A Travellerspoint blog

Beautiful Duke Gardens and Duke Chapel in Durham NC

This was my favorite view in the gardens; the Italianate design really did look like many of the gardens I've seen in Italy

This was my favorite view in the gardens; the Italianate design really did look like many of the gardens I've seen in Italy

In a corporate study carried out by The New York Times, Duke's graduates were shown to be among the most sought-after and valued in the world

In a corporate study carried out by The New York Times, Duke's graduates were shown to be among the most sought-after and valued in the world

I had never visited before despite Duke Gardens being one of the top 10 in the US according to TripAdvisor

I had never visited before despite Duke Gardens being one of the top 10 in the US according to TripAdvisor

The top countries that Duke students come from (other than US) - China, Canada, Great Britain, Korea and India

The top countries that Duke students come from (other than US) - China, Canada, Great Britain, Korea and India

Nixon went to law school at Duke; other alumni include Tim Cook, Ron Paul, Melinda Gates, David Gergen, Ken Starr, Andrew McCabe, Rand Paul and now-former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

Nixon went to law school at Duke; other alumni include Tim Cook, Ron Paul, Melinda Gates, David Gergen, Ken Starr, Andrew McCabe, Rand Paul and now-former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

According to the Huffington Post, Duke is one of the 10 toughest universities to get into in the US; I knew better than to even apply

According to the Huffington Post, Duke is one of the 10 toughest universities to get into in the US; I knew better than to even apply

Artwork is entitled The Big Easy; according to a study by Forbes, Duke ranks 11th among universities that have produced billionaires

Artwork is entitled The Big Easy; according to a study by Forbes, Duke ranks 11th among universities that have produced billionaires

Duke Chapel was completed in 1932, holds 1800 people and stands 210 feet tall; it is an ecumenical Christian chapel with connections to the United Methodist Church

Duke Chapel was completed in 1932, holds 1800 people and stands 210 feet tall; it is an ecumenical Christian chapel with connections to the United Methodist Church

15% o students are from NC and an amazing 95% o undergrads graduate in 4 years; 25% o graduate students are from outside the US

15% of students are from NC and an amazing 95% of undergrads graduate in 4 years; 25% of graduate students are from outside the US

Duke's nursing school was rated best in the nation by US New and World Report; Duke Medical School only accepts about 4% o applicants

Duke's nursing school was rated best in the nation by US New and World Report; Duke Medical School only accepts about 4% of applicants

Duke sits on a gorgeous 8700 acre campus but most of that is forest; the university employees almost 40,000 and is the largest employer in Durham

Duke sits on a gorgeous 8700 acre campus but most of that is forest; the university employees almost 40,000 and is the largest employer in Durham

Had not seen Starburst Allium before; it's actually a member of the onion and garlic family

Had not seen Starburst Allium before; it's actually a member of the onion and garlic family

Patients come from all over the world to be treated at Duke University Health System; the Duke Lemur Center has the world's largest colony of endangered primates

Patients come from all over the world to be treated at Duke University Health System; the Duke Lemur Center has the world's largest colony of endangered primates

The Duke family made its fortune in tobacco while the garden visitor center is named for Doris Duke, a billionaire philanthropist who died in 1993

The Duke family made its fortune in tobacco while the garden visitor center is named for Doris Duke, a billionaire philanthropist who died in 1993

Duke Chapel has a 50 bell carillon, the heaviest weighs 11200 pounds and three pipe organs, the largest with 6900 pipes

Duke Chapel has a 50 bell carillon, the heaviest weighs 11200 pounds and three pipe organs, the largest with 6900 pipes

Duke Forest, established in 1931, is the largest private research forest in NC and one of the largest in the nation

Duke Forest, established in 1931, is the largest private research forest in NC and one of the largest in the nation

I guess I was expected to bring food; Trinity College started in 1838, moved to Durham in 1892 and became Duke University in 1924

I guess I was expected to bring food; Trinity College started in 1838, moved to Durham in 1892 and became Duke University in 1924

Ranked number one on The Most Pristine College Campuses in America by yourgreenpal.com

Ranked number one on The Most Pristine College Campuses in America by yourgreenpal.com

Travel   Leisure listed Duke among the most beautiful college campuses in the US; much of the campus was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first prominent African-American architects

Travel + Leisure listed Duke among the most beautiful college campuses in the US; much of the campus was designed by Julian Abele, one of the first prominent African-American architects

I missed all the spring colors; there is a 6.5 acre Garden of Native Plants with 900  species and an 18 acre Asiatic Arboretum

I missed all the spring colors; there is a 6.5 acre Garden of Native Plants with 900+ species and an 18 acre Asiatic Arboretum

The 77 chapel windows are made up of more than one million pieces of European glass; they depict scenes and characters from the Bible

The 77 chapel windows are made up of more than one million pieces of European glass; they depict scenes and characters from the Bible

Placed number 4 on international list of 50 Most Stunning University Gardens and Arboretums by BestMastersPrograms.org

Placed number 4 on international list of 50 Most Stunning University Gardens and Arboretums by BestMastersPrograms.org

Durham's number 1 attraction on TripAdvisor; voted number 4 on USA Today list of 10 Top NC Attractions

Durham's number 1 attraction on TripAdvisor; voted number 4 on USA Today list of 10 Top NC Attractions

My mom's parents are buried right next to the Duke campus; my mom grew up in Durham and I was born here at what is now the NC School for Math and Science

My mom's parents are buried right next to the Duke campus; my mom grew up in Durham and I was born here at what is now the NC School for Math and Science

Undergraduate ethnic mix - Caucasian 46%, sian American 22%, frican American 10%, oreign 10% ad Hispanic 8%

Undergraduate ethnic mix - Caucasian 46%, Asian American 22%, African American 10%, Foreign 10% and Hispanic 8%

Duke is the second-largest private employer in North Carolina and is consistently ranked among the top places to work by multiple publications, including Forbes and The Chronicle of Higher Education

