For a library and museum with plans to keep expanding, they can expect plenty of help that has been in place for some time, adds David Jones, president and CEO of The George and Barbara Bush Foundation. “President Bush hand-picked about 90 people 25 years ago to serve on his Board of Trustees. That group helped raise the money to build the library. Two years ago we re-engaged the group and added a significant number of folks from the Texas A&M community, inviting them to join the Board of Trustees.” Cordillera Ranch resident Billy Lemmons, trustee of both the Texas A&M Foundation and The George and Barbara Bush Foundation, was one of those. Jones says the efforts of the foundations “will help us attract visitors so we can tell President and Mrs. Bush’s story.” It’s a story that President Bush himself was astonished to see on his first walk-through at the library, right before it was dedicated in 1997. Jim McGrath, foundation consultant and post-White House spokesman for President George H.W. Bush says he will never forget it. “President Bush was quiet, very quiet,” recalls McGrath. “I said, ‘what do you think, sir?’ He said, ‘It’s very nice, but it’s all about me. There’s too much me.’” That exchange, says McGrath, showed that “the humility that his mother had inculcated into him from a young age was still there. It was vintage George Bush for him to think that his presidential library was too much about himself.”
and 43. Opened in 2013 and the newest of the 13 U.S. Presidential Libraries, the George W. Bush Presidential Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute (opened 2009) — the nonpartisan, public policy arm of the Bush Center. The Bush Institute focuses on three impact centers: domestic excellence, global leadership, and an engagement agenda on leadership development, policy and taking action on pressing challenges. The Bush Institute Military Service Initiative focuses on post 9/11 veterans and their families. “Portraits of Courage” was a collection of oil paintings by President G.W. Bush that was on display at the Presidential Center in 2017 and is now available in book form. Through October 16, 2019 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a special exhibit “Presidential Retreats: Away from the White House” that features four retreats: Camp David (MD), Prairie Chapel Ranch (TX), LBJ Ranch (TX), and Walker’s Point (ME), and how U.S. presidents have used these special places for work and rest.
Photo by Charles Bogel
LBJ PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY Austin. 512.721.0200, www.lbjlibrary.org
GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL CENTER Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 214.200.4300, www.bushcenter.org Photography courtesy of The National Archives and Records Administration, and the Bush Center.
Oval Office Replica
For the Bush family, politics and public service are definitely a family affair. The firstborn son of George H.W. and Barbara Bush, George W. Bush (July 6, 1946- ) is part of only two sets of father-son presidents in U.S. history (the other being John Adams and John Quincy Adams). The similarity of their names prompted their shortcut nicknames, or 41
As mythic figures go, it would be hard to find anyone more imposing than 36th President Lyndon Baines Photo by Frank Wolfe Johnson (1908-1973), a towering figure at 6’4” in more ways than one. Johnson assumed the mantle of the presidency during one of the country’s darkest hours, taking the oath of office barely two hours after President John F. Kennedy was slain by an assassin’s bullet in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The Bible he swore on is in the LBJ Presidential Library, along with the Presidential Limousine, a replica of the Oval Office reproduced exactly as it looked during LBJ’s White House years, and the Legacy Gallery that sums up the impact that the Johnson presidency had on America: “If you have watched PBS, received financial aid for college, enjoyed wildflowers on the side of a highway, enrolled in Medicare, or visited a national park — then chances are that legislation passed by LBJ has had a direct impact on your life today. Johnson’s vision of a Great Society covered such a wide range of topics that it would be difficult to live a life free from the effects of his Presidency. From the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act to requiring that seat belts be worn in cars, LBJ has made significant changes to everyday life in America.” (Source. lbjlibrary.org/exhibits)
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