Barbara Bush at York’s Crispus Attucks: ‘It’s something they will remember the rest of their lives’
First Lady Barbara Bush gives high-fives outside Crispus Attucks Community Center. She visited in 1988 and 1992. ‘These youngsters have had an experience that a lot of kids in this country wish they had …,’ CA Executive Director Bobby Simpson said, ‘It’s something they will remember the rest of their lives.’ Background posts: In 2008, 8 top candidates or their families campaigned in York County and A short test of your women’s history knowledge and Hillary Clinton apparently closer to middle than Obama in minds of York County Dems.
Many U.S. presidents or candidates for the presidency have appeared in York County since the 1790s.
But what about the First Ladies?
Just for starters, Hillary Clinton made it twice. First, as a prospective First Lady and then as a candidate herself.
Barbara Bush visited as prospective First Lady and then as actual First Lady.
Both times, she visited Crispus Attucks Community Center.
Both times, she visited CA’s day care center.
In her 1988 visit, she viewed CA’s many programs as a pilot that the rest of the country should emulate.
In 1992, she urged those in day care to set realistic goals and “never, ever, drop out.”
Here’s the York Daily Record’s (10/6/08) account of that visit:
Barbara Bush walked into a room at the Crispus Attucks day care center, looked in disapproval at the carefully laid out semi-circle of children and said, “This is all wrong. You have to come in way closer.”
The 20 children crowded in around her as she sat down and picked up a book called “Amazing Grace.” The book tells the story of a little girl who read a lot, dreamt of becoming the heroic people she read in her books and worked hard to win a role in a play.
“This is my very favorite book,” she said, as she began to read.
She clearly knew the story well, not missing a word as she flipped the book toward the children so they could see the pictures. It was a homey, heartwarming scene, marred only slightly by the three television cameras and the 18 reporters, photographers and camera operators scribbling in notebooks, flashing cameras and thrusting microphones forward from their roped-off corner.
After reading the book, Bush spent a few minutes asking the children what they wanted to be, receiving replies such as “a star,” “a cop or a lawyer,” “a football player,” “a mermaid” and “Captain Hook.”
She encouraged them to pursue the more realistic goals, telling them the only way to make something of themselves was to work hard, do their homework and “never, ever, drop out.”
After she stood up to go, three children presented the first lady with mementos of her visit.
“Mrs. Bush, I’d like to present this tape to you,” said Todd Thomas, 5, handing her a videocassette. “And what’s on the tape?” Bush asked. Todd thought a moment, then glanced down at its cardboard cover.
“A box,” he said, to laughter.
For a additional posts on presidential visits to York County, click here.