Duke is the second-largest private employer in North Carolina and is consistently ranked among the top places to work by multiple publications, including Forbes and The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area has more than 2 million people; Myron Bolitar (a former Duke basketball player) is the main character in many very good novels by Harlan Coben

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area has more than 2 million people; Myron Bolitar (a former Duke basketball player) is the main character in many very good novels by Harlan Coben

Duke requires its students to live on campus for the first three years; the Duke men's basketball team has won 5 NCAA championships, most recently in 2015

Duke requires its students to live on campus for the first three years; the Duke men's basketball team has won 5 NCAA championships, most recently in 2015

The bell tower of Duke Chapel is modeled after the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral; the chapel is built in Collegiate Gothic style

The bell tower of Duke Chapel is modeled after the Bell Harry Tower of Canterbury Cathedral; the chapel is built in Collegiate Gothic style

Duke has 15,192 students with 8660 being graduate students; annual tuition, room and board and fees is $68298 per year

Duke has 15,192 students with 8660 being graduate students; annual tuition, room and board and fees is $68298 per year

The 55 acre gardens were begun in 1934; the 36th line of latitude goes directly through the gardens

The 55 acre gardens were begun in 1934; the 36th line of latitude goes directly through the gardens

The men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged in 1972; 51% o undergrads are women

The men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged in 1972; 51% of undergrads are women

The gardens are free to enjoy; parking was $1 for every 30 minutes; there are more than 5 miles of paths through the gardens

The gardens are free to enjoy; parking was $1 for every 30 minutes; there are more than 5 miles of paths through the gardens

Posted by RNRiggins 08:50 Comments (0)

Graceland - iconic home of Elvis in Memphis

You can only visit Graceland as part of a guided tour; the second story is off limits since the home is still privately owned and sometime family members and visitors

You can only visit Graceland as part of a guided tour; the second story is off limits since the home is still privately owned and sometime family members and visitors


Graceland is the second most visited house in the US after the White House; it sits on 14 acres, 9 miles from downtown Memphis and 4 miles north of the Mississippi state line

Graceland is the second most visited house in the US after the White House; it sits on 14 acres, 9 miles from downtown Memphis and 4 miles north of the Mississippi state line

The famous Jungle Room; the song Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn (one I really like) references Graceland and the Jungle Room; the song was later covered by Cher and Lonestar

The famous Jungle Room; the song Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn (one I really like) references Graceland and the Jungle Room; the song was later covered by Cher and Lonestar

Elvis purchased Graceland in 1957 for $102,500; the house was opened to the public in 1982

Elvis purchased Graceland in 1957 for $102,500; the house was opened to the public in 1982

Graceland is 17,552 sq ft with 23 rooms including 8 bedrooms and bathrooms; Elvis died in one of the second floor bathrooms

Graceland is 17,552 sq ft with 23 rooms including 8 bedrooms and bathrooms; Elvis died in one of the second floor bathrooms

Priscilla and Lisa Marie; the house was built in 1939 by the founder of the oldest commercial printing firm in Memphis and named for his daughter Grace

Priscilla and Lisa Marie; the house was built in 1939 by the founder of the oldest commercial printing firm in Memphis and named for his daughter Grace

Elvis's parents lived in a first floor bedroom; you get an audioguide with tons of information as you walk through the house and property

Elvis's parents lived in a first floor bedroom; you get an audioguide with tons of information as you walk through the house and property

This first floor bedroom was for Elvis's parents; in 2016 Graceland welcomed its 20 millionth visitor

This first floor bedroom was for Elvis's parents; in 2016 Graceland welcomed its 20 millionth visitor

The Living Room; from Lisa Marie's recollections, the family and visitors spent most of their time in the basement

The Living Room; from Lisa Marie's recollections, the family and visitors spent most of their time in the basement

The Music Room features a baby grand piano and 1950s TV; the doorway is framed by stained glass featuring peacocks

The Music Room features a baby grand piano and 1950s TV; the doorway is framed by stained glass featuring peacocks

I didn't realize Elvis had a twin brother that was stillborn; the house Elvis grew up in had no electricity or indoor plumbing

I didn't realize Elvis had a twin brother that was stillborn; the house Elvis grew up in had no electricity or indoor plumbing

Scale model of shotgun house where Elvis was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS; the family moved to Memphis in 1948

Scale model of shotgun house where Elvis was born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, MS; the family moved to Memphis in 1948

Priscilla lived at Graceland with Elvis for 5 years before they were married in 1967; Lisa Marie was born in 1968 and moved to California with her mother when Elvis and Priscilla divorced in 1972

Priscilla lived at Graceland with Elvis for 5 years before they were married in 1967; Lisa Marie was born in 1968 and moved to California with her mother when Elvis and Priscilla divorced in 1972

The TV room in the basement was part of a $500,000 renovation project Elvis had done; the cost to visit just the mansion and not any of the exhibits across the street was $39.75

The TV room in the basement was part of a $500,000 renovation project Elvis had done; the cost to visit just the mansion and not any of the exhibits across the street was $39.75

Prince William and Prince Harry visited Graceland in 2014; nice that a future king visited the home of THE King

Prince William and Prince Harry visited Graceland in 2014; nice that a future king visited the home of THE King

In 2006 President George W Bush toured Graceland with the Japanese Prime Minister who was a huge Elvis fan

In 2006 President George W Bush toured Graceland with the Japanese Prime Minister who was a huge Elvis fan

Priscilla's stepfather was in the US Air Force stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany when she met Elvis at a party while he was in the Army; Priscilla was only 14 at the time

Priscilla's stepfather was in the US Air Force stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany when she met Elvis at a party while he was in the Army; Priscilla was only 14 at the time

Lisa Marie still owns 100% o Graceland and the surrounding 13 acres; when Elvis died he had little money left but after Priscilla opened Graceland for tours the value of the estate quickly reached $100 million

Lisa Marie still owns 100% of Graceland and the surrounding 13 acres; when Elvis died he had little money left but after Priscilla opened Graceland for tours the value of the estate quickly reached $100 million

