At first glance, it might be hard to tell what an important place this small, unassuming house holds in history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010, the home looks much like the others in the neighborhood and consists of only one bedroom in its 1,800 square feet. However, during the 1970s, it was home for two people who would shape the future of the country and the world.
Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham were married in the living room on October 11, 1975, after Bill had purchased the house for them in June of that year. The future U.S. President and future Secretary of State left this house in late 1976 to go to Little Rock where Bill Clinton took office as the Attorney General of Arkansas. They owned the home until 1983, renting it out to college students before selling it to Dr. Jim and Janet Greeson. Seventeen years after that fateful October day, the Clintons found themselves moving into the White House.
Through photographs, historical documents, and videos, visitors learn about the modest beginnings of two of the world’s most influential figures and their role in Fayetteville history. The home also includes exhibits highlighting artifacts and memorabilia from the various political campaigns and lives of the Clintons.
The “War” Room
During the winter and spring of 1976, the Clinton’s dining room served as the “War Room,” where Bill, Hillary, and volunteer staff planned and organized Bill Clinton’s first successful political campaign. During a spirited campaign for Congress in 1974, Bill had handily defeated four opponents in the Democratic Primary but narrowly lost the General Election to incumbent Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt (89,198-83,030). While some supporters urged a rematch, Bill decided instead to run for Arkansas Attorney General in 1976. That decision was debated and made at the Clinton’s dining room table.
In this room, the campaign strategy was determined, the counties were organized, and the newspaper, radio, and television ads were designed and written. It served as the campaign headquarters until Bill filed for Attorney General on April 1 and opened a Little Rock office through the May 25 Democratic Primary. Clinton won the Democratic Primary with 56% of the vote, carrying 69 of the state’s 75 counties, against two formidable opponents, Secretary of State George Jernigan and Deputy Attorney General Clarence Cash. Unopposed in the General Election, he returned to Fayetteville and the War Room returned to a dining room, where the 29-year-old law professor prepared to take office in January 1977.
The rest, as they say, is history. From the campaign victory that was carefully planned and organized in this dining room, Bill Clinton would go on to serve two years as Arkansas Attorney General, twelve years as Governor of Arkansas, and eight years as President of the United States.
First Ladies Garden
Behind the home is the First Ladies Garden, dedicated to Hillary Rodham Clinton, where the favorite flower of each First Lady is planted.