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Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Commemorating Courage: 40th Anniversary of Desegregation of Central High

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This online exhibit revisits the 1957 Central High crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas. Select quotes of President Clinton’s speech at the 40th Anniversary Commemoration are highlighted, along with an examination of the speechwriting process for crafting the remarks. The exhibit includes documents and images from the archives at the Clinton Library, and also provides links to additional historical material maintained by other institutions.

In September 2017, we commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.  As someone who remembered the event as a child, and as President during the 40th Anniversary Commemoration, President Clinton holds a special connection to this history.  

Speechwriters met with President Clinton to craft a message that would commemorate the sacrifice and courage of the Little Rock Nine and inspire those who heard the message to step out in similar acts of courage. The writers addressed the failures of a system of government that attempted to exclude individuals from the American Dream and resolved that America would only ever truly be great if everyone had equal access to opportunities.

"Days Like This": President Clinton's Public Diplomacy in Northern Ireland

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Public diplomacy is communicating directly with foreign citizens in order to influence popular opinion in other countries. This Digital Library Exhibit revisits President Clinton’s most visible act of public diplomacy on behalf of peace in Northern Ireland:  his excursion to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas holiday season in Belfast and Londonderry on November 30, 1995. Northern Irish musician and activist, Van Morrison, performed his Northern Ireland peace anthem "Days Like This" at the Belfast Christmas Tree Lighting in celebration of President Clinton's visit.

Helping bring peace to Northern Ireland was one of the most remarkable achievements of the Clinton Administration. When President Clinton assumed office in 1993, the conflict between the Protestant and Catholic communities in this province of the United Kingdom had claimed over three thousand lives. In 1998, aided in part by President Clinton's unceasing efforts, Protestant and Catholic political parties signed the Good Friday Agreement with the British and Irish governments. This ended thirty years of violent sectarian conflict.

While behind-the-scenes negotiations were critical to securing this legal settlement, most observers agree that President Clinton’s travels to Northern Ireland were crucial to the success of the peace process. During three trips to Northern Ireland with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the President spoke with residents on the streets and in the factories and city squares. They met with entrepreneurs and fruit shop owners, textile workers, housewives, and school children from both religious faiths. The First Couple also met with the victims of terrorism and their families.

Follow the footsteps of the President and the First Lady as they demonstrate the power of a single day to rekindle hope for the future.

Selected Timeline

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[Map courtesy of the Library of Congress. Originally published by the Central Intelligence Agency, 1987.]

Education Reform - Invest More, Demand More

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This exhibit contains digitized items that highlight the Administration’s commitment to Education Reform through increasing investments and raising standards. This exhibit focuses on President Clinton’s efforts to reform education in the State of Arkansas, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This exhibit provides access to more than 1,000 digitized files related to Education Reform.

Improving education was a cornerstone of the Clinton Administration. President Clinton helped raise expectations for all students and invested in proven strategies to elevate educational performance. The Clinton Administration supported states in developing rigorous standards, systems of assessment, and accountability.  While President Clinton invested more in schools, he also demanded more from these schools. This led to remarkable progress in key areas such as implementing standards and accountability, improving student performance, closing the achievement gap, expanding access to technology, and making higher education more affordable.

The Rock and Roll Beat: Musicians and White House Related Events

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This exhibit contains photos and documents from the Clinton Digital Library highlighting some of the most popular musical artists of the 20th Century. Featured artists include Fleetwood Mac, U2, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen, and David Bowie. Growing up, President Clinton loved music, especially Rock and Roll of the '50's and '60's. As President, he once stated that "one of the nice things about being President was that nearly anyone would come perform for him." President Clinton delighted in meeting and getting to know the talented musicians of his generation.