Adjacent to the house is a small museum with some of Elvis's photographs, clothes and personal items; he must not have ever thrown anything away

Adjacent to the house is a small museum with some of Elvis's photographs, clothes and personal items; he must not have ever thrown anything away

RCA gave this TV to Elvis for selling 50 million records between 1956-1960; sure doesn't look like much by today's standards

RCA gave this TV to Elvis for selling 50 million records between 1956-1960; sure doesn't look like much by today's standards

Paul Simon visited Graceland in the early 1980s and afterwards wrote a song which became the title track for his hit album Graceland

Paul Simon visited Graceland in the early 1980s and afterwards wrote a song which became the title track for his hit album Graceland

The white staircase leads to the second floor where Elvis and Lisa Marie had their bedrooms; it would be interesting to see what Elvis wore when not performing

The white staircase leads to the second floor where Elvis and Lisa Marie had their bedrooms; it would be interesting to see what Elvis wore when not performing

The kitchen wasn't opened to the public until 1995 since Elvis's aunt Delta used it until her death in 1993; Elvis redecorated often but his taste seemed to remain the same

The kitchen wasn't opened to the public until 1995 since Elvis's aunt Delta used it until her death in 1993; Elvis redecorated often but his taste seemed to remain the same

The well-stocked bar was in the basement between the TV room and the billiard room; no mention was made on the audioguide of any drinking or drug use by Elvis

The well-stocked bar was in the basement between the TV room and the billiard room; no mention was made on the audioguide of any drinking or drug use by Elvis

Another view of the Jungle Room; in 1976 it was converted into a recording studio where Elvis's last 2 albums were recorded

Another view of the Jungle Room; in 1976 it was converted into a recording studio where Elvis's last 2 albums were recorded

A separate building behind the house contained the office used by Elvis's father, Vernon; after Elvis's mother died, his father remarried but Elvis never got along with his stepmother

A separate building behind the house contained the office used by Elvis's father, Vernon; after Elvis's mother died, his father remarried but Elvis never got along with his stepmother

The kitchen looked like a darker version of the Brady Bunch kitchen; it's surprising Elvis chose such a modest house since he was already a huge star when he purchased Graceland

The kitchen looked like a darker version of the Brady Bunch kitchen; it's surprising Elvis chose such a modest house since he was already a huge star when he purchased Graceland

Elvis played a game of pinball before going to his bedroom to rest before a flight to Portland, ME; he was discovered dead a couple of hours later

Elvis played a game of pinball before going to his bedroom to rest before a flight to Portland, ME; he was discovered dead a couple of hours later

Lounge adjacent to racquetball court; Elvis played his final songs on that piano, Unchained Melody and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

Lounge adjacent to racquetball court; Elvis played his final songs on that piano, Unchained Melody and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

Elvis had a separate building constructed to house his racquetball court with a lounge for spectators; he played a game with his girlfriend and cousins shortly before his death

Elvis had a separate building constructed to house his racquetball court with a lounge for spectators; he played a game with his girlfriend and cousins shortly before his death

Elvis had a small meditation garden added; this is where he is buried along with his brother, his parents and his favorite grandmother

Elvis had a small meditation garden added; this is where he is buried along with his brother, his parents and his favorite grandmother

Posted by RNRiggins 08:51 Comments (0)

Road trip to Cherokee NC for my mom's 80th birthday

Mingo Falls, 120 feet high, is the tallest waterfall in the Southern Appalachians; Mingo is the Cherokee word for big bear

Mingo Falls, 120 feet high, is the tallest waterfall in the Southern Appalachians; Mingo is the Cherokee word for big bear

Harrah's is the only casino in Cherokee and is on land owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation

Harrah's is the only casino in Cherokee and is on land owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation

I was very impressed that my parents decided to tackle the hike and managed it without much difficulty

I was very impressed that my parents decided to tackle the hike and managed it without much difficulty

My parents found 2 of the very few nickel video poker machines at Harrah's; my dad won big win he hit the wrong button, accidentally betting all of his money, and drew a full house

My parents found 2 of the very few nickel video poker machines at Harrah's; my dad won big win he hit the wrong button, accidentally betting all of his money, and drew a full house

While I'm limping around Europe this summer, my parents will be traveling to Tennessee for my dad's 68th high school reunion

While I'm limping around Europe this summer, my parents will be traveling to Tennessee for my dad's 68th high school reunion

No, my dad is not taking a selfie; he was trying to take a photo of my mom and I but didn't realize he had the camera backwards! Oy!

No, my dad is not taking a selfie; he was trying to take a photo of my mom and I but didn't realize he had the camera backwards! Oy!

My sister and parents enjoyed dinner out to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday; Betsy gave my mom a cool map of her hometown from when she was born

My sister and parents enjoyed dinner out to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday; Betsy gave my mom a cool map of her hometown from when she was born

Jerry Springer was hosting The Price is Right roadshow at Harrah's a few days after our visit; many of the NC rednecks were already in town for the big event

Jerry Springer was hosting The Price is Right roadshow at Harrah's a few days after our visit; many of the NC rednecks were already in town for the big event

Especially impressive in the winter when it freezes, Mingo Falls lies on land owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation

Especially impressive in the winter when it freezes, Mingo Falls lies on land owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation

Nature reveals how difficult life can be as the roots of this tree struggle to get around granite boulders

Nature reveals how difficult life can be as the roots of this tree struggle to get around granite boulders

Harrah's has added an amusement center with games like the world's largest Pac-Man game and a bowling center

Harrah's has added an amusement center with games like the world's largest Pac-Man game and a bowling center

The Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee is close to the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee is close to the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway

We saw many fishermen but couldn't see any fish in the rivers; supposedly, trout can live in these shallow waters

We saw many fishermen but couldn't see any fish in the rivers; supposedly, trout can live in these shallow waters

