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Little Rock, Arkansas - From Civil Rights to the American Presidency

© By Adam Southwood
  Little Rock Skyline & River It's the first building that you really notice. Located on the banks of the Arkansas River in the heart of Little Rock's River Market District, it's impressive. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center includes America's newest Presidential Library housing the largest archival collection in American presidential history. It features 20,000 square feet of exhibit space and the Clinton Library chronicles American history at the turn of the 21st century. Interactive exhibits, including a White House Cabinet Room reconstruction and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, provide a first-hand look into the life and work of the 42nd president. Other exhibits include 13 policy alcoves and an interactive 110-foot timeline within which the history of the Clinton Administration unfolds. Another section of the museum is designed to present exhibits about life in the White House: the splendour of state events, the spirit of holiday celebrations and how the Clintons made the White House their home.
     The Center hosts a number of free festivals, musical performances and special events throughout the year. You can enjoy a quick bite or a presidential dining experience in the onsite restaurant.
     Little Rock's Old State House was constructed of handmade brick in 1833, served as the state capitol for 75 years and serves as a history museum today. Permanent exhibits include: Pillars of Power, exploring the history of the Old State House; Arkansas' First Families, featuring 30 Arkansas First Ladies' gowns; Grandmother's Cottage, a hands-on children's exhibit; the Arkansas Wilderness gallery and the 1836 and 1885 House of Representatives chambers. Guided tours are available seven days a week. This Greek Revival-style structure may be most recognized as the backdrop for Bill Clinton's bids for the Presidency in 1992 and 1996.
     Here, there are myriad opportunities to walk discovering a great collection of picturesque parks that feature golf courses, a zoo, tennis courts, playgrounds, walking trails, mountain climbs, baseball diamonds and picnic choices for groups of all sizes. The Big Dam Bridge offers a unique walk, run or ride over the world's longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge, perfect for an afternoon outing.
     Check out the River Market District with its wealth of live music conveniently located downtown, all within walking distance of each other. Night life includes acoustic, techno, alternative, piano bars, rock, jazz, and country. Open mike night, DJ's, dance hits from the 70's and 80's and every genre in between, make up Little Rock's eclectic mix of club entertainment.
     Of course, Little Rock brings back memories of historic major civil rights clashes and the celebrated Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. They were prevented from entering the segregated school by Governor Faubus, but President Eisenhower intervened. The Supreme Court ruled on May 17, 1954 that segregated schools were unconstitutional and Ernest Green was the first African American to graduate from Central High School. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center documents this momentous period in American history.

Clinton Center  Heifer International  Old Statehouse Museum  Riverfest Amphitheatre 

Robinson Center  State Capitol  State Fair  Symphony Orchestra  Thunderbirds Flyover Clinton Center

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history and has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Little Rock CVB

If you go
This destination
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Little_Rock
About.com: http://littlerock.about.com/
Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau: http://www.littlerock.com/
The Clinton Presidential Centre: http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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