Happy Labor Day!
"A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil." -Grover Cleveland
Image: Public Law 53-95: An Act Making Labor Day a Legal Holiday, June 28, 1894. General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
World War II Begins Seventy Five Years Ago:
In the early morning of September 1, 1939, German tanks crossed the German-Polish border—sparking World War II. Five hours later, at 3:05 A.M. local time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt received a phone call from Ambassador William C. Bullitt in Paris, who relayed the news from Ambassador Anthony Biddle in Warsaw. After notifying the military, FDR jotted down this bedside note.
National Bacon Day!
On the last (sizzling?) Saturday of August enjoy some bacon for National Bacon Day.
STAFF Sergeant Larry Sennet and AIRMAN First Class Stacy Brower prepare pans of bacon for breakfast at the Desert Inn Dining Hall, 12/06/1983
How do you celebrate National Bacon Day?
From the series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes
The Second Battle of Bull Run ended in defeat for Union forces under Major General John Pope by Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia on August 30, 1862, a little over a year after the first Battle of Bull Run in the same area.
Good night, usnatarchives!
The National Archives Building as it appeared 60 years ago in 1954. We recently celebrated our 80th birthday with the anniversary of the "National Archives Act" on June 19, 1934.
This document is the cover of a pamphlet for Mrs. Moody’s Patent Self-Adjusting Abdominal Corset, manufactured by the Boston Corset Skirt Company of Boston, Massachusetts. In the broadest terms, a corset is a close-fitting piece of clothing that has been stiffened by various means in order to shape a woman’s (or a man’s, but very rarely) torso to conform to the fashionable silhouette of the time. The style of corset that was popular in the late-19th century was known as the pear-shaped spoon busk: it got its name because it bends inwards to compress the stomach region, then outwards over the belly, an in again over the lower abdomen. If laced tightly, a spoon busk forces the softer parts of the stomach, occasionally including the internal organs, downwards – and during the 1890s, tight-lacing becomes so popular that physicians had to alert wearers of potential bodily damage.
National Archives Identifier: 4700177.
From the series: Utility Patent Drawings, 1837 - 1911
(image rotated and animated for your viewing enjoyment.)
The “March on Washington” Leaders Visit the White House
On this day in 1963, civil rights leaders speak to members of the press following a meeting with President John F. Kennedy regarding “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” that was held earlier that day.
Left to right: President of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), Reverend Eugene Carson Blake; unidentified (back to camera); President of the National Urban League, Whitney M. Young, Jr.; President of the Negro American Labor Council (NALC), A. Philip Randolph; unidentified man (in back); Executive Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Roy Wilkins (speaking at microphones); President of United Auto Workers (UAW), Walter P. Reuther; President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; President of the American Jewish Congress, Rabbi Joachim Prinz; several unidentified reporters. White House, Washington, D.C. 8/28/63.
President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson meet with organizers of “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” in the Oval Office. 8/28/63.
On August 25, 1914, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan notified Ambassador to France Myron T. Herrick that his successor, William Graves Sharp, would sail for France the following day. Bryan confided that President Woodrow Wilson wished for Herrick to remain in charge in Paris for the time being, given the extraneous circumstances, and that Sharp not assume charge until the strain of the German threat to Paris passed.1
Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan instructs Myron T. Herrick to remain in Paris
Telegram from Secretary of State (Washington DC) to Herrick (Paris), August 25, 1914. Copy from file 123 H 43, 1910-29 Central Decimal File, Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.
Herrick acquiesced. However, he asked to make public in France the Department’s instructions to minimize any misunderstandings of his role—or that of Sharp.
Herrick asks the Department for permission to publicize the reasons for his retention in Paris amidst unusual circumstances Telegram from Herrick (Paris) to Secretary of State (Washington DC), August 27, 1914. Copy from file 123 H 43, 1910-29 Central Decimal File, Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.
On August 28, Bryan informed Herrick that,
“In view of the unusual conditions in which the embassy is placed at the present time, the President desires you to remain until you receive further instructions and that Mr. Sharp has been asked to proceed to Paris but will not immediately assume the duties of ambassador.”2
Telegram from Bryan (Washington DC) to Herrick (Paris), August 25, 1914. Copy from file 123 H 43, 1910-29 Central Decimal File, Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives. ↩
Telegram from Secretary of State (Washington DC) to Herrick (Paris), August 28, 1914. Copy from file 123 H 43, 1910-29 Central Decimal File, Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives. ↩
Press Conference No. 1 of the President of the United States
President Ford held the first press conference of his administration on August 28, 1974. Both he and Mrs. Ford had scheduled press conferences for that day, but in his opening remarks the President explained their compromise: “She will postpone her press conference until next week, and until then, I will be making my own breakfast, my own lunch and my own dinner.”
Over the course of half an hour the press corps asked President Ford about a wide range of topics, including the economy, his first 19 days in office, and the selection of Nelson Rockefeller as Vice President. They also touched on foreign relation issues such as oil prices, U.S. policy towards Cuba, and the continuation of SALT talks with the Soviet Union.
Several of the questions, including the first one, showed a recurring theme: Richard Nixon and the continuing issues surrounding Watergate. President Ford told reporters “until any legal process has been undertaken, I think it is unwise and untimely for me to make any commitment,” but did not rule out the possibility of granting a pardon to former President Nixon. “It is an option and a proper option for any President,” he said.
"$4.00 per month"
From the series: Freedmen’s Labor Contracts, 05/1865 - 12/1867
Following the Civil War, the Federal Government established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to aid former slaves. One of the services this agency provided was assisting freedmen with labor contracts. This contract, dated August 28, 1865, acknowledged that Robert McKenzie would pay Truss B. Hall $4 a month for his service until December 25, and that Hall would “obey all lawful commands as he use to when a slave.”
225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
On August 27, 1789 a second report was issued to the House of Representatives on the financial responsibilities of the federal government. The report highlighted expenses of the federal government for 1789, mainly the amount of interest on the public debt and for carry-over of payments from the Confederation Congress.
Second Report and Estimate of Supplies Requisite for the Service of the United States for the Present Year, 8/27/1789, HR1C-B1, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives
From the file unit: Gemini V, 08/21/1965 - 08/28/1965
Although the storm in this photo is not identified, the date coincides with the formation of Hurricane Betsy, one of the costliest storms of that time (nicknamed “Billion Dollar Betsy”), and which even forced Gemini V to adjust its mission schedule.
It’s the Birthday of LBJ!
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, in central Texas, not far from Johnson City, which his family had helped settle.
In 1937 he campaigned successfully for the House of Representatives on a New Deal platform, effectively aided by his wife, the former Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor, whom he had married after a whirlwind courtship in 1934.
During World War II, Lyndon Johnson served briefly in the Navy as a lieutenant commander, receiving a Silver Star in the South Pacific. After six terms in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 1948. In 1953, he became the youngest Minority Leader in Senate history, and the following year, when the Democrats won control, Majority Leader. With rare legislative skill he obtained passage of a number of measures during the Eisenhower Administration. He became, by many accounts, the most powerful Majority Leader of the twentieth century.
LBJ’s “Great Society” program included aid to education, Medicare, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, control and prevention of crime and delinquency and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Read More
Studio portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson at 18 months old, ca. 1910.
Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office. December, 1963.
-from the LBJ Library