Day 1: Depart Chicago
Presidential Library tour members will meet the Tour Director in Chicago’s Union Station at 6:00 p.m.
We’ll board the City of New Orleans prior to its 8:00 p.m. departure for Memphis. The train features the double-decker Superliner equipment.
Relax in your comfortable reclining coach seat with leg rest. Roomettes or Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. Dinner in the dining car is served upon departure.
Day 2: William J. Clinton Library
Our arrival into Memphis is scheduled for 6:27 a.m. Upon arrival, we’ll board our comfortable motorcoach for the 130-mile run to Little Rock. But our first stop will be in Memphis for an included breakfast.
The museum at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock is 20,000 square feet of information, video, photos, documents, and artifacts.
The five-story building comprises 20,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Great Hall (used for banquets or forums), Forty Two (formerly Cafe 42, now a full-service restaurant), and classrooms. Clinton was the 42nd president.
A 2,000-square foot executive apartment used by Clinton is located on the top (fifth) floor of the main building, one level above the public museum area. The organization of the exhibits within the main building was inspired by the famous Long Room in the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin, which Clinton first saw when he was a Rhodes Scholar.
The Cadillac One, the automobile used during Clinton’s presidency, is housed on the first floor. On the second floor, the main gallery houses a 110-foot timeline, representing each of Clinton’s years as President. There is also an 80-seat theater, the Great Hall, and the replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. The restaurant is located in the basement. Lunch is available.
Our visit will begin with a stop at the Orientation Theater. This afternoon we’ll continue to Longview, Texas. Dinner is included en route. Our home for the evening is the Holiday Inn Express.
Meal(s): B & D
Day 3: En Route / Austin
Following an included Continental breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Longview Amtrak station where, at 8:28, a.m., we’ll board the famous Texas Eagle for the 359-mile run across central Texas to the Lone Star State capital, Austin. Relax in a comfortable, reclining coach seat with leg rest. You’ll want to spend time in the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car. Lunch and dinner are available in the dining car. Snacks and beverages are located in the lower level of the Lounge Car.
You’ll have time for a brief trainside walk in Fort Worth. We’re scheduled to arrive in Austin at 6:30 p.m. Upon arrival, we’ll transfer to the Hampton Inn Austin Northwest Arboretum.
Day 4: Lyndon B. Johnson Library
This morning we’ll transfer to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. Situated on a 30-acre site on the University of Texas campus, the library houses 45-million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photos, and 5,000 hours of recordings from President Johnson’s political career. The iconic ten-story building was designed by award-winning architect Gordon Bunshaft and features a Great Hall with a stunning four-story, glass-encased view of the archives collection.
The mission of the LBJ Presidential Library is “to preserve and protect the historical materials in the collections of the library and make them readily accessible, to increase public awareness of the American experience through relevant exhibitions and educational programs.”
You’re free following our Johnson Library visit. You can rest in your hotel. The hotel is in an area referred to as the Arboretum, which has walking trails and a nice park. There are also restaurant options nearby.
Day 5: George H. W. Bush Library
Following our included hotel Continental breakfast, we’ll board our motorcoach this morning and continue east 86 miles to College Station where we’ll encounter the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library.
The George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened to the public November 7, 1997. The Library and Museum is part of the Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University, a 90-acre area on the campus that is also home to the prestigious Bush School of Government and Public Service and the George Bush Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.
The Library and Museum is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the preservation, research, and exhibition of official records, personal papers, and memorabilia of George Bush. The Museum has a main gallery space dedicated to “The Life and Times of George Bush” and a changing exhibit gallery, the Ansary Gallery of American History. The Ansary Gallery documents the life of President and Mrs. Bush since the White House. Memorabilia includes the parachute used in his 1997 jump with the U.S. Army Golden Knights is Arizona. Other exhibits include: “Flexing the Nation’s Muscle;” “The Longest Winter: Berlin and the Cold War;” “Barbara Bush: An Extraordinary Journey;” “Trains: Tracks of the Iron Horse;” “Beyond the Moon: NASA’s Continuing Mission;” “The Culture of Wine;” and “Headed to the White House.”
The Bush Library and Museum’s archives contain more than 44 million pages of documents, two million photographs, thousands of sound and video recordings, and other volumes of information. The Library and Museum’s documents include George Bush’s vice presidential and presidential records.
The Museum collection holdings contain more than 100,000 artifacts, including more than 3,000 gifts from former heads of state.
Following our visit to the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, we’ll reboard our motorcoach and continue north 152 miles to Dallas. An included dinner stop will be made. Our hotel for the night will be the historic Adolphus Hotel.
Meal(s): CB & D
Day 6: George W. Bush Library
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will open to the public in April 2013 on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Framed by four themes - freedom, responsibility, opportunity, and compassion - the Museum will highlight critical events and issues of the Bush Administration. The Museum is the repository for domestic and foreign presidential gifts as well as other donated artifacts relating to the life and career of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush.
The Museum will tell the story of the United States in an extraordinary time. This 14,000-square foot permanent exhibition is organized by the four themes. Using artifacts, documents, photographs, and videos from the Library’s extensive collection, the Museum will include features such as a full-sized Oval Office and a Texas Rose Garden. Interactive features include a Decision Points Theater designed to take the visitor “inside” the decision-making process and policies developed during the Administration of President George W. Bush.
