• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.
FAYETTVILLE, ARK. – The 1930s brick English-style house sits on a sloping hill a few blocks from the ever-growing University of Arkansas. It stands out among oft-neglected duplexes where college students live. A simple sign in front of the house states: Clinton House Museum.
The outstanding fact about this house that the sign fails to mention? It was the home where Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975 and lived as a couple for little more than a year.
The university bought the house in 2006, and the city’s advertising and promotions commission manages it. The house contains memorabilia from Bill Clinton’s early political career and a replica of Hillary’s wedding dress. It’s part of the “Billgrimage” – the Arkansas tour that highlights every aspect of Bill Clinton’s life from his place of birth in Hope to his presidential library in Little Rock.
Some Clinton friends are lobbying the state to take control of the house as a historic site to promote and manage it.
Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School for Public Service and a Clinton friend, says that regardless of the home’s size or how long the couple lived there, it contains history and should be preserved properly with state money.
“I don’t know of another site in American history where a future president and a secretary of State were married,” he says.