Saturday, March 26, 2011

Central High and Clinton Library

Just like the ole weather forecast promised, we had rain today.  No thunderstorms or heavy rain, but a light drizzle all day long.  Luckily, our places to go were mostly inside.

Our first stop this morning was Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.  As you know, this was the all-white high school which gained national attention in 1957 when a small group of black students decided to attend classes there.  These students became known as the Little Rock Nine and were eventually awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Clinton for their contribution to the Civil Rights Movement.

We toured the museum at the Visitor Center which is located across the corner from the High School.  We took photos of the school and the Mobil station.  The Mobil Station is owned by the park service and has been restored to the way it looked in 1957.  The school is still an operating high school and was not accessible to us today.  The park service conducts tours during the week when school is in session, but those tours are by reservation only.  Today, being Saturday, the school was closed.

Our next stop was the Clinton Presidential Library.  This modern building is directly across the river from our campground. Currently, the old railroad bridge is being up graded to a pedestrian bridge.  If that construction had been completed, we could have just walked to the Library from our camp site.

We started out by watching a short film then took our time meandering through the displays.  The first floor displays featured a timeline of Clinton’s work in office, while the second floor was devoted more to “Life in the White House”--holiday celebrations, state dinners, personal entertaining--that sort of thing.  There were two rooms set from the Clinton White House--the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room.  Many of the objects in these rooms are replicas.  We could sit at the Cabinet table and walk around the room. The Oval Office, which is set up in the exact size as the real Oval Office was roped off and we could only look in through the doors.

Also at the Clinton Library were two changing exhibits.  Both we found very interesting.  Gene says the most exciting for him (and I think he is even including the Clinton exhibits) was the Dr. Seuss exhibit. There was a lot to Dr. Seuss that we didn’t realize; much more than just great children’s books.  That exhibit was fun.  I found the Revolution and Rebellion exhibit fascinating.  The artist, George Stuart, creates doll-sized figures of famous historical figures.  On display were prominent people from the American Revolution and the Civil War.  Incredible.

Well, we’ve seen what we came to Little Rock to see.  As I’m writing this, Gene is starting preparations for leaving.  But we’re not going far.  About 50 miles south of here is Hot Springs.  That’s our destination for tomorrow.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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