Thank you for your interest in the history of President Bill Clinton's 1st Home. Perhaps as you tour the home and study the history exhibits about Clinton's childhood home, family, friends and adventures, you will be prompted to learn about your own life and family, too.
The first thing you need is your imagination. When young Bill lived here the street was lined with big trees and other family homes. The front yard extended out into what is now a busy, noisy street. The railroad underpass was small and narrow. When the I-30 interstate highway was completed S. Hervey St was widened into the feeder road to the interstate. It takes imagination to see what was an area of homes, families and children until the 1970s.
Where you live, has it changed? How has it stayed the same? What did it look like a long time ago? Where your parents grew up, how did look when they were young? What do they know about the changes around your?
Young Billy Blythe III (Clinton) spent much of his first ten years in the Hervey St. house with his widowed mother and grandparents. He lived there full time until he was four, when his mother married again and they moved to 13th St., but Billy continued to spend afternoons, weekends and summers with grandparents Eldridge and Edith Grisham Cassidy. Billy had a little dog, Puggie who went everywhere with him. Almost every day they accompanied Pawpaw Casidy to his small neighborhood grocery store. In those days neighborhood stores were social places. Women bought groceries, men sat and talked, and children ran through and played in the yard after school. When Bill grew up and became governor of Arkansas and then president of the nation he has stressed the importance of time spent at that little store where he learned so much about all sorts of people and their lives. Clinton says he learned social justice and the equality of people from his grandfather, and what it means to be a good person and a good neighbor.
What are you learning from adults in your life? How do certain people help you form your ideas about things? What were their lives like when they were your age? How did they get the ideas that you admire in them now?
Bill was ten when his beloved grandfather died and Bill's grandmother died while Bill was in college, but their influence on his ideas have remained throughout his life. Even though he knew them only when he was your age and a little older, he kept their pictures with him at the Governor's Office and the White House, and now they are on his desk at the Clinton Library. President Clinton. Other family photos there include his Uncle Buddy Grisham. He lived into Bill's second term in office and was a significant mentor. They were each role models of public service. They planted the seeds of ideas, demonstrating how to live life which remain with President Clinton and now influence the whole world.
When you are grown up yourself, who will you remember and think about to help you resolve things? Or who will you call? What will they know or be or do that will help you?
What things are you learning right now in your lives--ideas from your school, your families, your friends that will shape your life? What things will you want to teach others?
NOTE: Transitions in Progress 2010-2011
The Clinton Birthplace Foundation, Inc. gifted President Bill Clinton's 1st Home to the National Parks Service in January 2011, a gift to the nation and the world. Location: 117. S. Hervey St., Hope, AR. Home is open daily for interpretive tours 8:30-4:30. Free.
Interim website: www.nps.gov/history
Telephones: 870-777-4455; 870-722-8508.
The Clinton Birthplace Foundation, Inc. and The Clinton Museums Association of Friends continue to preserve Clinton's 2nd Home at 321 E. 13th St. (passive exhibits through porch windows) and to work with the National Parks to benefit Clinton's 1st Home.
P.O.Box 1925 Hope, Arkansas 71802 | Telephone 870-722-6929
On-line store is pending.
(C) 2009, 2010, 2011 Clinton Birthplace Foundation, Clinton Museum Association of Friends, Clinton Childhood Home Museums