential seal above the office door.

Presidential Seal

Oval Office

 

I was amazed at the intricacies of the desk.  It is truly a work of art.  The Presidential Seal is carved into the face of the desk and is an exact duplicate of the seal over the door.

The actual desk phone used by Bush is parked in a prominent location on the President’s desk.  Notice the speed dial buttons.  That has to tell you something about his inner circle.

Desk Phone

There is no event in my lifetime as traumatic as 911.  I can remember exactly where I was and the circumstances of that day and for weeks following.  One representation of that event is the bullhorn used by Bush during the time period right after 911.

Bull Horn

Pieces of twisted metal from the trade centers are on display indicating the massive destruction resulting from the events of that horrible day.

Twisted Metal from Towers

The war on global terror is a very prominent learning cell in the library as seen by the following:

Global Terror

One excellent display detailed the path and destruction of hurricane Katrina.  Katrina was an absolute disaster for the people living in New Orleans.  We were able to see first-hand the enormous power of dynamic and sometimes violent earth.  There were 1833 fatalities from that storm with insurance companies paying $41.1 billion on 1.7 million claims.  Katrina is the most costly disaster in the history of global insurance.   The entire occurrence is detailed in the cell presented.

Katrina

All was not gloom during the White House days and 43 was very much aware of how a wealthy country, such as the United States, can contribute to needed corrections in third-world countries.  His efforts in aiding African nations was displayed by the following digital.  What you can’t see, each “dot” on the maps below show a picture of individuals benefiting from the generosity of the American People.

Hopeful World

Rights and Dignity was a significant part of “Building a Hopeful World.

Rights and Dignity

We are told that Bush could not wait to exit the White House and the only real thing he would miss is Air Force One.  It is truly one “mean ride”.  Imagine being the President of the United States and what a burden of command that lofty position requires.  No wonder presidents age twenty (20) years during their “tour of duty”. Air Force One and Marine One are shown below.

Air Force One

There were good times at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  One annual event known worldwide is Christmas at the White House. Regardless as to what world event dominate the month of December, Christmas is celebrated with happiness and many festivities.    The tux and gown for one event during the season is on display as follows:

Tux and Gown

We cannot close without showing the Christmas tree during one Christmas at the White House.

Christmas Tree in White House

 

You may be Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Independent BUT a visit to one of our marvelous Presidential Libraries is a must.  This is the second one we have visited and both have been excellent in the manner information and material is presented.  Every school child and student should be required to make a visit to get a brief glimpse of history.

I welcome your comments. Hope you enjoyed this one.

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