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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Presidents Gather for Bush Library Dedication

The George W. Bush Presidential Center will feature the largest digital archive of any of the presidential libraries.

All five living presidents gathered Thursday at Southern Methodist University in Dallas for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

The new library took five years to build. (AP)
The new library took five years to build. (AP)

The center is a large library and has more digital records than any of the other 13 presidential libraries. It houses over 70 million pages of paper records, 200 million emails, four million digital photos and about 43,000 artifacts.

"My deepest conviction, the guiding principle of the administration, is that the United States of America must strive to expand the reach of freedom," President George W. Bush said in his speech at the ceremony.

Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, despite political differences, applauded Bush's work.

"Being president above all is a humbling job," Obama said. "We love this country, and we do our best."

The 43rd president's approval rating has risen significantly since he left office, from 33 percent to 47 percent, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. Despite this, about 200 protesters stood near the dedication site.

Some protesters came out against the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay remaining open. Others protested the Iraq War and immigration reform demonstrators also marched on the sidewalk.

President Bush addressed speculation that his brother, Jeb Bush, would make a run for president in 2016.

"He doesn't need my counsel because he knows what it is, which is 'run,'" Bush said.

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