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George Bush (41) Presidential Library…

Posted by on April 1, 2015



The President announced the beginning of Desert Storm on national TV. Remember watching the nightly news and seeing our “smart bombs” accurately hitting their targets?  

GEORGE BUSH 41. George Bush brought to the White House a dedication to traditional American values and a determination to direct them toward making the United States “a kinder and gentler nation.” In his inaugural address he pledged in “a moment rich with promise” to use American strength as “a force for good.” Bush was true to his word. A visit to his Library confirms it.

COLLEGE STATION. The library is located in College Station, on the campus of Texas A&M University. The institution promotes civic literacy and historical understanding of the national experience, and fosters a community of public service and volunteerism.


There was no broccoli served at the White House.

NO MORE BROCCOLI. We spent about three hours looking at the exhibits and marveling at the accomplishments of the man who famously stated during the beginning of his presidency: “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” I remember laughing about that statement when I first heard it as a kid. Most everyone got a chuckle except broccoli growers. They were furious!

COME INSIDE…I’LL SHOW YOU AROUND. Our tour of the Library and Museum was an afternoon well spent! The layout is logical and the story of the former president’s life and achievements is visually well presented. Lots of knowledgeable docents are on hand to explain the exhibits and answer questions. We enjoyed every minute of our visit. We came away with an increased respect for a man who, regardless of one’s political persuasion, has a list of accomplishments almost so long as to be unbelievable and whose life simply demands respect and appreciation.


Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.

WHEW! The man’s done it all!  He was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings. He flew 58 combat missions during World War II. On one he was shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire and was rescued from the ocean by a U.S. submarine.  After the War, he attended Yale University and excelled at his studies and as an athlete.


George and Barbara Bush with their Springer Spaniel Millie.

LISTEN TO THIS: After graduation he married Barbara and had a successful career in the oil industry of West Texas. Thereafter, he served two terms as a Representative to Congress from Texas. He was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in China and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served as Ronald Reagan’s Vice President and he of course subsequently was elected President.

His greatest test as President was when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia. Vowing to free Kuwait, Bush rallied the United Nations and the American public, sending over 425,000 troops to route Iraq’s million-man army in Operation Desert Storm.

ONE TERM PRESIDENT: Despite unprecedented popularity from his military and diplomatic triumphs, Bush lost his bid for re-election to a second term. Being perceived as “out of touch” is cited often by historians as one of the reasons Bush wasn’t elected for a second term. I remember reading about his visit to a supermarket one time, where he was amazed to see for the first time that items were electronically scanned at the check-out counter, a process that had be routine for many years. So, I suppose he was “out of touch” to an extent, but never in the history of America has there been a more qualified man to hold high office!


Portrait of the President with his advisers in the Oval Office. Expand this photo and see if you can recognize everyone in the group.


Bush was a prolific letter-writer. Here’s a portion of one he wrote to his parents after his plane was shot from the sky during World War II. Many of his personal letters are contained in his book titled “All The Best, My Life in Letters and Other Writings.” I had trouble getting much “traction” when I read this book a few years ago, but I think I’ll try again now. 



Bush’s red 1947 Studebaker, which he and Barbara drove around the state of Texas while campaigning for elective office.


Replica of the Oval Office in the White House during the Bush presidency. Look at all the family photos on the table behind the desk. The top left drawer on the President’s side of the desk held the first baseman’s glove he used at Yale where he captained the baseball team. The open drawer on the guest side of the desk held a special telephone which Bush and his assembled advisers would often use to speak to foreign dignitaries.


The President kept his baseball glove in the top left drawer of his desk in the Oval Office. We learned that he’s a very sentimental guy, in many ways. As is Bush 43. Read his latest book: “A Portrait of My Father.” 


A replica of the President’s office at Camp David.


Gifts received from various foreign leaders when they visited President Bush in the White House.


A 24 caret gold palm tree, given by the King of Saudi Arabia while on a state visit to the United States.













CONSPICUOUS DISCREPANCY. I’ve always had an eye for detail and I found a conspicuous discrepancy at the Library between two of the exhibits. Given the attention paid by curators to accurate reproduction of White House details, I’m surprised that this one exists. Have you spotted it? I’m guessing you haven’t, so I’ll show it to you.

DID YOU SPOT IT? Recall that President Bush frequently assembled his advisers around his desk in the Oval Office for discussions on important foreign affairs. A secure line telephone which was kept in a drawer on the “visitor side” of his desk was was often used during the conferences for important calls. Examine the painting of such a meeting I’ve included above, in this post. You’ll see National Security Adviser Bret Scowcroft holding the receiver of this phone, which is housed in the drawer on the lower right side of the desk. Now, look at my photo of the mock Oval Office itself. In that display, the phone in the President’s desk is located in the drawer on the left side of the desk! I know, this is a bit like the “Where’s Waldo” series of children’s books so popular in the 1980’s, but I just can’t help myself! But, come on…what if only five Marines were cast in the famous War Memorial statue of the Iwo Jima flag raising during World War II. I just wouldn’t be accurate, would it?  So there.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Don’t miss this attraction if you’re in the area. We really enjoyed our visit to the Presidential Library and Museum. We came away with a refreshed recollection of events during Bush 41’s time in office and a renewed respect and admiration for the President who’s accomplished so very much during his lifetime. We’re looking forward to seeing more of the presidential libraries during our travels. I think the next one we visit will be the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York. Stick around, you won’t want to miss it.


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