The first step was a doozy; the first, steep step served the same function as a sign saying you have to be this tall to go on the ride

The first step was a doozy; the first, steep step served the same function as a sign saying you have to be this tall to go on the ride

A picturesque bridge crosses Mingo Creek rewarding hikers with a perfect view of Mingo Falls; there are lots of campgrounds nearby for those opting to rough it

A picturesque bridge crosses Mingo Creek rewarding hikers with a perfect view of Mingo Falls; there are lots of campgrounds nearby for those opting to rough it

After lots of bad hands, I finally hit a very good one that helped me recoup some of my losses

After lots of bad hands, I finally hit a very good one that helped me recoup some of my losses

My mom's (much younger) sister always comes up with good cards that focus on the joys of aging

My mom's (much younger) sister always comes up with good cards that focus on the joys of aging

I always enjoy spending time with my parents; it's just too bad they don't want to travel to Europe with me anymore

I always enjoy spending time with my parents; it's just too bad they don't want to travel to Europe with me anymore

Harrah's casino opened in Cherokee in 1997 and now attracts 4  million visitors per year; previously most of the local Cherokee lived on public assistance but now the Cherokees have state-of-the-art schools and services

Harrah's casino opened in Cherokee in 1997 and now attracts 4+ million visitors per year; previously most of the local Cherokee lived on public assistance but now the Cherokees have state-of-the-art schools and services

I had to do a lot of persuading to convince my parents that they could handle the 161 steps and moderately difficult trail to Mingo Falls

I had to do a lot of persuading to convince my parents that they could handle the 161 steps and moderately difficult trail to Mingo Falls

Posted by RNRiggins 13:33 Comments (0)

The Clinton Presidential Library-worth a stop in Little Rock

The portion of the Clinton Library open to the public is just a fraction of the building; it was nice remembering the good times during the Clinton administration but depressing looking at our current situation

The portion of the Clinton Library open to the public is just a fraction of the building; it was nice remembering the good times during the Clinton administration but depressing looking at our current situation

A replica of the Cabinet Room; the President's chair is a little higher and larger than the others with each cabinet secretary having a specific chair

A replica of the Cabinet Room; the President's chair is a little higher and larger than the others with each cabinet secretary having a specific chair

Replica of Clinton's desk in the Oval Office; after years of poor eating habits, Clinton became a vegan after suffering a heart attack

Replica of Clinton's desk in the Oval Office; after years of poor eating habits, Clinton became a vegan after suffering a heart attack

The tech boom and the age of the Internet helped drive the greatest economic expansion in US history; Clinton has also won 2 spoken word Grammy awards

The tech boom and the age of the Internet helped drive the greatest economic expansion in US history; Clinton has also won 2 spoken word Grammy awards

The Assault Weapons Ban lasted 10 years but under President George W. Bush was not renewed; Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan had all supported the ban

The Assault Weapons Ban lasted 10 years but under President George W. Bush was not renewed; Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan had all supported the ban

On the first day the Clintons lived in the White House they invited 3000 Americans to visit and shook hands with everyone

On the first day the Clintons lived in the White House they invited 3000 Americans to visit and shook hands with everyone

The metro Little Rock area has about 725,000 people and lies on the Arkansas River; lucked out to have great weather

The metro Little Rock area has about 725,000 people and lies on the Arkansas River; lucked out to have great weather

Clinton famously played Heartbreak Hotel on the sax for the Arsenio Hall Show; Clinton was first chair in the Arkansas state band

Clinton famously played Heartbreak Hotel on the sax for the Arsenio Hall Show; Clinton was first chair in the Arkansas state band

There were timelines for each year of Clinton's presidency highlighting major events and accomplishments; Clinton was the second youngest president ever elected

There were timelines for each year of Clinton's presidency highlighting major events and accomplishments; Clinton was the second youngest president ever elected

Eckhard Pfeiffer (and a free PR moment) packs the 50 millionth PC manufactured by Compaq; illustrative of changing times during Clinton administration

Eckhard Pfeiffer (and a free PR moment) packs the 50 millionth PC manufactured by Compaq; illustrative of changing times during Clinton administration

Amazing to think we had a budget surplus not that long ago; wars and tax cuts have contributed to the huge deficit we have today

Amazing to think we had a budget surplus not that long ago; wars and tax cuts have contributed to the huge deficit we have today

The US had relatively good relations with post-Cold War Russia and Vladimir Putin; focus was placed on minimizing the threat of nuclear weapons being used

The US had relatively good relations with post-Cold War Russia and Vladimir Putin; focus was placed on minimizing the threat of nuclear weapons being used

Clinton wanted the US to be more of a global competitor and felt that NAFTA would expand trade and add jobs; many Democrats in Congress opposed the trade agreement

Clinton wanted the US to be more of a global competitor and felt that NAFTA would expand trade and add jobs; many Democrats in Congress opposed the trade agreement

I remember visiting DC for the March on Washington in 1993; the Library has a glass exterior which made for irritating reflections on my photos

I remember visiting DC for the March on Washington in 1993; the Library has a glass exterior which made for irritating reflections on my photos

An old railroad bridge has been converted into a popular pedestrian bridge connecting North Little Rock to Little Rock right at the Clinton Library

An old railroad bridge has been converted into a popular pedestrian bridge connecting North Little Rock to Little Rock right at the Clinton Library

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the White House, the White House Historical Association donated a new china service; Hillary suggested the motif

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the White House, the White House Historical Association donated a new china service; Hillary suggested the motif

Socks was one of the most famous presidential pets despite Clinton being allergic to cat dander; Clinton is the only president who was also a Rhodes Scholar

Socks was one of the most famous presidential pets despite Clinton being allergic to cat dander; Clinton is the only president who was also a Rhodes Scholar

Clinton, with the assistance of the United Nations, was able to broker peace to end the war in the Balkans; Clinton was 16 years old when he shook the hand of President Kennedy

Clinton, with the assistance of the United Nations, was able to broker peace to end the war in the Balkans; Clinton was 16 years old when he shook the hand of President Kennedy

