News / USA

At New Bush Library, Visitors Weigh In on Big Decisions

Displays on presidential policy are seen during a tour of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, April 24, 2013.
Displays on presidential policy are seen during a tour of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, April 24, 2013.
VOA News
The newest U.S. presidential museum opened Thursday.  It recounts George W. Bush's eight tumultuous years in office, but it also gives visitors a chance to decide whether they would make the same key decisions he did.

Bush was the 43rd American president, serving from 2001-2009.  During his two terms in his office, terrorists attacked the country on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people. Under his watch, the U.S. started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was hit with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and endured the biggest economic meltdown since the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The $250 million museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, includes a vast collection of information from his presidency - 70 million pages of paper records and 43,000 artifacts. There's a full-scale replica of the Oval Office as it looked during his White House tenure, as well as a twisted steel beam from New York's World Trade Center that was demolished in the 9/11 attack.

A central exhibit at the museum - called "Decision Points Theater" - gives visitors a chance to watch footage of breaking news from the Bush era, listen to actors posing as officials and military leaders offering "advice" and make their own interactive choices on the key crises that Bush faced.

The former president then shows up on a screen justifying the decisions he made.

Bush, a Republican, left office as one of the country's most unpopular presidents, although recent surveys show his standing has improved somewhat with his absence from the American political scene. But he says he is content to let historians decide whether he made the correct choices.

''As far as I'm concerned. the debate is over. I mean, I did what I did, and historians will ultimately judge those decisions, " the former president said.

President Barack Obama and three former U.S. presidents: Bush's father, George H.W. Bush; Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton - attended the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs