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The Clinton White House Web Site
Part 1: Perhaps the most important Web site in American history
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Preservation?
 Join the Discussion
"I think he [Clinton] will go down as an effective president in the same group as President Eisenhower"

"Bill Clinton should be put in the same classification as Vidkin Quisling of Norway, a person who betrayed the people!"

"I can't think of anything that Clinton really did for the country. I can think of much he took credit for, but what did he really do?"

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The echoes of Socks and Buddy joyfully "playing" to the death had barely faded before the Clinton - Gore White House Web site became the Bush-Cheney White House Web site.

It is far to soon to evaluate the Bush version of http://www.whitehouse.gov/. However, its architects will have a very hard time crafting a Web resource the equal of the rich, indeed history making Clinton-Gore White House Web site.

No matter what else might be said of the past Administration, Clinton and Gore were responsible for pressing almost all federal agencies, the U.S. court system and the U.S. military onto the Internet, thus opening up America's government to more of America's citizens than ever before.

On July 17, 1996. President Clinton issued Executive Order 13011 - Federal Information Technology, ordering the heads of all federal agencies to fully utilize information technology to make the information of the agency easily accessible to the public. This order merely added impetus to what the Clinton-Gore White House Web site had started in 1994.

Though it seemed to have been online for decades, the first White House Web site -- officially named Welcome to the White House -- was launched on Oct. 21, 1994.

The day the White House site went online, Vice President Gore remarked, "This service is an example of how we can provide government services and information to the public in a more timely manner, more efficiently and more cost effectively. It shows our continued commitment to being a leader in developing the National Information Infrastructure."

Even though that less than 10-percent of the public had access to the Internet in 1994, the Vice President correctly anticipated Americans' demand for timely and relevant information about and from their government. By Oct. of 1995, the White House Web site's servers had loaded the home page over 4 million times and delivered over 50 million total pages and images to users.

Paralleling the massive growth of the Internet, the average number of visitors to the Clinton-Gore White house Web site more than triple during every year of its existence.

The Clinton-Gore site's White House Publications service made every speech, executive order, proclamation, press briefing and many more presidential documents available online and emailed automatically to over 250,000 people every day -- at no cost. Over 1 million people sent email to the Clintons and Gores via the White House Web site.

If ever a Web site were worthy of a "virtual" American historical marker, it is the Welcome to the White House site of the Clinton Administration. It is truly worthy of the wonderful job of preservation online now at the National Archives.

Next page > Preserving the Clinton White House Web site > Page 1, 2


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