Day 56: FDR’s Cruise to Hawaii
On July 1, 1934, FDR boarded the USS Houston to begin his three week journey to the Territory of Hawaii. During the cruise FDR and his party made stops in the Bahamas, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Colombia, Panama, Cocos Island and Clipperton Island. These stops included visits with foreign leaders and dignitaries, sightseeing through various countries and lots of fishing. FDR landed in Hawaii on July 24th to begin his historic visit.
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.
The First Congress faced many of the same issues as the Confederation Congress had under the Articles of Confederation. One of those issues was where the U.S. capital city would be located. The Confederation Congress voted in 1784 to move to capital to Trenton, New Jersey. However, the capital was never moved from New York City because they could not secure the required votes to appropriate the money to build the new city along the Delaware River.
At the start of the First Congress, the question was still highly contested. Some members wanted the federal city to be located along the Delaware River while others wanted the city further south along the Potomac River.
On July 24, 1789, this petition was sent to Congress by citizens of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Organized by John Cox, the petition outlined 13 reasons the district should be located in their 10 square miles along the Delaware River. He cited a victorious Revolutionary War battle near the location to exemplify its defensibility, and continued by listing the advantages of the land itself. Not only did his location have the best fishing, timber, stone for building, and wildlife, but it even had the “cheapest and best of all manure, The Plaster of Paris” to use as fertilizer. As if that was not enough, the land would be “capable of supplying wood, as well for fuel as for other purposes, by water to the end of time.
Congress continued to debate the issue until it passed the Residence Act in 1790, which established the temporary and permanent seat of the federal government.
Petition of John Cox and Others in Support of the Establishment of the Permanent Seat of the Government on the Delaware River, Sen 1A-G2, 7/24/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate
Constructing the Spacesuits of Apollo 11
The Apollo 11 astronauts safely returned to Earth 45 years ago on July 24, 1969, after their successful mission to the surface of the Moon. Their mission depended on carefully engineered spacesuits to protect them from the rigors of space while also enabling them to explore the surface of the Moon. Moonwalk One shows the construction of a spacesuit as we hear the women who sew and manufacture it speaking about their work and the idea of going into space. They well understood the importance of their work. One tiny defect could easily put an astronaut’s life at risk.
From the series: Headquarters’ Films Relating to Aeronautics, 1962 - 1981. Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006
Summer Camp at the National Archives! This week budding genealogists are joining us for Genealogy Camp in the Boeing Learning Center.
This hands-on, week-long camp for kids introduces the basics of genealogy research and the resources of the National Archives. Campers are using ship manifests and census records to trace an immigrant family’s arrival in the United States in the early 20th century.
Nixon and Khrushchev’s Kitchen Debates
On this day in 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met for the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow.
As Nixon led Khrushchev through the model house they began a series of impromptu debates (mainly held in the model kitchen), on capitalism and communism. To debate such ideas both leaders used examples of household appliances to better stress their arguments. Nixon’s performance in the “Kitchen Debate” further raised his stature back in the United States.
In this photograph we have Nixon and Khrushchev debating in front of the now famous model kitchen. To the right of Nixon is future Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. 7/24/59.
-from the Nixon Library
Having spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon, the Apollo 11 astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, 1969, and were recovered by the USS Hornet after splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
Miss one of our earlier posts from Apollo 11’s 45th anniversary? See the rest of our #Apollo45 series!
Happy 75th Birthday, Batman!
On March 30, 1939, Detective Comics #27 hit newsstands, introducing evil-doers and comic book lovers everywhere to the Caped Crusader.
From the series: Series : Civil Case Files, compiled 1938 - 1983, Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685 - 2009.
From the scope & content note: This comic book was an exhibit in the case titled Fox Publications Inc. v. Detective Comics Inc., Independent News Co. Inc. and Interborough News Co.
President Truman - Just Stopping By
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman stopped by the U.S. Capitol unannounced. According to the President’s appointment calendar for the day:
"While at the Capitol, the President visited the Senate Chamber, took his old seat, was recognized by the President of the Senate and made a brief impromptu speech."
Addressing the senators around him, he said, “I get homesick for this seat. I spent the best 10 years of my life in this seat.”
Photo: Senator Harry S. Truman on the Capitol Steps, circa 1940.
On the run in Chicago, gangster John Dillinger was cornered by Federal agents outside a theater and killed eighty years ago on July 22, 1934.
Don’t care for re-enactments? See Dillinger’s actual personal effects in our previous post, from the Universal Newsreel of July 23, 1934.
The Battle of Atlanta occurred 150 years ago on July 22, 1864. Fought on the outskirts of the city between Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman and Confederates under General John Bell Hood, the battle preceded a siege after which Atlanta would fall to the Union.
DILLINGER SHOT TO DEATH BY FEDERAL AGENTS AFTER HUNTCHICAGO, ILL.—-Leaving a small theatre on the North Side, America’s Public Enemy Number One finds death waiting at the hands of sixteen Federal men. Sensing his danger, Dillinger started to draw his gun, but bullets reached his heart before he was able to reach his pocket, ending a career of crime unparalleled in modern police annals.Excerpted from: Universal News, Volume 6, Release 269, Story #1, July 23, 1934
Happy 115th Birthday, Ernest Hemingway!
Author Ernest Hemingway enjoys a drink with other war correspondents on the island of Mont St. Michel, off northern France, in the summer of 1944. Born on July 21, 1899, the author would have likely celebrated his 45th birthday a few weeks before this scene.
Excerpted from: D-Day to Germany, 1944
Taken by newsreel cameraman Jack Lieb, this color home movie was donated by the Lieb family to the National Archives in 1984. You’ll see D-Day from a perspective different than the official military film or commercial newsreel. With his personal footage, Lieb takes the viewer through the preparations in England, where he spent time with war correspondents Ernie Pyle, Jack Thompson, and Larry LaSueur, to the liberation of Paris and finally into Germany. Along the way, Lieb captured his experience on 16mm Kodachrome, filming everyday people in France and the occasional celebrity, such as Edward G. Robinson or Ernest Hemingway. (Hemingway shows up around 26:45.)
Morley Safer’s interviewed Betty Ford for the CBS news program “60 Minutes.” They taped the interview in the White House Solarium on July 21, 1975.
The “60 Minutes” segment marked Mrs. Ford’s first extensive, exclusive TV interview. Safer questioned her on a number of topics including her experiences as a politician’s wife, openness about her breast cancer, and support for women’s rights, particularly the Equal Rights Amendment.
Safer noted that unlike many political wives, for Betty Ford “the higher your husband’s gotten, the more really controversial things have been said.” This interview would be no exception. She called the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize abortion “a great, great decision,” and discussed premarital sex and the possibility of her children using drugs.
After the segment aired on August 10 the White House received a deluge of negative comments regarding Mrs. Ford’s position on these issues. Public mail ran 2 to 1 against Mrs. Ford, although more positive comments came in over time. In the long run her approval rating increased after the controversy died down.
According to Sheila Weidenfeld, Mrs. Ford’s press secretary, the First Lady later sent Safer an autographed picture inscribed, “If there are any questions you forgot to ask – I’m grateful.”
-from the Ford Library
Know someone headed to summer camp? Share these bullying prevention tips from our colleagues at stopbullying:
Excited. Nervous. Scared. Going away to camp can bring about a variety of feelings. Whether it’s sports camp, adventure camp, or music camp, most camps are equipped to understand and address bullying. Read our bullying prevention tips to learn more about bullying prevention and camp!