OldWestNewWest.com: History & Travel Magazine

Monday
Feb 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home National & State Parks Other NPs William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home Dedicated

William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home Dedicated

Hits smaller text tool iconmedium text tool iconlarger text tool icon
President Bill Clinton's birthplace home in Hope, Arkansas was formally dedicated into the National Park System April 16, 2011, making it the newest addition to the National Park Service's list of historic presidential sites.

President Bill Clinton was on hand for the dedication ceremony of the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, and was joined by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and other dignitaries.

clinton_jarvis"We are very proud to include this important historical birthplace home within the National Park System," Salazar said. "This ensures that the American public will, for generations to come, be able to see where President Clinton spent his first formative years that helped shape his understanding of the world and influence his development into the international statesman that he has become."

Built in 1917 by Dr. H. S. Garrett, the modest home on Hervey Street is where President Clinton spent the first four years of his life. Clinton lived there with his widowed mother and maternal grandparents, who helped care for him when his mother was in New Orleans pursuing her nursing degree to support her young son.

"In this house I learned to walk and talk; I learned to pray; I learned to read; I learned to count from the playing cards my grandmother tacked up on the kitchen windows...In many ways, I know that all I am or ever will be came from here," Clinton said in a 1999 speech at the home. "We visit these places not because great events happened there, but because everyday events happened there."

clinton_walks"We make them into landmarks because they remind us that America's greatness can be found not only in its large centers of wealth and culture and power, but also in its small towns, where children learn from their families and neighbors the rhythms and rituals of daily life," he continued. "They learn about home and work, about love and loss, about success and failure, about endurance and the power and dignity of their dreams."

On May 19, 1994, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Clinton Birthplace Foundation restored the two and one-half story frame house and opened it to the public in 1997.

The restored interior still has much of its original detail, including the staircase in the living room, a small pantry and the second floor finishes like the flooring and the beaded board in the hallway and nursery.

On March 30, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 which provided the authority to establish the national historic site. The site was officially transferred to the National Park Service in December, 2010.

"This park is one of more than 30 presidential sites that have been entrusted to the care of the National Park Service," said Jarvis. "We are honored to preserve and share these places that are such a part of the American story. Welcoming President Clinton's home to the family of 394 national parks, all owned by the American people, is a great way to start the celebration of National Park Week."

The home is open to the public for tours. For more information visit the Web site at  
www.nps.gov/wicl


 
National & State Parks
Banner
Banner
Banner