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Rare gathering of five presidents at Bush Library dedication

Charles Dharapak / AP

President Barack Obama stands with, from second from left, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas on April 25.

By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

Giving a broad-strokes defense of his eight years in the White House, former president George W. Bush celebrated the dedication of his the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas on Thursday. In the audience were the nation’s three other former living presidents – George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter – as well as current commander in chief Barack Obama.  Read full story

David J. Phillip / AP

From left, first lady Michelle Obama, former first lady Laura Bush, former first lady Hillary Clinton, former first lady Barbara Bush and former first lady Rosalynn Carter arrive for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, center, shakes hands with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Former President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush Hager is at right.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

Former President George H. W. Bush, left, former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush listen during a dedication ceremony at the George W. Bush Library.

Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images

President Barack Obama, left, and former presidents, from left, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter arrive on stage for the George W. Bush Presidential Library dedication.