The Little Rock Nine were honored by Clinton at the White House; made famous for simply trying to attend Central High School after the Supreme Court approved school segregation

The Little Rock Nine were honored by Clinton at the White House; made famous for simply trying to attend Central High School after the Supreme Court approved school segregation

The Clintons invited glass artist Dale Chihuly to provide artwork for the White House Millennium celebration on New Year's Eve, 1999

The Clintons invited glass artist Dale Chihuly to provide artwork for the White House Millennium celebration on New Year's Eve, 1999

The Clinton Library is part of the National Archives which manages the libraries of every president since Herbert Hoover; the Obama Foundation will manage his library rather than the National Archives

The Clinton Library is part of the National Archives which manages the libraries of every president since Herbert Hoover; the Obama Foundation will manage his library rather than the National Archives

The Arkansas is a major tributary of the Mississippi River and the 6th longest river in the US at almost 1500 miles; the headwaters are actually in Colorado

The Arkansas is a major tributary of the Mississippi River and the 6th longest river in the US at almost 1500 miles; the headwaters are actually in Colorado

President Clinton helped bring about a lasting peace in Northern Ireland; Clinton was first elected governor of Arkansas when he was only 32

President Clinton helped bring about a lasting peace in Northern Ireland; Clinton was first elected governor of Arkansas when he was only 32

With Clinton and Gore there was a focus on a peaceful world and a global community; quite a contrast to the politics today

With Clinton and Gore there was a focus on a peaceful world and a global community; quite a contrast to the politics today

The vast majority of the library was focused on President Clinton but Hillary did merit some attention; Bill attended Georgetown getting a degree in international affairs

The vast majority of the library was focused on President Clinton but Hillary did merit some attention; Bill attended Georgetown getting a degree in international affairs

President Clinton signed the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban which resulted in a drop in gun crimes; the NRA has made common sense gun reform impossible

President Clinton signed the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban which resulted in a drop in gun crimes; the NRA has made common sense gun reform impossible

More than 40 million were uninsured when Hillary tried to reform health care in the early 1990s; brown and serve rolls were invented in Little Rock in the 1930s

More than 40 million were uninsured when Hillary tried to reform health care in the early 1990s; brown and serve rolls were invented in Little Rock in the 1930s

The Presidential Libraries are privately funded but then managed and maintained by the government; the largest Presidential Library is LBJ's in Austin

The Presidential Libraries are privately funded but then managed and maintained by the government; the largest Presidential Library is LBJ's in Austin

Nelson Mandela and Clinton formed a lasting friendship with both advocating racial equality; Clinton memorized MLK's I Have a Dream speech right after it was given

Nelson Mandela and Clinton formed a lasting friendship with both advocating racial equality; Clinton memorized MLK's I Have a Dream speech right after it was given

VP Gore pushed for tougher regulations to protect the environment and brought attention to climate change; the scientific community has been overruled by this White House

VP Gore pushed for tougher regulations to protect the environment and brought attention to climate change; the scientific community has been overruled by this White House

One of my all-time favorite people, Maya Angelou, read her poem, On the Pulse of the Morning, at Clinton's first inauguration; I remember watching it on TV

One of my all-time favorite people, Maya Angelou, read her poem, On the Pulse of the Morning, at Clinton's first inauguration; I remember watching it on TV

The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is the first American university to provide a master's degree in public service

The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is the first American university to provide a master's degree in public service

Full sized replica of the Oval Office; the only presidents taller than Clinton were Lincoln, LBJ and Jefferson

Full sized replica of the Oval Office; the only presidents taller than Clinton were Lincoln, LBJ and Jefferson

Vice President Gore receives little attention beyond his promotion of the internet and advocacy for environmental protection; throughout the library I was struck by how the current administration is undoing decades of progress

Vice President Gore receives little attention beyond his promotion of the internet and advocacy for environmental protection; throughout the library I was struck by how the current administration is undoing decades of progress

Joni Mitchell's guitar and an homage to Helen Reddy were part of a temporary exhibit focused on the influence music could have on politics

Joni Mitchell's guitar and an homage to Helen Reddy were part of a temporary exhibit focused on the influence music could have on politics

The temporary exhibit illustrated how music can bring about a cultural revolution and lead to societal changes

The temporary exhibit illustrated how music can bring about a cultural revolution and lead to societal changes

The popularity of jazz and rock and roll helped break down racial barriers that eventually led to the end of segregation

The popularity of jazz and rock and roll helped break down racial barriers that eventually led to the end of segregation

The Little Rock airport is named for Bill and Hillary; even their mothers have been honored with their own streets

The Little Rock airport is named for Bill and Hillary; even their mothers have been honored with their own streets

Clinton carried the Midwest for both elections while you can see the battleground states fluctuate like Florida, Colorado and Arizona

Clinton carried the Midwest for both elections while you can see the battleground states fluctuate like Florida, Colorado and Arizona

Dillard's department store is headquartered in Little Rock while Maybelline is based across the river in North Little Rock

Dillard's department store is headquartered in Little Rock while Maybelline is based across the river in North Little Rock

The Clintons and Gores enjoying their campaign swing through NC although they failed to carry the state in either election

The Clintons and Gores enjoying their campaign swing through NC although they failed to carry the state in either election

The Clintons expanded the Easter Egg Roll, created a St. Patrick's Day celebration and initiated recognition for different religious holidays

The Clintons expanded the Easter Egg Roll, created a St. Patrick's Day celebration and initiated recognition for different religious holidays

Letters between President Clinton and Elton John on the importance of addressing the AIDS crisis; there is no demonym for residents of Little Rock

Letters between President Clinton and Elton John on the importance of addressing the AIDS crisis; there is no demonym for residents of Little Rock

The Clintons hosted a State Dinner for Czech Republic President Havel with entertainment by Lou Reed whose music Havel credited with helping inspire the Velvet Revolution

