Bill Clinton's presidency ended more than 20 years ago, but he remains the first and only Arkansan to have made it to the political Mount Everest, the White House. Well before he and Hillary Clinton were residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., they got married inside a small brick house at 930 California Drive in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Today, the house is the Clinton House Museum, a local effort to preserve and commemorate the place where the couple joined friends and supporters to plot out the early days of Bill Clinton's political journey. A house in Hope, Arkansas, is where William Jefferson Blythe was born, but it could be said this house in Fayetteville became the birthplace of his political success, the setting for his first successful run for public office to become Arkansas' attorney general.
The house is owned by the University of Arkansas, which also owns a number of other older houses in the area adjacent to the UA campus. The university leases the home to the board of directors of the Clinton House Museum, which is working to ensure the property's future as a stop on the so-called "Billgramage" is preserved.
In this episode of Speaking of Arkansas, that board's president, former UA professor Stephen Smith, discusses the museum's future, the house's place in political history and the efforts to build an endowment to fund operation of the small museum.
For additional information, visit clintonhousemuseum.org
. The museum at 930 W. Clinton Drive is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.