Statement by President Bill Clinton on the passing of Jefferson Thomas of the Little Rock Nine

September 7, 2010 
 
"I am deeply saddened at the passing of Jefferson Thomas, a true hero, a fine public servant, and profoundly good man, just fifty years after his graduation from Central High School. Along with his fellow Little Rock Nine, Jefferson paid the price for his courage to bring an end to racial segregation, and I always admired his humble nature and good humor despite all that he endured. I was proud to welcome Jefferson and the other members of Little Rock Nine to the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas on the 30th anniversary of their courageous breakthrough, to appear with them on the 40th anniversary at Central High, and to award them each of them with the Congressional Gold Medal as President. Jefferson and I had a long visit when he came to my Presidential Center for the 50th anniversary in 2007, and I was struck again by his quiet dignity and kindness. America is a stronger, more diverse, and more tolerant nation because of the life he lived and the sacrifices he made. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mary and son Jefferson Jr.; the eight surviving Little Rock Nine, who have remained so close over the years; and his many friends around the country."

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The Clinton Center

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is the home of the Little Rock offices of the Clinton Foundation; the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum; the Clinton School of Public Service, the first institution in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree; and is a managing partner of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a national bipartisan executive-style leadership development initiative. Additionally, the Clinton Center is a world-class educational and cultural venue offering a variety of educational programs, special events, exhibitions, and lectures, presenting a unique perspective of the work – past, present, and future – of the 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton.

Our renowned on-site restaurant, Forty Two, offers a variety of dining selections for Center visitors and locals alike. Stop by 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday to enjoy a delicious and affordable lunch featuring seasonal and locally grown ingredients. It’s farm-to-table in a modern museum setting. Admission fees are NOT required to dine at Forty Two; however, regular admission fees apply to tour the museum. Visit Website

The Clinton Museum Store, conveniently located in the lobby of the museum, offers a diverse selection of unique memorabilia and gifts, including books, accessories, collectibles, and more. The Museum Store also features items related to the current temporary exhibit. Admission fees are NOT required to shop at the Museum Store; however, regular admission fees apply to tour the museum. Visit Website