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The world turned its gaze to Little Rock when Bill Clinton was elected as our nation's 42nd president, but his influence on our city dates back decades. This self-guided tour lets you walk in his footsteps and be guided by his example. 

 William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park

1200 President Clinton Ave.

 

The presidential library of Bill Clinton resides within the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park. The 30-acre campus includes the Clinton Presidential Library, the Clinton Foundation offices, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, and the full-service restaurant 42 bar and table. The library features exhibits that chronicle Bill Clinton's presidency, focusing on expanding civil rights to people worldwide. Exhibits also include exact replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room.


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 Clinton Presidential Park Bridge

1200 President Clinton Ave.

 

As part of the River Lights in the Rock project, the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge is one of three downtown bridges illuminated by LED lights. Along with the Main Street Bridge and the Junction Bridge, the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge provides beautiful colors that bounce off the river waters and provide an iconic Little Rock view. President Clinton attended the 2013 lighting event, flipping the switch lighting his bridge.

 

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 Clinton School of Public Service

1200 President Clinton Ave.

 

Located next to the Presidential Library is the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. It's housed in the restored 1899 Choctaw Station of the Rock Island Railroad. The Clinton School is the first graduate school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service degree.

 

Clinton School of Public Service

 

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 Holiday Inn Presidential Hotel

600 I-30

 

The hotel showcases Clinton and the second-largest White House and presidential memorabilia collection in Arkansas. It also features the Bill Clinton Presidential Ballroom and the Camp David Restaurant.

 

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Old State House Museum

300 W Markham St.

 

Bill Clinton announced his bid for the presidency here on October 3, 1991, and delivered his acceptance speeches on its grounds in 1992 and 1996. The Old State House served as Arkansas's capitol and is the oldest standing state capitol building west of the Mississippi River. It's home to a museum that chronicles Arkansas history from 1836 to the present.

 

Old State House Museum

 

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Clinton Gore Campaign Headquarters

112 W 3rd St.

 

This historic structure, the 1908 Gazette Building, served as President Clinton's campaign headquarters during the 1992 presidential election. The building formerly housed the state's oldest business, the Arkansas Gazette, until the newspaper merged with the Arkansas Democrat in 1991. Known as the "oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River," the Gazette had been an Arkansas institution since 1819. The building now serves as eStem Public Charter School.

 

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Arkansas Governors Mansion

1800 Center St.

 

Built between 1947 and 1950, the Arkansas Governor's Mansion occupies the original site of the historic Arkansas School for the Blind. The design for the mansion is a latter-day version of the Colonial Revival style, chosen to complement the Greek Revival architecture of the Old State House, located 17 blocks north of the mansion at the head of Center Street. President Clinton and his family lived in the mansion during his first term as governor from 1979 until 1981 and then again from 1983 until 1992 when he was elected President of the United States. Be sure to notice a bronze bust of President Clinton just inside the front gate. The mansion served as Suzanne Sugarbaker’s home in the 1980s hit television series Designing Women.

 

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 Central High School National Historic Site and Visitors Center

2120 W Daisy L Gatson Bates Dr.

 

In the fall of 1957, Little Rock became the symbol of state resistance to school desegregation. Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus directly questioned the sanctity of the federal court system and the authority of the United States Supreme Court's desegregation ruling while nine Black high school students sought an education at the all-white Little Rock Central High School.

The controversy in Little Rock was the first fundamental test of the United States' resolve to enforce civil rights in the face of massive southern defiance during the period following the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decisions. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower was compelled by white mob violence to use federal troops to ensure the rights of Black children to attend the previously all-white school, he became the first president since the post-Civil War Reconstruction period to use federal troops in support of civil rights.

 In 1998, President Bill Clinton signed legislation that made the school a National Historic Site to "preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit, education, and inspiration of present and future generations…its role in the integration of public schools and the development of the civil rights movement in the United States."

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is also a stop on the self-guided Little Rock Civil Rights Tour.

 

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Doe's Eat Place

1023 W Markham St.

 

 

Doe’s was frequented by presidential campaign staff during the 1992 election. During his frequent visits to Arkansas, President Clinton often ate at Doe’s and even order take-out for Air Force One.

 

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 The Justice Building

625 Marshall St.

 

 

 

The Justice Building was dedicated on June 10, 1958. While Bill Clinton served as Arkansas Attorney General, he had offices in the state's Justice Building. The building's most notable feature is the Court Room Rotunda, a round glass-enclosed wing of the building added in 1976. The artwork on the chamber's out walls depicts nine civilizations whose contributions led to our modern system of laws. Among the cultures represented are the Babylonians, the Persians, and the Greeks.

 

 

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Arkansas State Capitol

500 Woodlane St.

 

Bill Clinton served as Arkansas governor here from 1979-81 and 1983-92. The Arkansas State Capitol, modeled after the United States Capitol, was built between 1899 and 1915 in an imposing Neo-classical style. Constructed primarily of limestone quarried in Batesville, Arkansas and some Indiana Bedford Limestone, the interior was finished in marble from Vermont, Colorado, and Alabama. The top of the dome is 230 feet above the surrounding ground, and the lantern roof is covered in 18-karat gold leaf. Details include six solid bronze doors purchased from Tiffany's of New York. The Capitol grounds feature a civil rights memorial dedicated to the Little Rock Nine.

 

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