Take a historic trip, and you can check out a piece of the history of the 42nd president of the United States of America. William Jefferson Blythe III, better known as Bill Clinton, served as president from 1993-2001. His first childhood home was in Hope, Arkansas, and the National Park Service has preserved it. The Clinton Childhood Museum is there for you to explore as you learn more about the earliest years of the president.
On Hervey Street
A little outside of downtown, a large white frame house sits. Young Billy Blythe is now better known as President Clinton. Then, he lived there with his widowed mother and grandparents. He played in the yard with his friends and spent a lot of time with his grandparents. When his mother remarried in 1953, he moved a short distance away but still visited his grandparents often until his grandfather’s death. The family sold the house after that, but President Clinton considers it to this day to be his childhood home.
Preserved and Passed On
The Bill Clinton Birthplace Foundation, Inc. gifted this first home of President Clinton to the National Parks Service in 2011, which then took over maintenance. As you tour the property, you can learn more about the youngest years of the President and the world he was living in at the time. Other artifacts like original furniture decorate the home. The second floor of the home is almost entirely as it was when he was a toddler and a small boy.
Make a Plan to Visit
Downtown Hope, Arkansas, is a dynamic and beautiful place. Whether you are a lifelong local or planning a visit from out of town, you don’t want to pass up the opportunity to check out this well-preserved slice of history. Fortunately, the Bill Clinton Museum is less than a mile and a half from I-30, so you can even add it into your trip if you’re only passing through. Explore the grounds, and the exhibits are for free. You can get a guided tour for a small fee.
Family Fun at the Museum
Because it is a part of the National Park Service, your children can participate in the Junior Ranger Program. The museum will soon celebrate Ranger Days, so keep an eye on the park page.
To keep kiddos comfortable, you’ll want to bring lots of sunscreen and water, especially during the summer. It can be hot and humid touring the grounds. Also, watch out for fire ants. If you’re not used to them, you might not think to look. By the time they’ve found your legs, you’ll find out the hard way why they’re called fire ants.
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A Historical Trip to Remember
Visiting the homes of past presidents is a great way to get a snapshot of U.S. history. You’ll enjoy seeing the way President Clinton lived as a little boy. And you might find out facts you never knew. Hope has a lot of history, so come see an important piece of it.