Rewinding history, Bush museum lets you decide

tags: NYT, George W. Bush, presidential libraries, Southern Methodist University



...The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be officially dedicated on Thursday on the campus of Southern Methodist University in a ceremony that will bring together President Obama and the four living ex-presidents. Leaving aside for a day the partisan rancor that marked Mr. Bush’s tenure, they will help celebrate his eight years as president and six as governor of Texas.

The $250 million complex houses the 13th official presidential library, and the third in Texas, but it is the first of the iPad era. The exhibits are filled with modern gadgetry and 25 different films and interactive videos. Many of the artifacts of the period are on display — a butterfly ballot from Palm Beach County, Fla., a replica of Mr. Bush’s Oval Office, the bullhorn he used at ground zero and a gnarled steel beam from the World Trade Center demolished on Sept. 11, 2001.

The museum’s 14,000 square feet of exhibits present the presidency Mr. Bush intended (tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, faith-based social services) juxtaposed against the presidency he ended up having (terrorism, war and financial crisis). Large screens recall the day the towers fell in New York and the invasion of Iraq. A glass-topped Defending Freedom Table allows visitors to pull up briefing materials, videos and maps as if on a giant tablet....



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