Surprise Entrance: Bush Parachutes In at Library Reopening

As we brought you live on KBTX.com, Former President George H. W. Bush surprised the crowd at the Bush Library and Museum by parachuting to the reopening ceremony Saturday morning.

The 41st president jumped with the Army Golden Knights -- the same team he leaped with for his 80th birthday in 2004 -- and landed safely on the library grounds. His wife Barbara greeted her husband seconds after the 83-year-old landed as part of his tandem jump.

It was President Bush's sixth jump, though only the fifth that was planned. His first was in World War II when his Navy plane was going down over the Pacific and he had to eject.

"Somebody said, 'Why do you do something stupid like going and jumping out of a plane? You're 83 years old, for God's sake,'" the president said in his speech a few minutes after the jump. "You've got to do things that are fun, and besides that, it sets an example. You don't have to sit around drooling because you're 83.

"These guys made me feel about 23, all of them, these Golden Knights," Mr. Bush added.

Even members of the president's family had no idea Mr. Bush was going to make the parachuting entrance. His children in attendance -- Florida Governor Jeb, Neil and Doro -- were apparently not in on the plan.

The Bush Library is reopening after an $8.3 million renovation to the museum's permanent exhibit. The redesign comes as the library celebrates its 10th anniversary.

You can learn much more about the big changes by clicking over to the Bush Library section of KBTX.com. There, you can watch our half-hour special, "All the Best: 10 Years," as well as our exclusive coverage over the past few months as the library was renovated. A link to that section is provided below.


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