Bill Clinton's First Home To Become National Historic Site
Bill Clinton's first home in Hope, Arkansas has been a museum for many years but the museum will become a national historic site as of the first of the year. Clinton lived in the two-story, wood-frame home until he was four years old spending much of that time with his grandparents. After that the home continued to be owned by his family until his maternal grandfather, Eldridge Cassidy, died in 1956. Cassidy ran a grocery store that served both black and white customers, an unusual occurrence in the 1950s South. The Cassidy family moved into the home in 1938 and purchased it in 1946. The home dates from 1917 and was built in the style known as American foursquare.
The museum has been open since 1997 and more than 80,000 people from 159 countries have taken a tour at the home. An article in the Christian Science Monitor says that the site is particularly popular with international visitors. The Clinton Birthplace Foundation bought the home in 1993 and restored it keeping original details including the staircase in the living room. Most of the second floor finishes are said to be original, including the flooring and the beaded board in the hallway and nursery. The foundation has made a gift of the site to the National Park Service. When the site reopens after the holiday on January 2, uniformed park service workers will staff the facility. The status of being a national historic site is expected to bring more tourists to the area.