Summer of Presidents

“Now we go forward – GRATEFUL FOR OUR FREEDOM, FAITHFUL TO OUR CAUSE, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on Earth.” – President George W. Bush

Moving forward is always a positive thing! However, learning about things that happened in the past can also be beneficial. This summer, take the time to learn more about the history that has happened in America. This knowledge may actually help you take steps forward in the future!

There are 15 Presidential Libraries in the United States of America, each with its own unique background story, history, and unique take on showing off the past! When deciding which ones to visit, you can use the download code PRLB in your Hertz NeverLost device to discover these 8 Libraries:

To view the full list of United States Presidential Libraries, see: Visit Presidential Libraries and Museums.

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

George W. Bush was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States on January 20, 2001. Although he is no longer President, he remains actively involved in issues of national and global concern and continues to emphasize education, global health, human freedom, and support of the military.

On May 1st, 2013, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas, opened to the public. It is located on the Southern Methodist University campus and allows you to “explore interactive museum galleries, sit in the Oval Office, enjoy the Texas Rose Garden, eat lunch in the restaurant or café, shop in the Museum store and stroll through the 15-acre park filled with native Texas prairie grasses and wildflowers.”

Recently, my coworker, Elizabeth, and I had the chance to visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Texas. The Library and Museum opened to the public on May 1, 2013.

The dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on April 25, 2013 - photo courtesy of

The dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on April 25, 2013 – photo courtesy of

To learn about the dedication ceremony, Texas sized block party, and other events that lead to the opening, see: SMU Welcomes the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

“As the 13th Presidential Library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a Federal agency and the Nation’s official record keeper, the Museum highlights critical events and issues from the Administration of President George W. Bush. The Museum is the repository for domestic and foreign Presidential gifts as well as other donated artifacts relating to the life and career of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush.”

When visiting this Library and Museum, there are a few things you should know:

  • There is a security check upon entering the building
  • Food and beverages are prohibited in the museum but you can dine before or after your visit at Cafe 43
  • You can purchase memorabilia, apparel, and gifts at the museum store, known as the  Presidential Center store
  • Group visits and field trips can both be scheduled
  • Photography is allowed but flash cannot be used
  • The Library and Museums can accommodate the Americans with Disabilities Act

To learn more, visit the Visitor’s FAQs page.

Some of the great things about visiting the museum, is how knowledgeable and helpful the people were. Elizabeth and I were provided with portable hand-held devices that allowed us to see pictures and stories of the museum, lead ourselves around a 90 minute tour, and listen to voice-over descriptions while visiting.

The Library and Museum highlights President George W. Bush’s personal life before, during, and after presidency. It also displays the  issues he felt strongly about and worked towards solving during those times. There are numerous quotes, small screen videos, and pictures that show what he stood and worked for. There are also rooms that show mini documentaries of things that happened during his career.

Pictures from our visit!

Pictures from our visit!

Additionally, there are a variety of remembrance statues, photos, videos, stories, and letters that shows support for the events that took place on September 11, 2001. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”—President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

Alan Lowe, the director of the Library and Museum, said that “It is our job to ensure that future generations – especially those with no first-hand knowledge of the events of 9/11 – have a place to study, learn and pass that information along,” and these displays are perfect for that.

9/11 memorials, quotes, stories, and more

In addition to the yearly displays, there are also special exhibits. “Visitors to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will have the opportunity to experience three special exhibits in 2014: The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy, Oscar de La Renta: Five Decades of Style and All Creatures Great and Small: Christmas at the White House 2002.”

During our visit, we had the chance to check out the Oscar de La Renta: Five Decades of Style exhibit, and it was amazing!

The exhibition offers visitors “an opportunity to examine, through Oscar de la Renta’s designs, the unique role of the First Lady as our country’s official hostess to world leaders and diplomats and as a trendsetter in style, fashion, and entertaining.”

Check out this video, which plays when you first walk into the exhibit!

The dresses displayed were gorgeous and there were also a ton of photographs that showed off the times they were worn!

Check out the Gallery: Exhibit Preview to see more dresses!

Discovering more about the history, events, and personal/political happenings that President George W. Bush was involved with, was a great experience! In fact, so was seeing the amazing dresses from the Oscar de la Renta exhibit! However, I have to admit that one of the coolest things we did, was explore the Oval Office replica!

Panoramic view of the Oval Office replica

Panoramic view of the Oval Office replica

Elizabeth and I inside the Oval Office replica

Elizabeth and I inside the Oval Office replica

I could keep talking about our visit for a long time, because it was great! But, you should take this summer to visit the nearest Presidential Library by you instead and move forward with your own opportunity!

Also, enter our Summer of Presidents contest by clicking below for the chance to win a prize!

Click here for more details


Have a great summer!

Melissa Woodring 🙂



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