A Presidential Party
All five living U.S. Presidents got together to open the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
In the new library's museum, there are even statues of George W. Bush's White House pets. (David J. Phillip / AP Images)
On Thursday, President Obama got together with the four living men who have held his job at a special ceremony in Texas. Along with former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, Obama was celebrating the opening of a library dedicated to former President George W. Bush, in Dallas.
Presidential libraries are special libraries that house the records and historical documents of each President since Herbert Hoover, who left the White House in 1933. Researchers, professors, and historians use these documents to better understand the politics of the past. The National Archives and Records Administration runs the libraries, which are also museums open to visitors.
George W. Bush served as President from 2001 to 2009. He led the country after the terrorist attacks of 2001. His administration worked hard to improve the American education system and immigration policies. He is also the son of another former President, George H.W. Bush, who left the office in 1993.
A PARADE OF PRESIDENTS
The other Presidents at the event were Jimmy Carter (who was President from 1977-1981), George H.W. Bush (1989-1993), Bill Clinton (1993-2001), and Barack Obama, who became President in 2009.
Having all of the living Presidents in one place is a rare event, and thousands of people gathered to hear them talk. Although deep political divisions have separated some of these men from one another, politics were set aside. Instead, the tone was one of celebration and mutual respect.
President Obama spoke first. "What I know is true about President Bush, and I hope my successor will say about me, is that we love this country and we do our best," he told the crowd.
Obama also spoke about Bush's work on changing America's immigration policies, which govern how people from other countries become U.S. citizens. He too is trying hard to change those rules. "If we do that," Obama said, "it will be in large part thanks to the hard work of President George W. Bush."
Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton praised the former President for leading the country through tough times. George H.W. Bush talked about how proud he is of his son.
George W. Bush's mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, was also at the library's opening. Mr. Bush began his speech by joking that his mother asked him to keep his talk short.
"The political winds blow left and right, polls rise and fall, supporters come and go. But in the end leaders are defined by the convictions [beliefs] that they hold," Bush said. "When future generations come to this library and study this administration, they're going to find out that we stayed true to our convictions."