Additionally, the Museum will present temporary exhibits that complement the permanent exhibit and illustrate themes and subjects relevant to the mission of the Library and Museum.
Throughout the entire permanent exhibit, as well as the temporary exhibits, the aim is to inform, to stimulate discussion, and to encourage engagement.
Visit the Artifact Gallery for a glimpse into the Museum collection. A rotation of artifacts 360 degrees will allow you to explore some of the 43,000 gifts given to President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush by American citizens and foreign Heads of State.
Following our visit to the George W. Bush Museum, we travel north 190 miles to Oklahoma City. A stop for dinner will be included. Our home for the evening will be Oklahoma City’s oldest hotel, the Skirvin Hilton. This hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Day 7: En Route Abilene
The morning is free. Some may want to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial (site of the 1995 Federal Building disaster).
This afternoon we’ll travel 237 miles to Abilene, Kansas, where we’ll spend the night at the Holiday Inn Express.
Day 8: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum
Built by the Eisenhower Foundation, with funds raised through public gifts, the Eisenhower Presidential Museum is constructed of Kansas limestone. Originally dedicated on Veterans Day in 1954, the Museum was built to house the materials and objects related to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s life. It contains over 30,000-square feet of gallery space, with exhibits showing not only the fine art objects collected by and given to Eisenhower, but also the story of his careers as military leader and President of the United States.
The Museum is divided into five major galleries consisting of an introductory gallery, a changing exhibits gallery, a First Lady’s gallery, and a military gallery. Of special interest and importance is the changing exhibits gallery.
The Visitors Center is located on the site of the former Lincoln School, where Eisenhower first enrolled in elementary school. The Visitors Center houses a gift shop and an auditorium where a brief film on Eisenhower is shown on a daily schedule.
A stop at the Eisenhower home will follow the Museum visit. A typical nineteenth century home, the Eisenhower family occupied this house from 1898 until the death of Eisenhower’s mother in 1946. Her sons gave the house, on its original site, to the Eisenhower Foundation that maintained it until it was given to the Federal Government in 1966.
You will have time for an “on-your-own” lunch.
Later this afternoon, we’ll continue 140 miles to Kansas City where we’ll spend the night at the Drury Inn and Suites, Kansas City Stadium.
Day 9: Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Enjoy a Continental breakfast at our hotel this morning.
The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving papers, books, and other historical materials relating to the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. It was the first Presidential Library to be created under the provisions of the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act.
From the time the Library opened in 1957, President Truman maintained a working office there, often working five or six days a week, then was buried on the grounds. In the office, he wrote articles, letters, and his book Mr. Citizen. He met with Presidents Hoover, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with other notable Americans like Jack Benny, Ginger Rogers, Robert F. Kennedy, Thomas Hart Benton, and Dean Acheson.
The Museum offers an introductory film on the life of President Truman, and two floors of exhibits relating his life and presidency through photographs, artifacts, film clips, documents, and memorabilia. It was the first Presidential Library to contain a full scale replica of the Oval Office, a feature that has been copied by the Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton libraries. The Library also contains The White House Decision Center, an educational program in which school students take on the roles of President Truman and his advisors facing real-life historical decisions in a recreation of the West Wing of the White House. The mural Independence and the Opening of the West by Thomas Hart Benton adorns the walls of the lobby.
We board our motorcoach for our 294-mile ride to Springfield. An “on-your-own” lunch stop will be made en route. As well as an included dinner stop.
Upon arrival we’ll check in to the attractive Ramada Limited, our hotel for the next two nights.
Meal(s): CB & D
Day 10: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
You’re free this morning to relax before we transfer to the Lincoln Museum.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum documents the life of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, and the course of the American Civil War. Combining traditional scholarship with 21st-century showmanship techniques, the popular Museum continues to rank as one of the most visited of all Presidential sites.
The Museum contains life-size dioramas of Lincoln’s boyhood home, areas of the White House, the Presidential box at Ford’s Theater, and the settings of key events in Lincoln’s life, as well as pictures, artifacts, and other memorabilia. Original artifacts are changed from time to time, but the collection usually includes items like the original hand written Gettysburg Address, a signed Emancipation Proclamation, his glasses and shaving mirror, Mary Todd Lincoln’s music box, items from her White House china, her wedding dress, and more.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum quickly became one of the most talked about, studied, and debated new projects within the museum design profession. The Museum has received great attention from within the field of museum design and historians for its use of modern technology, theatrics, and high-fidelity figures telling the Lincoln Story. You’re free to visit other Lincoln sites in the area.
We’ll return to our hotel for the night.
Day 11: En Route to Chicago
Following a Continental breakfast we’ll transfer to the Springfield Amtrak station in time for the 8:37 a.m. departure of a Lincoln Service train for Chicago. Arrival into Chicago is scheduled for 12:20 p.m.
This afternoon and evening, Presidential History tour members will board connecting Amtrak trains for home destinations. Flying from O’Hare or Midway airports is an option.