Our evening consisted of watching Gone in 60 seconds at our motel that boasted a jacuzzi suite! It was probably just a bigger bath with bubble bath or something because there’s no way that motel had a jacuzzi anywhere! Another late night meant a later start but that didn’t matter as we were having a slightly easier day today.
First stop today was the William J Clinton Presidential Centre and Library. Bill Clinton was the 42nd US President who ran from 1993 to 2001 and was the third youngest president behind Roosevelt and Kennedy. He was 46. Prior to this he was the Govenor of Arkansas, twice, and received a degree in law from Yale University. He did spend time at Oxford university too in 1968 and 1969. At Yale, he was to meet his future wife and Presidential candidate, Hilary. They married in 1975 and had their daughter Chelsea in 1980. (A recreation of The Cabinet Room). The WJC centre showcases a whole host of artefacts timelines from Clinton’s reign as US President. He beat George W H Bush to victory in the 1992 election which ended 12 years of republican rule in the White House. The Republicans also dominated 20 out of the previous 24 years in office too.
The museum takes you through timelines of his reign as well as giving you insight into policies and laws he wanted implemented. He was a great believer in welfare reform and education and the first Bill he signed was the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 which meant large employers had to support unpaid time off for serious medical conditions or pregnancy. Below is his timeline from 1993 as well as his daily itineraries in the silver folders.There was a timeline for each year of his Presidency as well as other exhibits showing what he wanted to reform. He signed into the North American Free Trade Treaty but failed to get the national health care reform passed which was probably one of the biggest set backs. (Timeline from 1995 and his daily itineraries)
Clinton was elected for a second term in 1996 and held office until 2001. He faced impeachment in 1998 from the House of Representatives for perjury due to his liaisons with Monica Lewinsky. The matter was fully investigated and he was acquitted in 1999 by the Senate and continued his full term in office. A day in the life of Bill Clintom, Thursday January 11th 1996. An executive order signed by Clinton stating the “prohibition of transactions with terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process.”This is a letter written by Sean Maloney, a member of the House of Representatives ,to Clinton, thanking him for sending him to the funeral of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Shepard was killed by two assailants in what became a national atrocity and began the proceedings as to what is considered a hate crime, an act that Obama signed during his presidency. Clinton even called the Shepard family after his murder.
A letter written to Hilary Clinton from Mother Teresa and below is a letter Elton a John wrote to Bill Clinton. A speech made by Hilary Clinton at the world health organisation in China. She was a big advocate for women’s rights and health. Part of Clinton’s State of The Union address from 1997. The pen marks are his corrections.
Dotted all around the library are big blue box-file like boxes behind glass. There are 4356 of them. It turns out that they contain presidential records from the White House Office of Agency Liason. This is an agency which assists the people who have requested help from the President of First Lady in resolving a problem. In this museum it only holds 2-3% of the whole collection, which could be as many as 80 million pages! You can see them pictured here in the book shelves. The second storey of the museum was also fascinating. It depicted the lives of the Clinton family as well as the time and effort that goes into planning a state dinner! I mean it looks like a nice job being the First Lady but crikey after seeing the timeline and the effort it takes to plan a dinner!!!!! I think I’ll pass….
The Clinton’s in this museum are depicted as a strong unit who are down to earth and who walked among the people of America. They had two dogs, loved their sports as well as family meals. Bill would often be found watching a game with the butlers! They also made the Easter egg roll a massive day for children on the White House lawn. They would display a menorah and play dreidel games with children as well as reading ‘Twas the night before christmas’ to children in the wing of the house. Many state dinners were held and parties to celebrate the new year! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to know that they weren’t without scandal, I mean there were several, however, there was so much warmth emanating from the cabinets from them that they truly just seemed like nice people who tried to connect with all different people all around the world.
Next stop was Hot Springs. The home town of the Clinton’s during his time as a Governor of Arkansas. A town that has natural hot springs throughout. That consisted of another trek…so much for an easier day…The hot springs randomly in the middle of town by the visitor centre. We began our trek up the Grand Promenade. We had only put 1 hour 18 minutes on the meter so we had to get moving…mainly because we had no idea what we were doing or where we were going. We started climbing up as that was the most logical thing to do until we hit a road. The road was zigzagging up the mountain so we decided to take the “shortcut.” Trusty painted red trees formed our route and I quickly established why it was called a shortcut. It went straight up…Whilst these pictures clearly don’t show just how steep the hill was, believe me it was. I think I was walking pretty much vertically , in my trusty Skechers as yet again I didn’t put my walking boots on. When will I ever learn 😔
We eventually hit a sign and couldn’t figure out if it was 2 miles or 0.2 miles along the trail. I saw the road so said to Nathan I’d meet him at the top as he took the shortcut. Then came the worst part….being overtaken by cars who must have been thinking ‘what on earth is she doing?’ It’s an incredibly humid hot day and she’s decided to trek up this massive hill/mountain along the zigzagging road. Yes yes I did decide that as it was clearly the more sensible option than to climb up the rest vertically.
As you could probably all imagine, considering he has longer legs than me and had walking boots on, (the only two factors that resulted in him beating me of course!!) Nathan emerged from the trees about half a mile ahead of me. I don’t actually know if I was power walking or dawdling to be fair so I’ll take a half mile as he was going forward not zigzagging 😇 I’m not making excuses honest!! 😂
Imagine our surprise when we stumble across a bloody car park!!!! We actually could have driven up to the mountain tower instead of trekking as we did!! With a time limit of one hour 18 minutes too! I mean the pressure was just immense 😂
We found the first viewpoint Then saw the climb we had to endure to get to the second…A 7 storey climb up to the top of Mountain Tower. Needless to say when we got to the top we were knackered…..
….joking. We took the elevator 😂 you couldn’t climb it due to the weather. It was a shame the weather was so foggy as it meant the view was that little bit less impressive…After a 360 degree panoramic view of hot springs we began the descent. That age old saying “race you to the top” or in this case “race you to the bottom” really should only be used when the race would be fair. I was just as bad getting down as I was getting up and this time I used the whole ‘shortcut.’ Why the rush anyway? I like to take in the scenery around me 🌲!! Oh wait, we did have to get back before the meter expired and the big red ‘expired’ sign starting flashing at us!
Nathan was nowhere to be seen. Last time I say race you to the bottom unless I’m already at the bottom 😔. I eventually round the corner back onto the grande promenade and look over the barrier. Damn, the car lights are on. Is it wrong I was hoping he might have taken a wrong turning for a tiny bit lost so I would win? Yeah you’re right. Probably. I then receive a message saying “made it.” I was two minutes out. He only beat me by 4 minutes 🥈!! My reply consisted of…
- Put the air con on full blast
- Ping the boot
- Put Memphis into the sat nav
My requests were met thankfully. Then began the 188 mile journey to our next destination, Memphis, Tennessee. When Nathan asked what’s on the agenda in Tennessee I say, Graceland the home of Elvis Presley, to which he quickly goes “hee hee” trying to emulate Michael Jackson. He very quickly realises he was wrong for the second time today….
On that note…