Happy Trails: Cowboys of the Silver Screen
May 20 – November 26, 2006
The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum is pleased to announce the opening of our new exhibit
Happy Trails: Cowboys of the Silver Screen. This exhibit shows a part of our American cultural history that President Bill Clinton loved during his childhood. Growing up, President Clinton recalled watching “High Noon” nearly a half-dozen times during its run in Hope, making this movie his lifetime favorite. In his own life, this movie shaped his actions and bolstered his determination. He later recalled: “Over the years since I first saw High Noon, when I faced my own showdowns, I often thought of the look in Gary Cooper’s eyes as he stared into the face of almost certain defeat, and how he keeps walking though his fears toward his duty. It works pretty well in real life too.”
The exhibit covers everything from our western days, divided into 8 different sections: Arkansas, television, leading men, leading ladies, sidekicks, heavies, music, and Native Americans. Each section is filled with artifacts, photos, and posters. Highlights include Arkansans Alan Ladd and Gail Davis, a hat worn by James Arness from “Gunsmoke”, shirt, pants, mask, and scarf belonging to the Lone Ranger, an autographed hat that belonged to Hoss (Dan Blocker) from “Bonanza”, John Wayne’s cowboy hat, and a complete suit including boots, spurts, and hat worn by William Boyd, better known as “Hopalong Cassidy.”
Over 50 western actors and actresses are featured in the exhibit. They include Amanda Blake, Karl Malden, Tim McCoy, William Boyd, Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Boone, Maureen O’Hara, Gabby Hayes, and Lee Van Cleef, just to name a few.
Clinton Library Director David Alsobrook: “For baby-boomers like myself, who spent so many Saturdays watching western movies (usually a double feature), this exhibit definitely is a nostalgic trip down memory lane. But I also think that our visitors of all ages will love this exhibit.”
August 11-12, 2006, a symposium will be held at the Library entitled “Back in the Saddle Again: A Gathering of Cowboy Heroes.” Participants include legendary cowboy actors Denny Miller, Johnny Western, Robert Fuller, Ty Hardin, and Will Hutchins. This will be a rare opportunity to meet actors and musicians who are showcased in the exhibit.
The Museum hours at the Clinton Presidential Library are Monday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Museum admission is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for senior citizens 62+ and retired military with ID, as well as groups of 20 or more with advance reservations. Children 6 and older are $3.00. Children under 6 and active military are free.