The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
May 31, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks During a Tour of the Historic New Orleans Collection
The French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana

12:31 P.M. CDT

MRS. BUSH: I moved me out too fast to stop and talk to you all for a minute. But I wanted to tell you that, of course, I was here this morning for the conference that Tulane University and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are co-sponsoring about revitalization and restoration and protection of New Orleans as a historical and cultural center of the United States. And of course, all of the issues that they talk about are important to all parts of the United States as we try to protect and preserve our historical and cultural sites.

Mrs. Laura Bush tours the Historic New Orleans Collection Museum with co-curator Alfred Lemmon in New Orleans' French Quarter Wednesday, May 31, 2006. Established in 1966, the museum is currently hosting an exhibit about the shared history of Louisiana and St. Domingue, Haiti. White House photo by Shealah Craighead But now, especially, this conference is going to have a lot to teach us all about what we can do to protect our historical and cultural sites from natural disasters or other -- terrorism -- other ways that our sites might be jeopardized.

So that was fun and interesting to be able to talk to them today. I mentioned one shotgun house that's being restored right now in the Ninth Ward, Holy Cross section of the Ninth Ward, that is being restored by Tulane architecture students, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a number of other community groups. This is something that's going to need to go on over and over with a lot of houses so we don't lose New Orleans' special architecture. And this house is certainly a wonderful example of New Orleans, especially colonial architecture.

I also urge them not to forget our historic schools, because school buildings are so important to communities. It's really important that schools open again in New Orleans, because then people can move back. Until there's a place for children to go to school, people will not be able to come home. And I heard that Fortier High School was being restored and renovated as a home for three charter schools by Tulane University and Teach for America, and then these three charter school partners. So that's a good example of a school that's being restored.

So I want to encourage also everyone in New Orleans and all across the Gulf Coast area to don't forget schools. We need to make sure they get open so people can move home.

But this site, of course, this is a museum of things that have specifically to do with New Orleans' history, and particularly the building itself is such a great example for tourists and people that live in New Orleans, as well, to see what the architecture is like and to actually be able to go into some of these houses that -- as tourists walk on the streets of the French Quarter, look at from the outside but don't have a chance to really get to know what they're like in here. So I want to encourage people to come here, as well -- tourists, also citizens of New Orleans. And I know they have a big education outreach project to make sure school children in New Orleans learn about their own history. And I think that's really important as we try to raise kids to protect our history, they need to really be educated about it.

So thanks, everybody. Thanks for coming, coming out.

END 12:35 P.M. CDT

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