Clinton House Museum
The Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville (Washington County) preserves the home lived in by Bill and Hillary Clinton during the 1970s. It offers exhibits, programs, events, and collections relating to the Clintons. The stated mission of the museum is to interpret the lives of President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the time they lived in Fayetteville and occupied the home at 930 W. Clinton Drive.
Built in 1931 in the Tudor Revival Style, the home is 1,800 square feet. In 1973, Bill Clinton joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas School of Law, and Hillary Rodham did likewise the following year. Hillary made a passing comment about how she liked the home when driving by. In the summer of 1975, Hillary traveled to Boston, New York, Washington, and Chicago to visit friends. In her absence, Bill purchased the home in August 1975 for a total of $17,200 with a $3,000 down payment and monthly payments of $174. The couple had a simple wedding ceremony in the living room on October 11, 1975. Later that evening, the Clintons had a large reception at a friend’s home.
In 1976, Bill Clinton ran for attorney general of Arkansas; the campaign was run out of the home. During this time, the dining room was referred to as the “war room.” He won the election, serving in the position for the next two years. From 1976 to 1978, the Clintons lived in Little Rock (Pulaski County) while Bill served as attorney general.
In 2005, the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville bought the property, situated near the edge of the university, for $249,950. The same year, the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission rented the house for $1,300 a month from the university and established the museum.
The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 22, 2010. On August 3 of the same year, the Fayetteville City Council voted to change the name of the street in front of the house from California Boulevard to Clinton Drive.
The museum temporarily closed its doors to the public in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 26, 2022, the museum reopened with limited hours.
The museum features a collection of memorabilia from the lives and careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton, including a re-creation of Hillary’s wedding dress, campaign ads, and photographs of the Clinton family. The museum’s archive includes newspapers and magazines from both Bill and Hillary’s political careers. The museum also boasts the First Ladies Garden dedicated to Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the First Ladies Garden, the favorite flower of each of the United States’ first ladies is planted.
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism lists the museum as a “Billgrimage” site alongside other places related to Bill Clinton’s time in Arkansas, including the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, and Hot Springs Visitor Center.
For additional information:
“Billgrimage: Clinton Sites.” Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. https://www.arkansas.com/billgrimage-clinton-sites (accessed January 19, 2023).
Clinton House Museum. https://clintonhousemuseum.org/the-house/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
“Former Clinton Home in Fayetteville Closing as Museum.” 5 News Online, December 21, 2020. https://www.5newsonline.com/article/news/local/clinton-house-museum-fayetteville-arkansas-closing/527-1ee61756-bcbf-453d-94db-a48f4e61f97e (accessed January 19, 2023).
Ryburn, Stacy. “Clinton Museum in Fayetteville Opens after Nearly Two-Year Hiatus.” Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, May 28, 2022. https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2022/may/28/clinton-museum-in-fayetteville-opens-after-nearly/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
———. “Commission Pulls Back on Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville.” Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 22, 2020. https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2020/sep/22/commission-pulls-back-on-clinton-house-museum-in/ (accessed January 19, 2023).
Abby M. Hanks
National Park College Honors Program
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