George H. W. Bush Presidential Library-Getting to know 'No. 41'

Published by the Wilson County News on July 10, 2013


By Harry and Linda Kaye Perez

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Presidential Library reveals facets of George H. W. Bush and First Family 

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 The George H. W. Bush Presidential Library is on the sprawling Texas A&M         University  Campus in College Station              

    When you think of George and Barbara Bush, I’ll bet you don’t think comedians, but they are. One exhibit entitled “Bushes Unplugged” that we keep going back to at the George Bush Presidential Library is a cozy corner just beyond the First Lady’s exhibit. 

      Make yourself comfortable on one of the couches and enjoy a hilarious video playing on the television. It also includes Dana Carvey and some of his impersonations of “Number 41.” Believe it or not, President Bush loves being personified with a sense of humor, an attribute he often used to disarm his adversaries. President Bush once said, “I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don't always agree with them.”

About the Library

The George Bush Library and Museum, located on the sprawling Texas A&M University Campus in College Station, opened to the public on November 7, 1997. This state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the preservation, research, and exhibition of official records, personal papers, and memorabilia of our 41stPresident. 

The library is open every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and is visited by over 125,000 people each year. 

Active Military and immediate family members, as well as A&M and Blinn College students, are entitled to free admission. Other admission prices range from $3.00 to $7.00. Parking is free for visitors in Lot 41.

The Library is located:

1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Phone: (979) 691-4000

Information on the sculpture-The Day the Wall Came Down:

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Get Started

        A great way to start your tour is in the Orientation Theater showing a short film every 30 minutes, focusing on George Bush, from childhood to his Presidency. Now you are ready to explore the entire museum and learn about this President: his days at Yale and his courtship and marriage to Barbara; his involvement during WWII as a pilot of a 1944 TBM Avenger (a restored Avenger hangs from the ceiling in the Duty, Honor, Country Section); his oil business and his public life. He had many titles in his career, including Texas Oilman, Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Director of the CIA, Vice-President and President of the United States.

Much to Discover

      There is so much to take in and discover at this library:  George Bush’s childhood, World War II history, growing the Bush family and his oil business, international crises and the trials and tribulations of the presidency. Here are a few exhibits that you should not miss: 

              Family Traditions offers a personal glimpse of the Bush family scrapbook and Making Our Own Way features arestored 1947 Studebaker (identical to the one George drove to Texas in 1948). Both of these areas welcome you into the life of this family destined to be our First Family.   

             Duty, Honor, Country  is dedicated to the history of World War II and the impact the attack on Pearl Harbor had on a young George Bush. While visiting the museum, kids of all ages enjoy trying their hand at landing an Avenger aircraft on the deck of the San Jacinto on the flight simulator.

            The Literacy Outlook is filled with comfortable seating and books. Mrs. Bush was a dedicated advocate for literacy around the world. This is also the place to see the video “Bushes Unplugged.”

             Berlin Wall-Age of Freedom includes a 12-foot tall section of one of the last symbols of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain that was torn down in November of 1989 during Bush’s Presidency.

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          Genome: The Secret of How Life Works, a traveling exhibit on display until July 5, 2013, was a project of mapping the human genome and identifying more than 20,000 genes in human DNA. It is very appropriate that this exhibit is at the Bush Library as it was President George H. W. Bush who signed into law the appropriations for this project in 1989. “Who could have foreseen how the science of imagination would become the science of the possible.”

         When you are finished inside the museum, exit the building and walk around to your right, to a magnificent sculpture entitled The Day the Wall Came Down depicting five horses escaping over the Berlin Wall. According to the artist, Veryl Goodnight, the horses symbolize the personal drive for freedom; they represent humanity and a victory of the human spirit. "History has shown that the spirit of the free will always triumph over those who choose to trample over the weak and humble."

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      From here you can continue on to the fishing pond (catch and release only) and the Barbara Bush Rose Garden. This is a beautiful and tranquil place to spend a moment, or stretch out on the grassy knoll. Walk around to the other side of the pond, past the gardens and you will find an open wrought iron gate and a bridge leading to another section. This area is the final resting place for the Bush’s daughter, Pauline “Robin” Bush, who died of leukemia just shy of her fourth birthday, and the future resting place for George and Barbara Bush.  

    George Herbert Walker Bush is our oldest surviving former President and remains an inspiration to all Americans. No matter what your political persuasion, a visit to this Presidential Library will be educational and memorable and will stir your imagination.


Veryl Goodnight's sculpture, "The Day the Wall Came Down," depicts the triumph of the human spirit. The grounds of the Presidential Library also include a rose garden and fishing pond. 

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This retired 1944 TBM Avenger aircraft is suspended from the ceiling in the George H. W. Bush presidential Library.

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The view of the Library from the Rose Garden

Photos by Harry and linda Kaye Perez/Reprints at

   © Harry Perez 2012