DALLAS — On Wednesday, May 1, The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will open to great pomp and circumstance. The museum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, celebrates the life and career of George W. Bush from the time of his birth in 1946 to the end of his time in office in the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, Texas in 2000. It also houses materialtouching briefly on his private life since his retirement from public service in 2008 to the present.
Administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the George W. Center—which houses both the library and the museum—is the 13th Presidential Library administered by NARA, and the 1st that doesn’t actually mention the subject’s Presidential tenure.
“The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is gonna knock your socks off!” said Library and Museum Director Alan Lowe. “We’ve got stuff from his time in the Texas Air National Guard, from when he ran Arbusto Energy in the late ‘70s, even from when he bought the Texas Rangers baseball team. Did you know he once traded away Sammy Sosa?”
The state-of-the-art museum will feature many exciting and innovative interactive features, including the Decision Points Theater, which is designed to take the visitor inside the decision-making process and policies undertaken by Bush during his time as Governor of Texas.
“There has never before been an American Presidential Library like this,” said David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States and head of NARA. “Mainly because all of the previous Presidential Libraries have chosen to mention the fact that their subjects were, in fact, President of the United States at one time or another.”
The museum’s permanent exhibit is sectioned into four distinct themes: freedom, responsibility, opportunity and compassion. The main entry hall will feature artwork created by Bush during the most recent, reclusive phase of his career. Paintings will be updated as Bush completes new work, and the former President has expressed his intention to do a lot of his painting right there in the rotunda, though he will be roped off and visitors will be advised not to speak to Bush, nor make any sudden moves in his vicinity.
“Anything you ever wanted to know about George W. Bush is in here,” said a proud Lowe. “From his wild days at Yale, to his courting of a sweet librarian named Laura, all the way up to when he chose to vacate his position as Governor of Texas in January of 2001 in favor of a different job which…well… anyway. Did you know he once traded away Sammy Sosa?”