Born on August 19, 1946, William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States.
William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001)
Born in Hope, Arkansas, a few months after his father died, Bill Clinton wanted to be president from a very early age. As a boy he was obsessed with politics, and met John F. Kennedy at the White House as part of the “Boy’s Nation” program in 1963. In 1978, he became the youngest governor in the nation and Arkansas history.
President Clinton is also the answer to this week’s Who Said It Quiz.
*Clinton is the only President who was a Rhodes Scholar.
*He and Vice President Al Gore were the first president and vice president from the Baby Boom Generation. Clinton was the third youngest president after Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
*Clinton’s 1997 inaugural ceremony was the first broadcast live on the Internet.
To renew America, we must revitalize our democracy. This beautiful Capital, like every capital since the dawn of civilization, is often a place of intrigue and calculation. Powerful people maneuver for position and worry endlessly about who is in and who is out, who is up and who is down, forgetting those people whose toil and sweat sends us here and pays our way. Americans deserve better. And in this city today there are people who want to do better. And so I say to all of you here: Let us resolve to reform our politics so that power and privilege no longer shout down the voice of the people. Let us put aside personal advantage so that we can feel the pain and see the promise of America. Let us resolve to make our Government a place for what Franklin Roosevelt called bold, persistent experimentation, a Government for our tomorrows, not our yesterdays. Let us give this Capital back to the people to whom it belongs.
William J. Clinton: “Inaugural Address,” January 20, 1993. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
*The second president to be impeached. Clinton was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice related to testimony given under oath in a sexual harassment suit. The Senate, in a largely party-line vote, acquitted him.
Hillary Clinton sworn in as U.S. Senator from New York with Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Al Gore. (January 3, 2001 Photo Courtesy of the Clinton Presidential Library.)
*His wife, Hillary Clinton, was the first first lady to ever run for public office, becoming U.S. Senator from New York. After campaigning for the presidency in 2008, she lost the nomination to Barack Obama, who then selected Hillary Clinton as his first secretary of state.
Despite the controversies over his relationship with a White House intern and other women, Bill Clinton left office with high public approval ratings, a balanced budget and twenty-two million jobs created in eight years –growth spurred by the technology revolution and a housing boom. The American people seemed willing to accept Bill Clinton for what he had done in his private affairs and separate that from his public performance.
Whether that relationship carries over to a place beside his wife as first woman to be elected president is one of the fascinating questions of our time.
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum is located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Read more about the life and administration of Bill Clinton in Don’t Know Much About® History and Don’t Know Much About® the American Presidents.
Don’t Know Much About® the American Presidents (Hyperion Paperback-April 15, 2014)
Don’t Know Much About® History: Anniversary Edition (Harper Perennial and Random House Audio)