Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Side Trip

(click on pic for larger image)

We spent last night in Little Rock. Since I did not know when we would be back this way again, I thought I would check out the Clinton Presidential Center that opened last month. I did a quick run through while my wife and kids ate breakfast.

The exhibits take advantage of some high tech with extensive use of flat panel displays, interactive touch screen computers and other gadgets. There were the expected relics of a former President: memos, letters, the pens used to sign important bills into law, a plethora of gifts from various heads of state, and the like. The main exhibit hall is designed as a huge timeline running from Clinton's first presidential campaign to his last day in office. It features not only important events from his presidency, but also major world events. The perimeter of the main exhibit area is divided into smaller alcoves, each devoted to a particular topic.

Parts of the exhibit seemed a bit tedious and not terribly interesting, IMHO, but others were quite fascinating. I would have to say, if pressed, that my favorite part of the exhibit was actually the replica of the Oval Office and the interactive video tours of the White House (hosted by the former President himself) that ring its exterior. I found it intriguing to hear the former President discussing the history of the "Resolute" desk and other furnishings of the Oval Office, as well other interesting tidbits about the White House itself.

Anyway, there you have it. It was an interesting distraction (at least for a history and politics buff like me) on our road trip which continued southward....

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