I've never been to a presidential library before, and I often wondered what would be cataloged inside. POTUS bedtime reading? Books only about that particular president? Best letters ever written?The answer is all of the above – well, other than the bedtime reading part. And it's so much more, too.
When I visited the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., I was surprised to find a lot to see and do. I had been told earlier in the day by the concierge in my hotel that Little Rockers (should be the right term, even if it isn't) didn't like the architecture of the library because it reminded them of a mobile home trailer. Long pause. "But maybe that's more appropriate than not," he said.
If you squint a little at the photo above, I guess it does look like a bit like a mobile home (nice touch with the cinder block supports), but I actually thought it was much more like those modernist homes you see clinging to the sides of hills in Los Angeles, and I liked that about it.
Anyway, this is the one library where you can go in and check things out, but only in the visual sense. There are some books, mostly bound versions of Clinton's papers, letters, and schedules. But it's more like a museum, with artifacts, gifts from other state leaders, letters from admirers and celebrities, and a recreated Clinton Oval Office and Cabinet Room.
I enjoyed the notebooks full of every daily schedule of Bill Clinton's two terms. And I'll answer the question I'm asked most when I say I looked through them: No, there was no mention of Monica.
Enjoy the photos below – and join me later this week for my final installment on the library, featuring the smallest one I've ever seen.
|The recreated Oval Office from Bill Clinton's White House.|
|Those infamous daily schedules.|
|A Chihuly Christmas Tree, created for the Clinton White House.|
|A table set with the Clinton White House china.|
|A small replica Taj Mahal created out of pearls and platinum, a gift to the Clintons from the people of India.|
|The interior of the Clinton Presidential Center. Note the books encased in the columns.|