The Clintons hosted a State Dinner for Czech Republic President Havel with entertainment by Lou Reed whose music Havel credited with helping inspire the Velvet Revolution

Clinton pushed the Safe Drinking Water Act through Congress to upgrade water treatment facilities and require localities to report the quality of their water to consumers

Clinton pushed the Safe Drinking Water Act through Congress to upgrade water treatment facilities and require localities to report the quality of their water to consumers

The cleaner air regulations enacted during the Clinton administration, including special gas for California, helped greatly reduce air pollution

The cleaner air regulations enacted during the Clinton administration, including special gas for California, helped greatly reduce air pollution

The US was leading the global fight against global warming; now the rest of the world is continuing what we started without our participation

The US was leading the global fight against global warming; now the rest of the world is continuing what we started without our participation

As a tree-hugger, I support protecting the environment for future generations rather than Scott Pruitt's approach of using the lands for economic gain

As a tree-hugger, I support protecting the environment for future generations rather than Scott Pruitt's approach of using the lands for economic gain

The rapid development around Lake Tahoe had polluted the waters so Clinton brought public and private stakeholders together to develop solutions

The rapid development around Lake Tahoe had polluted the waters so Clinton brought public and private stakeholders together to develop solutions

Clinton and Gore were able to show that economic growth could exist with stronger environmental regulations; many localities now recognize the importance of the environment in actually driving their economy

Clinton and Gore were able to show that economic growth could exist with stronger environmental regulations; many localities now recognize the importance of the environment in actually driving their economy

The Clinton Foundation improves lives across the US and around the world to create economic opportunity, improve public health and inspire civic engagement

The Clinton Foundation improves lives across the US and around the world to create economic opportunity, improve public health and inspire civic engagement

Posted by RNRiggins 10:45 Comments (0)

National Civil Rights Museum at Lorraine Motel in Memphis

The Lorraine Motel was one of the few in Memphis open to black guests in the 1960s; Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated here on April 4, 1968

The Lorraine Motel was one of the few in Memphis open to black guests in the 1960s; Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated here on April 4, 1968

James Earl Ray fired from the small window on the second floor; it was a rooming house at the time and now houses part of the museum

James Earl Ray fired from the small window on the second floor; it was a rooming house at the time and now houses part of the museum

MLK had traveled to Memphis to support the strike of the sanitation workers; they had been striking since February to protest poor pay and dangerous working conditions

MLK had traveled to Memphis to support the strike of the sanitation workers; they had been striking since February to protest poor pay and dangerous working conditions

The museum opened in 1991 and was extensively renovated in 2014; I visited shortly after the 50th anniversary of MLK's assassination

The museum opened in 1991 and was extensively renovated in 2014; I visited shortly after the 50th anniversary of MLK's assassination

A month after MLK's assassination, the SCLC and Coretta Scott King used the Lorraine Motel to kick-off the Poor People's Campaign, a 900 mile journey to DC to campaign for fair wages and decent housing

A month after MLK's assassination, the SCLC and Coretta Scott King used the Lorraine Motel to kick-off the Poor People's Campaign, a 900 mile journey to DC to campaign for fair wages and decent housing

The Lorraine became America's first civil rights museum; lots of information that requires reading means congestion and slow moving crowds

The Lorraine became America's first civil rights museum; lots of information that requires reading means congestion and slow moving crowds

This is the view James Earl Ray had on the day he assassinated MLK; you can see that the sanitation workers were on strike

This is the view James Earl Ray had on the day he assassinated MLK; you can see that the sanitation workers were on strike

The Lorraine was built in 1925 and was an upscale hotel catering to black clientele; guests included Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, BB King, Cab Calloway, Count Basie and Nat King Cole

The Lorraine was built in 1925 and was an upscale hotel catering to black clientele; guests included Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, BB King, Cab Calloway, Count Basie and Nat King Cole

The museum is an ideal destination for school trips; the museum is now recognized as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute

The museum is an ideal destination for school trips; the museum is now recognized as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute

The Lorraine Motel was foreclosed on in December 1982; the MLK Memorial Foundation bought the hotel for $144,000 with the last tenant living in the hotel moving out in 1988

The Lorraine Motel was foreclosed on in December 1982; the MLK Memorial Foundation bought the hotel for $144,000 with the last tenant living in the hotel moving out in 1988

The sanitation worker's strike ended 2 weeks after MLK's death with union recognition and increased wages, although additional strikes had to be threatened to get Memphis to live up to its promises

The sanitation worker's strike ended 2 weeks after MLK's death with union recognition and increased wages, although additional strikes had to be threatened to get Memphis to live up to its promises

The museum explains how slaves were the economic backbone of the South; the museum would have benefited from more video and less information that required reading

The museum explains how slaves were the economic backbone of the South; the museum would have benefited from more video and less information that required reading

Slaves are kept naked and transported in a space 3 ft 3 in high on a journey that can last more than three months

Slaves are kept naked and transported in a space 3 ft 3 in high on a journey that can last more than three months

The museum was crowded with there often a long line to enter; I'd recommend avoiding the weekends and going early in the day

The museum was crowded with there often a long line to enter; I'd recommend avoiding the weekends and going early in the day

To escape Jim Crow laws and the oppressive environment, Blacks fled to non-Southern cities; the Lorraine Motel can be reached by tram from downtown

To escape Jim Crow laws and the oppressive environment, Blacks fled to non-Southern cities; the Lorraine Motel can be reached by tram from downtown

Just because slavery had been abolished didn't mean Blacks still weren't enslaved; tenant farming was tenuous and the Great Depression was coming

Just because slavery had been abolished didn't mean Blacks still weren't enslaved; tenant farming was tenuous and the Great Depression was coming

Different colors represent different ethnic groups based on 2010 census showing that economic segregation still exists today

Different colors represent different ethnic groups based on 2010 census showing that economic segregation still exists today

Brown vs Board of Education 1954 was a watershed moment but changes were still slow; Southern states had enacted poll taxes and literacy tests to limit minority voting

