The exhibit, which is free, will run through Feb. 6.
Saddam Hussein's pistol and the bullhorn used by former President George W. Bush at Ground Zero are among the artifacts that go on public display this weekend at a new exhibit at Southern Methodist University.
The show at the Meadows Museum, which opens Saturday, is designed to provide a glimpse of some of the items that will eventually be part of the Bush presidential library center at SMU.
The 20-minute preview showcases some of the thousands of items – and millions of pages of documents – that are temporarily warehoused in Lewisville until the library is built.
National archives officials searched through crates to find exhibit items that they said had become icons associated with the Bush administration, such as the bullhorn he used to talk to rescue workers in New York three days after the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.
"His first visit – a very memorable moment," Alan Lowe, director of the George W. Bush presidential library, said while pointing to the bullhorn at a media preview Thursday.
Other items on display, which were chosen for their historic significance, include:
• The unloaded pistol U.S. forces confiscated from Saddam Hussein's lap when he was pulled out of a spider hole near Tikrit, Iraq, in 2003.
• The fleece sweatshirt Bush wore when he threw out the ceremonial opening pitch at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium, just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. The moment was considered a symbol of the nation's desire to return to normalcy, and spectators chanted "U-S-A!" as Bush left the pitcher's mound.
• A sapphire and diamond jewelry set given to Laura Bush from Saudi Arabia.
• Barney and Miss Beazley's Air Force One dog bowls, complete with presidential seals.
• A letter from U2 lead singer Bono (with a handwritten note to first daughters Barbara and Jenna) thanking Bush for his work to relieve suffering and poverty in Africa.
• The silk dress and Oscar de la Renta bolero jacket worn by Laura Bush at a White House dinner with Queen Elizabeth II.
• Painted wood White House Easter eggs.
• Handwritten notes made by Bush as he prepared to make a statement immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Yesterday we watched George W. Bush's gripping book trailer. And this weekend on the campus of Southern Methodist University, a preview exhibit of his presidential library opens. It will show just how much ass he kicked while in office.
The exhibit at the university's Meadows Museum, called "Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center," will feature mementos from the Little Bush presidency like the bullhorn he used to address rescue workers at Ground Zero, and a pistol that Saddam Hussein was carrying when he was apprehended in 2003. And really, that shit in Iraq is totally over, so what's wrong with showing off some spoils of war?
A lot, actually, says Tex Sample, a Methodist Church elder:
"I hope that a bullhorn will not become the symbol for the entry of the United States into an unjustified war and that a pistol of Saddam Hussein's is not seen as some strange symbol of victory in that horrendous misjudgment. That these should be the symbols of the values and commitments of the Bush administration and should now become the face of Southern Methodist University is cause for alarm."
Tex ain't happy, but the student body VP told the Times that Bush choosing the university for the site of the library is "an incredible honor."
The exhibit will serve as a preview for the upcoming George W. Bush Presidential Library, which will break ground at Southern Methodist University on November 16.
We can't wait to see what else makes it into the museum.
A RESPONSE to the George W. Bush Library & Policy Institute Groundbreaking
A peaceful, nonviolent march and rally will coincide with and protest the George W. Bush Presidential Center groundbreaking in Dallas on November 16, 2010. Join us for a series of events that will move us toward accountability for the past and democracy for the future!
Accountability is the hallmark of a mature democracy: no one is above the law! Remind past, present and future administrations that the truth cannot be buried or changed, and warn the public that the same ideologues who crafted the Bush policies of the last decade will be writing a script for our future. Will this think-tank develop the same kinds of policies that brought us pre-emptive war, economic crisis, environmental disaster, unprecedented presidential power, and diminished civil and human rights? Act now! History is already repeating itself!
Events are planned in Dallas for November 14 -17, 2010, with the march and rally on the 16th. Join us!
Speakers will include: Col. Ann Wright, Dr. Robert Jensen, Ray McGovern, Rev. Dr. William McElvaney, Hadi Jawad, Representative Lon Burnam, Diane Wilson, Marjorie Cohn, Kathy Kelly, David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, and Debra Sweet.
Sponsors and endorsers include: Texans for Peace, North Texas Progressive, The Dallas Peace Center, North Texas Veterans for Peace, Peace Action Denton, Code Pink Greater Dallas, The Peace Center, Arlington, Code Pink Ft Worth, After Downing Street/War Is A Crime, Waco Friends of Peace, Code Pink Houston, Austin Veterans for Peace, The Austin Center for Peace and Justice, Code Pink Austin, Progressive Democrats of America, the Robert Jackson Steering Committee, Dallas ISO, United for Peace and Justice, World Can't Wait, Under the Hood Cafe.
Disastrous Programs Already Launched by the Bush Institute Pre-Groundbreaking
•A plan to put retired military personnel and others with no teacher training or experience in charge of running U.S. public schools.
•Promotion on the Bush Center website of the supposed need for a federal law preempting state restrictions on oil and gas drilling.
•Bush is giving speeches saying his greatest failure was not privatizing Social Security, even though that would have meant destitution for millions of elderly Americans.
Items Unlikely to Be Found in the Bush LIE-bury
Dick Cheney's papers
The 35 Articles of Impeachment
Video of Congressman Dennis Kucinich reading all 35 articles
Statements in support of Bush's impeachment
The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush
The 269 War Crimes
U.S. v. Bush
Historians' ranking of Bush as worst president ever
The Downing Street Minutes
The White House Memo
Quotes That May Not Be Carved into the Bush Center's Walls
“I’d take ’em out, take out the weapons of mass destruction . . . I’m surprised he’s still there." -- Bush in December 1999.
"Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." -- Minutes recording British spy chief's understanding of White House policy. July 23, 2002.
"The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." -- Minutes recording Bush's suggestion to Prime Minister Tony Blair of a way to start a war. January 31, 2003.
“What’s the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, if he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger.” -- Bush to ABC News. December 16, 2003.
"I'd do it again to save lives." -- Bush on torturing a man nearly 200 times with waterboarding. June 2, 2010.
“History? We don’t know. We’ll all be dead.”
-- Bush on how history will judge the War on Iraq.