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The Museum

Framed by the themes of freedom, opportunity, compassion, and responsibility, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum serves as a resource for the study of the life and career of George W. Bush, while also promoting a better understanding of the American Presidency, American history, and important issues of public policy. The 14,000-square-foot gallery highlights themes and subjects, such as education reform, the global war on terror, the financial crisis, and efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Decision Theater

The Decision Points Theater offers an interactive, time-lapse scenario that feeds participants critical information so you can compare your decisions with those made by the President.


Overview

  • Sept. 11 Remembrance Display - Steel beams from the World Trade Center are the focal point of this poignant exhibit while video displays show footage of the most horrific moments. The names of the approximately 3,000 people who died in the Towers, at the Pentagon, and on the hijacked planes are listed on a nearby wall.
  • White House Oval Office - Take a look around the full-sized replica of the President's Oval Office, then sit at the Resolute Desk and enjoy the Texas Rose Garden.
  • Decision Points Theater - This interactive exhibit focuses on four key moments of the Bush presidency: the 2003 invasion of Iraq; the decision announced in January 2007 to send an additional 30,000 troops to that country (known as the troop surge); the administration’s heavily criticized response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and the decision to bail out the banks after the financial collapse in the fall of 2008. This time lapse scenario feeds the participant critical information so you can compare your decisions with those made by the President.
  • Freedom Hall - Stare in wonder at the one-of-a-kind 20-foot-tall, 360-degree, high definition video wall that orients visitors and depicts a montage of the 44 U.S. Presidents.
  • Urban Park - Take a walk through the 15-acre park filled with native Texas prairie grasses and wildflowers.

Special Exhibits

The Library and Museum hosts Special Exhibits and various events throughout the year. Previous temporary exhibits included "Baseball: America's Presidents, America's Pastime" and "All Creatures Great and Small: Christmas at the White House 2002." A number of holiday programs and events are also hosted each year by the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Gifts to the President

When a President accepts a gift from a foreign Head of State, it becomes the property of the American people, as the President works on our behalf.  The President may choose to retain some gifts at the end of the term.  For gifts from foreign Heads of State, the President must purchase the gift at the appraised value if he chooses to keep it. For domestic gifts or gifts from foreign private citizens under a set dollar amount (currently $335), the President may keep them as they choose. For domestic gifts or gifts from foreign private citizens over the set amount, the President must declare them on their taxes if they choose to keep them. If the President does not formally indicate their intent to keep, purchase or declare the gifts, they are automatically transferred to the National Archives.

Archival Collections

The primary mission of every presidential library is providing information, and at the heart of that mission are the library’s archival collections. The Bush Library has an immense set of materials. First, what differentiates the Bush Library collections from other presidential libraries is the size of its electronic records archive.

Dedication

President and Mrs. Bush shared the library's Opening Day with all living Presidents, dignitaries and supporters of the Bush Center. President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama, President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush, President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter participated in the special ceremony.

Construction and Operations

Opened to the public on May 1, 2013, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is America’s 13th presidential library, overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration. Like the other Federally-owned Presidential libraries, the Bush Library serves as a portal to the National Archives and its vast holdings at 45 locations around the nation.

Presidential libraries hold the papers and records created by, for, or about Presidents and their administrations. Without the preservation of and access to these materials, the history of our nation would be incomplete. They document the key decisions, policies, and activities of the institution of the Presidency – the highest level of government – and provide a vital record of how a President and his staff arrive at crucial decisions. Also, through exhibits, educational initiatives, and public programs, the libraries perform a critical outreach mission in their communities and beyond.

 

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