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Clinton Campaigns

Governor Bill Clinton announced his presidential bid at the Old State House Museum.William Jefferson Clinton earned his nickname, the "Comeback Kid," after his strong resurgence in the 1992 New Hampshire primary kept his campaign on the road to the White House. It could also refer to his relationship with Arkansas's Old State House Museum.

As Arkansas Attorney General, Clinton played an important role in transforming the Old State House into a modern museum. Later, starting with his first term as governor in 1979, Clinton returned, time and again, to use the Old State House as a backdrop for important milestones in his political career. It was here that Clinton announced his candidacy for the presidency, and later celebrated his victory on election night in 1992. During the weeks that followed, the place Clinton characterized as his "favorite building in Arkansas" served as the stage for his cabinet appointments. On the evening of November 5, 1996, the Old State House once more became the center of the world's attention as President Bill Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be re-elected for a second term.

Clinton stated that, to him, the Old State House embodies both a reverence for the past and a hope for the future. When work began on the State House in 1833, Arkansas was still a wilderness on the edge of the American frontier, and Little Rock was little more than a humble collection of log cabins. But the people of Arkansas chose to erect a grand edifice reflecting the glory and democracy of ancient Greece to house their new government.

For more on Clinton, see his entries in The Road from Conway to Clinton: Arkansas Governors' Biographies.