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George Bush Library offers look into political history

Nov. 11, 1997

Just a short drive southeast of here on the Texas A&M University campus is an opportunity that just wouldn't be prudent to miss. Yes, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located in Aggieland, but green and gold attire is still welcome there.

The new library and museum was dedicated Thursday before a large crowd of Bush's family, friends, supporters and admirers. Former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and current President Bill Clinton were there to witness the event. Former first ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan and current first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton joined Barbara Bush in the ceremony for her husband.

Now that the hubbub has died down a bit, this is the perfect opportunity to go visit the 11th presidential library in the nation and the second in Texas. The University of Texas at Austin is home to the presidential library of Lyndon B. Johnson. (Hmm... wouldn't it be nice to have a presidential library here at Baylor? Maybe a future president is roaming the malls of Baylor right now.)

George Bush was president while most students currently at Baylor were going through junior high or high school. We remember his 'Read my lips, no new taxes' pledge, his 'thousand points of light,' his strong dislike of broccoli, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and his strong, patient hand during the Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

Since he lost to President Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential campaign, we have seen him support both of his sons in gubernatorial campaigns, one victorious in Texas. We have seen him skydive out of an airplane, something most young people would be too afraid to do.

Most people remember what Bush did during and after his presidency, but most don't recall what he did before. The library helps people find out what a truly great American George Bush is. The museum has detailed exhibits of Bush's days as CIA director, the chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in China, Republican party chairman, United Nations ambassador, congressman and his days in the White House as vice president and president.

The one thing that stands out with George Bush, however, is his impeccable character, which no one, despite political affiliation, can dispute. His family is the one thing that has been constant in his life.

'Now that my political days are over, I can honestly say that the three most rewarding titles bestowed upon me are the three that I've got left -- a husband, a father and a granddad,' Bush said during the dedication ceremony.

So, before you graduate, whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, take the short trip to College Station and visit the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Copyright © 1997 The Lariat

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