washingtonpost.com  > KidsPost > Today's News


Thursday, November 18, 2004; Page C14

Clinton Presidential Library Opens Today

• Former president Bill Clinton is going to the library today.

Not just any library, mind you, but his own presidential library, which is opening in Little Rock, Arkansas. The glass-and-steel, bridge-like building took seven years and $165 million in private funds to build. Clinton, 58, was governor of Arkansas before becoming president in 1993.

Bill Clinton with Diane Sawyer. (Ida Mae Astute, ABC via AP)

There are now 11 libraries in the federal Presidential Library system, a tradition that started in 1939 when Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his public and private papers, and 16 acres of his New York estate, to the government for a library.

Before that time, presidential materials were kept in different ways -- and sometimes were lost.

Every former president since Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) now has a presidential library in his home state. The libraries have museums and public programs that attract thousands of visitors each year.

Clinton's library has a replica of the Oval Office and a top-floor apartment where he will live some of the time.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company