George Bush Presidental Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, TX, USA
bushlibrary.tamu.edu - (979) 691-4000
George Bush Presidental Library and Museum College Station Reviews
Executive order Jul 26, 2015
A critical starting point of this review is to stress we are visiting the library of the elder Bush, not “W”. Seems I raised animosity every time I mentioned the excursion to friends, only releasing tension by clarifying that bit.
Quite frankly, the installation does a terrific job of documenting an admirable life. You wade through his years in chronological order, with scant dwelling upon his upper crust pedigree at the beginning. Things get interesting on his eighteenth birthday, during US involvement in WWII, when George immediately registered with the Navy. His exploits and courage flying missions during these years leaves no question around his sense of duty to country. The museum included replicas of George’s aircraft and even had a video game simulating some of the actions he experienced. A tasteful balance of history and entertainment.
Revealing ability to multi-task, George also managed to meet, woo and wed Barbara during his three years of active duty. Not missing a beat when hostilities ended, George enrolled in an accelerated program at Yale, graduating in three years. Rushing to a sheepskin did not mean abandoning extracurricular activities, and George’s most noteworthy side venture was starting at first base for the baseball team. George was voted team captain his last year and got to play in the very first College World Series.
Attending Yale is clear evidence of privilege, but George was determined to make his own way in the business world. If the museum is to be believed, the sole support his parents offered at graduation was a brand new ’48 Studebaker. George packed up Barbara and baby W and headed for Texas, where he would reap riches in the booming oil industry. Becoming a millionaire by the age of forty, George segued back to public service by dabbling in politics.
As we all know, he pursued government offices the rest of his career. But I had utterly forgotten the rather impressive credentials he racked up. Beyond his years in the Federal House of Representatives, George was tapped by President Nixon to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Here he exercised only the second US veto ever, passionately killing a sanction against Israel for military actions in Lebanon and Syria in 1972. I am no fan of Israeli policy in the West Bank for the last fifty years, but this action had been precipitated by the horrific assassinations during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. No rebuke was issued by the UN around that trigger, and I agree with George's stance.
After his stint in the United Nations, President Ford appointed George as Director of the CIA. Looking back, it seems George was one of a select few holding this position whose tenure was not tainted by any hint of corruption. Regardless, striding through the exhibits certainly reinforced an impressive resume.
Next we roll through the VP years and then on to the Presidency. Here I was surprised to see Dan Quayle mentioned. No idea what happened to that clown, and though I admire George’s loyalty, it is at times unfortunate. It should be no surprise that a large chunk of the museum dwells upon George’s final term of public service, and an attendant practically begged for my camera to take a shot of me sitting at the desk in their replica Oval Office.
There was another “travel moment” when I glimpsed a bone china plate commemorating George’s 1988 presidential inauguration in a display case. It had been produced by the Pfaltzgraff Company, whom I worked for at that time. Not only do I have one of these, there is a fun confession. When my wife and I split, she took most of the kitchen goods. The only dinnerware I have is my Pfaltzgraff china, which I use and I have eaten off of my Bush memorial plate a couple times over the last year! Travel brings unexpected smiles to my face in so many unusual ways.
Separate space is devoted to Barbara, and a really refreshing conclusion to the tour spans all of the charitable endeavors George and Barbara have pursued since leaving the White House. I was astonished by the wide range and, right or wrong, departed believing George has truly led an inspiring life.
Part of the Killing Time in Texas travel blog
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A nice insight to President George Bush life May 29, 2010
We had a free morning in College Station and my host Sixto invited us to the George Bush Museum. The ticket was very cheap and even cheaper for students ($3).
The museum features a great picture collection throughout the life of President Bush, his personal life, experience in WWII, as an ambassador in China and as president of course.
There is also a winery exhibition in the museum.
They show interesting videos about WWII and other aspects of Bush presidency. One cool thing is that you are able to take a picture in a replica oval office from the Bush period.
I recommend this place for visitors to College Station
Part of the Escaping Louisiana! travel blog