George W. Bush Library and Museum to be dedicated Thursday

Visitors to get in-depth look of 43rd president's time leading country

DALLAS - The White House Rose Garden arrived in North Texas on Wednesday. For former first lady Laura Bush, it's one of the highlights of the new George W. Bush Library and Museum.

That, and the Oval Office.

"I love the oval office," said Laura Bush. "It was fun to decorate when I did 12 years ago. So, it's fun to see it get recreated here."

Soon, visitors will get an in-depth look of the 43rd president's time leading the country, from Hurricane Katrina to September 11th, the Iraq War and financial crisis.

Photos: Inside George W. Bush library

"George did not want this to be a monument to himself," said Bush. "He said that from the very beginning, from when we first started looking for an architect."

Instead, Mrs. Bush said her husband wanted to lay out the facts of his presidency and let visitors decide how they make the call.

But first, former President Bush and his wife watched as the center was formally given to the national archives.

On Thursday, the Bush's will host hundreds of dignitaries, including all other living U.S. presidents for the dedication of the library.

Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation, originally from Houston, said the library can bond not just political leaders, but people across Texas.

"The Bush Library at Texas A&M is just down the road from Houston and LBJ Library in Austin," said Langdale. "I think that this will actually bring Houston and Dallas closer together."

Road closures expected for dedication

Dallas police said several roads will be closed around the city amid tight security as preparations begin for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University.

Some street closures were expected to begin Wednesday evening. Several roads will be closed around the campus on Thursday, including the southbound access road on U.S. 75 between University Boulevard and Mockingbird Lane.

A Secret Service spokesman said they've been planning for the dedication for a long time and are confident they're prepared.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown has said his department is planning for the highest level of security.

Photos: Inside George W. Bush library

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