Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Clinton House Museum preserves the first home shared by 42nd American President Bill Clinton and his wife, 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. William Jefferson Clinton, née William Jefferson Blythe III, was born in Hope, Arkansas on August 19, 1946, the son of Virginia Dell Cassidy and William Jefferson Blythe Jr. He was raised for the first four years of his life by his maternal grandparents, James Eldridge Cassidy and Edith Grisham, before his mother remarried Roger Clinton Sr., whose surname Clinton adopted when he was fifteen years old.
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After deciding to pursue a career in public service as a result of law study courses in high school, Clinton attended Georgetown University and the University of Oxford and eventually received a law degree from the Yale Law School. After tenures as Arkansas Attorney General and Arkansas Governor, Clinton was elected as the 42nd President of the United States in 1992.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on October 26, 1947, Hillary Diane Rodham was born to Hugh Ellsworth Rodham and Dorothy Emma Howell. Rodham’s early interest in aeronautical technology and space exploration fostered a commitment to public service, leading her to pursue a political science degree at Wellesley College, which resulted in a liberal shift of her political ideology. Rodham met Clinton in 1971, during her study at Yale Law School, from which she received a Juris Doctor degree in 1973. She continued pursuing legal work as Clinton’s political career expanded, eventually serving as First Lady of the United States from 1992 to 2001. At the end of her husband’s presidential term, Rodham Clinton transitioned into the political sphere, serving as a United States Senator from 2001 to 2009 before being appointed to the role of the 67th United States Secretary of State in 2009. In 2016, Rodham Clinton was chosen as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President, becoming the first female Presidential nominee of a major American political party in the country’s history.
Permanent Attractions and Exhibits
The Clinton House Museum, located at 930 West Clinton Drive in Fayetteville, was the first home jointly owned by the Clintons during their marriage. The Tudor Revival-style home was built in 1931 and originally owned by Fayetteville Daily Leader owner H. H. Taylor. Bill Clinton purchased the home in August of 1975 for a sum of $17,200, while both Clintons were employed as instructors at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Though the couple only lived in the house for a year and a half, as Bill was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, the house is notable as the site of the pair’s wedding in October of 1975.
Today, the home operates as a living history museum, open to regular visitor tours. Tour participants may explore the 1,800-square-foot house and its grounds, which contain a number of exhibits and memorabilia displays related to the Clintons’ political and public service careers. Memorabilia from the couple’s various political campaigns is highlighted, including multimedia exhibits that present early and rare campaign advertisements, such as the advertisements for Bill’s 1976 Attorney General campaign. Transcripts of political speeches are available for viewing, along with a timeline of the couple’s life and service in the Fayetteville area. Interview material from close Clinton friends and family members gives a personal perspective on the pair’s impact on their local community and broader cultural impact. A replica of Hillary’s wedding dress is also on display in the living room, which was the site of their wedding.
The house’s grounds also contain the First Ladies Garden, which was added to the house site in 2010 to honor Hillary’s career achievements and legacy. The garden is designed to reflect the house’s English Tudor style, landscaped to mimic the feel of an “outdoor room” area. A wide variety of annuals, perennials, and wildflowers have been planted in the garden to reflect the favorite flowers of First Ladies throughout American history, giving the garden a unique and constantly-changing character.
In addition to standard visitor tours, group tours for small groups and organizations may be scheduled to accommodate up to 50 visitors at a time. The house and gardens may also be rented for weddings, fundraisers, business functions, and other private special events. The Clinton House Museum site functions as one stop along the popular “Billgrimage” historic site tour, which also includes the Clinton Birthplace Home site in Hope, Arkansas, the Hot Springs Visitor Center at Hill Wheatley Plaza, and the Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. Visitors embarking on the Billgrimage receive a commemorative passport, which may be marked with a unique stamp offered by staff at each museum site.
930 W Clinton Dr, Fayetteville, AR 72701, Phone: 479-444-0066