George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum front entry and fountain.

Philip Armitage/Shutterstock

George Bush Presidential Library & Museum

East Texas

Whether you agree with the former president's politics or not, it's hard not to be fascinated by this museum. Exhibits trace George HW Bush's life and career, and serve as an interesting primer on American history from WWII through the 1990s. Although generally well-curated, exhibits could be more forthcoming on how Bush lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton in 1992 despite having sky-high approval ratings after the first Gulf war.

Follow Bush's rise from Texas oil prospector through his virtual tour of national politics: from ambassador to the UN, to Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, to becoming the 41st president. Family moments, and Barbara Bush's, contributions are also included. Interestingly, Bush had no ties to Texas A&M but rather had his facility placed here after the Aggies offered the best deal – just as his son George W Bush (the 43rd president) gave his presidential library to Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas despite having no ties to that school, again after they offered the best deal. Most other presidential libraries and museums are in places with direct links to the respective president.

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