Brown vs Board of Education 1954 was a watershed moment but changes were still slow; Southern states had enacted poll taxes and literacy tests to limit minority voting

Top photo is the white school and bottom photo is the Black school in Halifax County, VA showing how separate is not equal; teacher pay and quality of books were also markedly different

Top photo is the white school and bottom photo is the Black school in Halifax County, VA showing how separate is not equal; teacher pay and quality of books were also markedly different

Lithograph by Norman Rockwell entitled The Problem We All Live With, 1964, depicting Ruby Bridges being escorted into school by federal marshals

Lithograph by Norman Rockwell entitled The Problem We All Live With, 1964, depicting Ruby Bridges being escorted into school by federal marshals

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a seminal event in the civil rights movement which began the Monday after Rosa Parks was arrested

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a seminal event in the civil rights movement which began the Monday after Rosa Parks was arrested

MLK led the Montgomery bus boycott which proved very effective by economically crippling the city bus service; in 1956 a federal court ruled that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional

MLK led the Montgomery bus boycott which proved very effective by economically crippling the city bus service; in 1956 a federal court ruled that Alabama's racial segregation laws for buses were unconstitutional

The Montgomery bus boycott would last 383 days until the US Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's decision that buses be desegregated finally allowing Blacks to sit wherever they wished

The Montgomery bus boycott would last 383 days until the US Supreme Court affirmed a lower court's decision that buses be desegregated finally allowing Blacks to sit wherever they wished

Woolworth sit-in in Greensboro played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement; still need to visit the civil rights museum in Greensboro

Woolworth sit-in in Greensboro played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement; still need to visit the civil rights museum in Greensboro

MLK took his non-violent approach from Gandhi; King's homes and churches were firebombed, he received frequent death threats and yet remained unwavering in his non-violent approach

MLK took his non-violent approach from Gandhi; King's homes and churches were firebombed, he received frequent death threats and yet remained unwavering in his non-violent approach

Greensboro became famous in the struggle for civil rights due to Black students sitting at the previously whites only lunch counter at Woolworth's; they inspired similar protests across the South

Greensboro became famous in the struggle for civil rights due to Black students sitting at the previously whites only lunch counter at Woolworth's; they inspired similar protests across the South

The Green Book was needed by Black travelers in the South since it detailed motels, restaurants and gas stations that would serve Blacks; this copy is from 1956, not that long ago!

The Green Book was needed by Black travelers in the South since it detailed motels, restaurants and gas stations that would serve Blacks; this copy is from 1956, not that long ago!

Despite US Supreme Court rulings in 1946 and 1960, Southern states refused to desegregate interstate buses, trains, waiting rooms and bathrooms; the Freedom Riders were met with extreme violence

Despite US Supreme Court rulings in 1946 and 1960, Southern states refused to desegregate interstate buses, trains, waiting rooms and bathrooms; the Freedom Riders were met with extreme violence

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was founded after the Greensboro sit-ins and they successfully planned the activities of the Freedom Riders; I hadn't realized that students from a Greensboro high school helped lead the efforts

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was founded after the Greensboro sit-ins and they successfully planned the activities of the Freedom Riders; I hadn't realized that students from a Greensboro high school helped lead the efforts

Medgar Evers, a WW2 veteran, tried to vote but an angry white mob turned him away; the University of Mississippi law school rejected his application because he was Black; as the NAACP's field secretary he was killed by a member of the KKK

Medgar Evers, a WW2 veteran, tried to vote but an angry white mob turned him away; the University of Mississippi law school rejected his application because he was Black; as the NAACP's field secretary he was killed by a member of the KKK

The Freedom Riders were met with violence, including fire bombs; Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1961 issued new rules guaranteeing desegregated interstate travel

The Freedom Riders were met with violence, including fire bombs; Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1961 issued new rules guaranteeing desegregated interstate travel

It took thousands of law enforcement officers so that one Black man could enroll in the University of Mississippi in 1962; I went to college just 20 years later and benefited greatly from the experience of attending a very diverse institution

It took thousands of law enforcement officers so that one Black man could enroll in the University of Mississippi in 1962; I went to college just 20 years later and benefited greatly from the experience of attending a very diverse institution

Of the many bombings in Birmingham, the most famous was an act of white supremacist terrorism at 16th Street Baptist Church that killed 4 children

Of the many bombings in Birmingham, the most famous was an act of white supremacist terrorism at 16th Street Baptist Church that killed 4 children

MLK's Letters from a Birmingham Jail became famous as he called on white Christians to end their passivity and challenge segregation

MLK's Letters from a Birmingham Jail became famous as he called on white Christians to end their passivity and challenge segregation

More than 200,000 demonstrators took part in the famous 1963 March on Washington which pressured President Kennedy to initiate a strong federal civil rights bill in Congress

More than 200,000 demonstrators took part in the famous 1963 March on Washington which pressured President Kennedy to initiate a strong federal civil rights bill in Congress

1963 was the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation but Blacks still suffered high unemployment, systematic disenfranchisement and racial segregation

1963 was the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation but Blacks still suffered high unemployment, systematic disenfranchisement and racial segregation

The highlight of the 1963 March on Washington was MLK's I Have a Dream speech; the march helped spur the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965

The highlight of the 1963 March on Washington was MLK's I Have a Dream speech; the march helped spur the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965

Broadcast television helped galvanize support for Blacks as other Americans saw the brutality unleashed against their peaceful protests

Broadcast television helped galvanize support for Blacks as other Americans saw the brutality unleashed against their peaceful protests

Police attacked civil rights protesters as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; Pettus was a former Confederate Brigadier General, US Senator from Alabama and Grand Dragon of the KKK

Police attacked civil rights protesters as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; Pettus was a former Confederate Brigadier General, US Senator from Alabama and Grand Dragon of the KKK

Famous words of LBJ as he addressed a joint session of Congress working to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965; this was perceived as legislation JFK wanted and his death was invoked to garner support

