President Clinton's Birthplace Now A National Historic Site

The National Park System has grown by one with the formal establishment of the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site in Hope, Arkansas.

"We are very proud to include this important historical birthplace home within the National Park System and to interpret the story of President William Jefferson Clinton's early, small-town life for the American public,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday in announcing the site's addition to the park system. “President Clinton spent his first formative years in Hope and credits his family and the community with helping to shape his understanding of the world and influencing his
development into the international statesman that he has become.”

Though Congress had passed legislation creating the site and President Obama had signed the bill into law on March 30, 2009, the birthplace home could not be officially established until the property deed had been transferred to the federal government to allow for effective management by the National Park Service. The deed was transferred Tuesday.

The unassuming house on Hervey Street was home to the 42nd President of the United States for the first four years of his life. He lived with his widowed mother and maternal grandparents, who helped care for him during the times his mother was in New Orleans pursuing her nursing degree to support her young son.

The Clinton Birthplace Foundation restored the home and opened it to the public in 1997. The National Park Service will have personnel on site and will work closely with the Clinton Birthplace Foundation to transition from private to federal ownership. The official dedication of the site will happen in the spring of 2011.

The home is open to the public for tours.

Comments

And we complain about the Park Service not having enough money to operate properly?

The George W. Bush National Historic Site would have also opened soon, but due to a maintenance and brush clearing backlog, it will only be open on even numbered Mondays that coincide with a full moon.

Ecbuck, you have to remember that it's Congress, not the Park Service, that creates these sites.

Quite a coup for a living president to get his own NPS site. Makes me wonder if I can ever go there and actually run into the guy; that'd be a feather in my National Parks traveling cap -- actually seeing an historic character at his or her site. Not quite Lincoln, but you gotta take what you can get.

And by the way, I've heard talk about commemorating Reagan with an NPS site in Dixon, Ill. Any news on that?

Is it just me, or is this park name ridiculously long? This is the only president's home that has the word "President" in the name. There isn't a President Harry S Truman NHS, or a President Jimmy Carter NHS. "Clinton Boyhood Home NHS" or "Clinton Birthplace NHS" would much easier to say.

Wonderly00, that, too, is Congress's doing....It is long, that's for sure!

Kurt - I'm not "blaming" anybody in particular I'm just noting the irony. What historical significance does Clinton's birthplace hold? What resource needs to be protected? And this is not a political statement (though the absence of recent Republican Presidents from the park list is notable), I would be just as skeptical of a Bush or Reagan birthplace site.

Seems to me that given the limit resources, the NPS should consist only of units of true historical or natural significance that cannot be protected in any other way than being incorporated into the NPS system.

Ecbuck,

I would tend to agree...

Democratic presidents or their supporters seem more willing than Republicans to donate property to NPS. As I understand it, the Reagan Boyhood Home is awaiting purchase (not donation)--and the asking price is much more than the NPS appraisal. As to the comment about running into a former President in Hope, one may make a pilgrimage to Plains today, and sightings were once common in Independence.