Famous Arkansan: William Jefferson Clinton

Zoie Clift
Since it’s Bill
Clinton’s birthday on Thursday ( August 19) I thought this would be a good week
to highlight famous Arkansan William Jefferson Clinton ( born 1942), the 42nd
President of the United States who was elected to two terms (1992 and 1996).

Clinton was born in
Hope and grew up in Hot Springs. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University
in England and graduated from Yale Law School. He taught law at the University
of Arkansas in Fayetteville before being elected as the state’s attorney
general (1976-78). He was then elected Governor of Arkansas, an office in which
he emphasized education reform and economic development (1978-80, 1982-93). His
wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton is currently the US Secretary of State.

There are numerous
attractions in the state that commemorate important events related to Clintons
life and ties with Arkansas.

The William J. Clinton
Presidential Center and Park
in Little Rock is one of only 12 presidential
libraries in the country. The center is the permanent home to the largest
presidential archive in American history. Just west of the Center is the
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The Old State House
Museum was the backdrop for Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 election eve acceptance
speeches. The future President spent 12 years as the chief executive of
the state at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. In Fayetteville there is the Clinton House Museum, which is located in the house where Bill and Hillary were
married. It received National Historic Register status this year.  In Hot Springs, visitors can see a
former family home. In Hope, tour the Clinton birthplace home. It became a part
of the National Park Service this year and is now the President William
Jefferson Clinton Home National Historic Site.  Image from John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. 

Join the Conversation