Famous words of LBJ as he addressed a joint session of Congress working to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965; this was perceived as legislation JFK wanted and his death was invoked to garner support

This same photo is displayed at the LBJ Library in Austin as MLK thanks LBJ for his leadership in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965

This same photo is displayed at the LBJ Library in Austin as MLK thanks LBJ for his leadership in passing the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Mississippi Senator James Eastland had argued that Blacks didn't want to vote when confronted with the dismal voter registration numbers; in fact, registrars routinely turned Blacks away and wouldn't allow them to register

Mississippi Senator James Eastland had argued that Blacks didn't want to vote when confronted with the dismal voter registration numbers; in fact, registrars routinely turned Blacks away and wouldn't allow them to register

There have been some notable successes thanks to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 but efforts continue to disenfranchise Blacks and other minorities, especially through gerrymandering

There have been some notable successes thanks to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 but efforts continue to disenfranchise Blacks and other minorities, especially through gerrymandering

Music in the 1960s helped inspire people to continue fighting for what was right; Black performers became increasingly popular with white audiences at the same time

Music in the 1960s helped inspire people to continue fighting for what was right; Black performers became increasingly popular with white audiences at the same time

The strike by Memphis sanitation workers is what brought MLK to Memphis; today it seems ridiculous that Blacks and whites doing the same job wouldn't have the same workplace rules and benefits

The strike by Memphis sanitation workers is what brought MLK to Memphis; today it seems ridiculous that Blacks and whites doing the same job wouldn't have the same workplace rules and benefits

In MLK's last speech he foreshadowed his death and encouraged supporters to keep fighting even if he wasn't there to lead them

In MLK's last speech he foreshadowed his death and encouraged supporters to keep fighting even if he wasn't there to lead them

A day before he was assassinated in virtually the same place, MLK gathered with Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy

A day before he was assassinated in virtually the same place, MLK gathered with Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy

Room 306 has been left as it was when MLK was assassinated just outside on the walkway; Bobby Kennedy would be assassinated just 2 months later

Room 306 has been left as it was when MLK was assassinated just outside on the walkway; Bobby Kennedy would be assassinated just 2 months later

A wreath permanently adorns the walkway where MLK was assassinated; the night before, he gave his I've Been to the Mountaintop speech to rally support for striking sanitation workers

A wreath permanently adorns the walkway where MLK was assassinated; the night before, he gave his I've Been to the Mountaintop speech to rally support for striking sanitation workers

Across the street from the motel is another part of the museum focused on the history of slavery, the assassination itself and the continuing fight for civil rights

Across the street from the motel is another part of the museum focused on the history of slavery, the assassination itself and the continuing fight for civil rights

James Earl Ray used this bathroom in the boarding house across the street from which he fired the shot that killed MLK; other boarders had reported him acting strangely

James Earl Ray used this bathroom in the boarding house across the street from which he fired the shot that killed MLK; other boarders had reported him acting strangely

The view James Earl Ray had when he assassinated MLK; Ray, serving time for armed robbery, had escaped the Missouri state penitentiary and harbored intense hatred of Blacks

The view James Earl Ray had when he assassinated MLK; Ray, serving time for armed robbery, had escaped the Missouri state penitentiary and harbored intense hatred of Blacks

I didn't realize that Ray wasn't captured until 2 months after the assassination; he would plead guilty to the assassination but later recant his confession

I didn't realize that Ray wasn't captured until 2 months after the assassination; he would plead guilty to the assassination but later recant his confession

James Earl Ray escaped to Canada after the assassination where he obtained a false Canadian passport on which he flew to Europe; he then traveled to Lisbon and back to London before being captured

James Earl Ray escaped to Canada after the assassination where he obtained a false Canadian passport on which he flew to Europe; he then traveled to Lisbon and back to London before being captured

Springfield caliber Remington Gamemaster rifle with telescopic scope that Ray used to assassinate MLK; despite recanting his confession, Ray took a polygraph test that confirmed he was the assassin

Springfield caliber Remington Gamemaster rifle with telescopic scope that Ray used to assassinate MLK; despite recanting his confession, Ray took a polygraph test that confirmed he was the assassin

Similar to JFK's assassination, conspiracy theories were floated that James Earl Ray was not the killer; attention was focused on a man named Raul who was never identified or questioned; the King family believed James Earl Ray was NOT the assassin

Similar to JFK's assassination, conspiracy theories were floated that James Earl Ray was not the killer; attention was focused on a man named Raul who was never identified or questioned; the King family believed James Earl Ray was NOT the assassin

Coretta Scott King along with her children, Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy lead a memorial march through downtown Memphis 4 days after the assassination

Coretta Scott King along with her children, Jesse Jackson, Harry Belafonte, Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy lead a memorial march through downtown Memphis 4 days after the assassination

Not all progress follows a straight line; after 8 years with a drama-free presidency, the election of Trump unleashed an increase in hate crimes, more visible white supremacist groups and very blatant discrimination within the White House itself

Not all progress follows a straight line; after 8 years with a drama-free presidency, the election of Trump unleashed an increase in hate crimes, more visible white supremacist groups and very blatant discrimination within the White House itself

The National Civil Rights Museum annually presents the Freedom Award to those who have fought against intolerance and injustice, defended the oppressed and given a voice to the voiceless

The National Civil Rights Museum annually presents the Freedom Award to those who have fought against intolerance and injustice, defended the oppressed and given a voice to the voiceless

Houstonian Barbara Jordan broke many barriers as she became a national figure during the Watergate hearings; where are similar voices today?

Houstonian Barbara Jordan broke many barriers as she became a national figure during the Watergate hearings; where are similar voices today?

Jimmy Carter was honored with the Freedom Award and has lived such an incredible and exemplary life since being president; at 93 he continues to speak intelligently on the issues of today

Jimmy Carter was honored with the Freedom Award and has lived such an incredible and exemplary life since being president; at 93 he continues to speak intelligently on the issues of today

Posted by RNRiggins 12:43 Comments (0)

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