The George H.W. Bush Library and Museum will receive the historic Union Pacific No. 4141 Engine as well as the Marine One helicopter used during George H.W. Bush’s time as president.
According to a Feb. 4 press release, Texas A&M’s Board of Regents approved the donation of the land for the new artifacts. The space will soon host exhibits for both the locomotive and helicopter. In the press release, Chancellor John Sharp said A&M supports these new additions.
“Texas A&M is proud to host these icons of the Bush presidency,” Sharp said in the press release. “We do everything we can to keep alive the memory and accomplishments of this wonderful president and public servant.”
The George and Barbara Bush Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Max Angerholzer said the 4141 engine is set to arrive sometime in April. Angerholzer said the goal is to make sure the new displays are available by what would have been H.W. Bush’s 100th birthday in 2024.
“I think it is extraordinary, and I think that it is one more important piece of the library and the museum,” Angerholzer said. “We are already proud of the draw that the library provides for the community and the important place that it has in the Texas A&M and Bryan College Station area, but I think that these exciting additions will further strengthen those ties.”
This will not be the first time Aggieland has seen the 4141 locomotive, as it visited the College Station area in 2018 to bring former President H.W. Bush to his final resting place. The museum’s director of marketing and communications, David Anaya, said the new exhibits will enhance the transportation display.
“As an organization, we always want to bring things in, keep on changing things and keep on progressing in doing our best to promote the life and legacy of President Bush,” Anaya said. “We try our best to educate the public and our visitors about the life and time of President Bush but also certain times in American history.”
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the library and museum have been closed, but Anaya said the staff is working hard to prepare for their reopening when the time is right.
“We are hoping to open as soon as possible, but there is no set date,” Anaya said. “We are getting hand sanitizer dispensers, putting up signs and we will have social distancing with limited visitors.”
With such a rich history between the family and A&M, Angerholzer said the Bushes are proud to have such a connection with the university.
“I know that President Bush was so proud to have his library and the Bush School at Texas A&M,” Angerholzer said. “President Bush and Mrs. Bush embodied service and putting the country first, and I think that this is something they saw in Texas A&M in terms of the university’s rich history of service to others.”