Local media got a sneak peek at a fascinating part of our nation's history. President George W. Bush will open his presidential center in two years. But right now, people in Dallas can catch a few of the significant items that will be housed in the museum. They're part of an exhibit in the Meadows Museum on the Southern Methodist University campus. SMU is where the center will be located once it's built and open to the public.

Looking at the exhibit is like taking a walk back through recent history. No one could have lived through the period after 9-11 without being moved. So seeing actual items from that time is fascinating. For example, when President Bush visited Ground Zero, he spoke to rescue workers through a bullhorn. He said, "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear us soon." That bullhorn is in the exhibit.

A few feet away from the bullhorn is a Glock pistol. What's a gun doing in a presidential exhibit? This is the gun Saddam Hussein was packing when he was captured hiding in a hole near Tikrit, Iraq. Soldiers who helped capture Saddam Hussein presented the pistol to President George W. Bush.

There are also lighter parts of the exhibit: the gown Mrs. Laura Bush wore when she and the President hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a State Dinner; an amazing set of diamond and sapphire jewelry presented to Mrs. Bush by the King of Saudi Arabia; and dog bowls, two of them, one for Barney and Mrs. Beasley when they flew aboard Air Force One.

The exhibit runs through February. The George W. Bush Presidential Center holds its groundbreaking in November and is expected to open in two years.