News / USA

US Presidents Gather for Bush Library Dedication

(L-R) President Barack Obama, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter (R) at the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, April 25, 2013.
(L-R) President Barack Obama, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter (R) at the dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, April 25, 2013.
Carla Babb
All five living U.S. presidents are attending the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Here is a look at their political legacies.

Jimmy Carter, 39th U.S. President

Jimmy Carter served as a U.S. Naval officer, a Georgia state senator and the governor of Georgia before serving as U.S. president from 1977-1981. The Democrat created two new Cabinet-level departments during his presidency - The Department of Energy and the Department of Education.

Carter worked on the Camp David Accords, which became a bilateral peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. He is still vocal in working toward a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

His time in office was plagued by a U.S. energy shortage and the Iran hostage crisis.  A group of Islamist students held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.

George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st U.S. President

George H.W. Bush served as a U.S. congressman, the ambassador to the United Nations and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency before his term as U.S. president from 1989-1993.

The Republican was president when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union dissolved two years later. He ordered military operations in Panama and the Persian Gulf and signed the Immigration Act of 1990, which increased legal immigration to the U.S. by 40 percent.

He oversaw the nation as an economic recession swept across the United States, ultimately losing favor with the public when he allowed Congress to increase taxes.

Bill Clinton, 42nd U.S. President

Bill Clinton served as the governor of Arkansas before serving as U.S. president from 1993-2001. He is married to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also is a former U.S. senator.

Clinton successfully pushed for welfare reform and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law, creating a trilateral trading bloc between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The U.S. created a budget surplus during the last three years of the Clinton administration.

Clinton's desire for universal health care in America manifested in a failed health care reform package that would have mandated employers to provide health insurance coverage to all of their employees. His time as president was marred by a sex scandal involving a White House intern.

He and former President George Herbert Walker Bush teamed up to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which helped victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

George Walker Bush, 43rd U.S. President

George W. Bush, the eldest son of George H.W. Bush, was the governor of Texas before serving two terms as U.S. president from 2001-2009.

Eight months into his presidency, the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaida hijacked passenger airplanes to attack major U.S. buildings. Two planes hit the World Trade Center's twin towers, one hit the Pentagon and a fourth heading for Washington, D.C. crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks.

Bush declared a "War on Terror" after the attacks and ordered U.S. troops into Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime and hunt down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.  International support for the War on Terror waned when Mr. Bush and several other nations invaded Iraq in 2003, which resulted in the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Bush enjoyed an approval rating of 90 percent, the highest of any president, following the September 11 attacks in 2001. His approval rating plummeted to 22 percent by the time he left office.

Barack Obama, 44th U.S. President

Barack Obama served as a U.S. Senator from Illinois before serving as president from 2009 until now. He is the United States' first African American and multiracial president.

Obama ordered the military operation in 2011 that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network.  He also ended U.S. combat operation in Iraq.

His term has been plagued by the worst economic recession in decades. His economic policy has used U.S. government stimulus money to try to grow the nation's sluggish economy, as the U.S. national debt has ballooned to more than $16.8 trillion.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More