Happy 90th Birthday Jimmy Carter!
James Earl Carter, Jr., thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born October 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia. His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.
Jimmy was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946.
In the Navy, Jimmy became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Jimmy was chosen for the nuclear submarine program and took graduate work in reactor technology and nuclear physics. He served as a senior officer of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.
Jimmy Carter served as president from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. Significant foreign policy accomplishments of his administration included the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. He championed human rights throughout the world.
On December 10, 2002, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 to Mr. Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter volunteer one week a year for Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps needy people in the United States and in other countries renovate and build homes for themselves. He teaches Sunday school and is a deacon in the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains. The Carters have three sons, one daughter, nine grandsons, three granddaughters, four great-grandsons and five great-granddaughters.
Jimmy at the age of one month with mother, Lillian Carter. November, 1924.
Jimmy in his Annapolis Naval Academy uniform. 1943.
Jimmy Carter, campaigning for the presidency. 1974.
The Carters walk to the White House from the Capitol building. Inauguration Day, 1/20/77.
Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menahem Begin at the signing of the Treaty of Peace Between Egypt and Israel. 3/29/79.
Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. 12/10/02.
Symbols of Significance: The Pediments of the National Archives Building
October is American Archives Month! To celebrate the month dedicated to all things archives, our Prologue blog will feature weekly posts on the history of the National Archives:
Measuring 118 feet wide and 18 feet high at their peaks, the pediments on the north and south sides of the National Archives Building are the largest in Washington, DC. These grand pediments depict scenes that convey the purpose of the National Archives and contain rich symbols of the Archives’ significance to the nation.
When he set out to design a national hall of records, architect John Russell Pope sought to create a neoclassical building of monumental size and design. This meant that the structure would be embellished with ornate, symbolic sculptural details, inspired by the art and architecture of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pope wrote, “In view of the classic spirit in which the design of the building was conceived, it was considered essential by the architect and the sculptors that allegory rather than realism be the means of conveying the significance of the sculptural decoration.”
Together with the building’s other sculptures, these pediments make the National Archives Building the most ornate building in the Federal Triangle. The pediments’ powerful symbols and monumental scale speak to the significance of the National Archives’ purpose and evoke President Herbert Hoover’s statement that the National Archives Building would serve as “a temple of our history.”
Letter from John Beaulieu to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Braille, 10/1956
Item from White House Central Files (Eisenhower Administration). (1953 - 1961)
Braille allows those who are blind to read using a system of raised dots on a piece of paper. The configurations of the dots represent a letter or number and are grouped together like written letters to make words. This letter is written in Braille by 13 year old John Beaulieu. In this case, the signature is felt, not seen.
"W. H. McCoy’s claim, Perry, Okla. Terr., October 1, 1893"
From the series: Opening of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma Territory, 1893, from the Records of the Bureau of Land Management
Newly constructed homestead, only days after the “Cherokee Strip” Land Rush of September 16, 1893. Lured by the promise of “free land,” over 150,000 settlers swarmed into Oklahoma Territory in the largest land run in United States history, although in the end only 25% would stick out the 6 months required to receive the deed to their claim.
See also our series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act which provided the basis for land runs such as these.
Happy 90th Birthday, President Carter!
Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.), thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born October 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia, and grew up in the nearby community of Archery. His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy, a registered nurse. He was elected President on November 2, 1976 and served from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981.
Operation “Little Vittles”
On the 65th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift on September 30, 1949, here’s a look back at the Airlift’s younger sibling, “Operation Little Vittles.”
In July 1948 Berlin Airlift pilot Gail Halvorsen began handing out and later dropping candy via handkerchief parachutes to the children who had gathered to watch at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport. With the approval of superiors and the support of confectionery companies, “Operation Little Vittles” was born and “Candy Bombers” and “Raisin Bombers” began dropping care packages to the children of Berlin.
The Berlin Airlift Ends
The Berlin Airlift was one of the most important events of the Cold War. On September 30, 1949 the last plane of the Berlin Airlift unloaded supplies in the city. Over the 15 months of the Airlift, 278,228 relief flights were made. 2,326,404 tons of cargo were delivered.
In 1948, Berlin was the divided capital of a divided country. That June, the Soviet Union established a blockade around Berlin. By sealing off the roads linking Berlin to western Germany, the Soviets hoped they could force the Americans, British, and French to leave their sectors of the city.
Berlin’s two and a half million inhabitants faced the prospect of privation and even starvation as their food and other supplies ran out. President Truman’s choice was a stark one: either abandon the city to the Soviets or risk a military confrontation that could lead to World War III.
It seemed like an impossible task to keep the entire city functioning but the United States, Britain, and France worked together to airlift all necessary supplies into the city. Food, coal, and industrial supplies were flown into the city on a round-the-clock basis. Soldiers even parachuted chocolate bars into the city for Berlin children.
2,000 Pages of Love Letters
We’re pleased to announce that the Truman Library has finished scanning and describing all the letters that they have that Harry wrote to Bess before they were married. That’s 386 letters, over 2,000 pages!
Here’s page one of a letter from September 30, 1917, shortly after Truman arrived in Oklahoma to begin his training for World War I. You can see the rest of the letter, and find more at the Truman Presidential Library.
Looking for a formal yet patriotic #NationalCoffeeDay? Try this Founding Fathers-themed coffee service:
In honor of National Coffee Day, here’s a coffee service given to President Ford by Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark on May 10, 1976.
This Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Colonial Coffee-service includes a coffee pot with lid, a creamer, a sugar bowl with lid, four coffee cups, four coffee saucers, and a serving tray. Each item features the silhouette of an American Patriot such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Additionally, each piece has a tortoise shell glaze and a gold band around the bottom, with a gold grapevine inlay around the top.
With the exception of the added silhouettes, this coffee set is an exact replica of one designed and produced by the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory in 1782. The Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Factory designed the Colonial Coffee-service in commemoration of the American Bicentennial and the factory’s bicentennial.
From the first days on a campaign trail to the final days living in the White House, the First Ladies of the United States have attracted attention in numerous ways. Both historic and modern First Ladies have harnessed the power of fashion to build identity and inform Americans. In conjunction with our exhibition “Making Their Mark,” we present a distinguished panel to discuss and examine the fashions of America’s First Ladies through conversation and photos. Moderated by Tim Gunn, star of Project Runway, panelists include Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Deputy Chair and Chief Curator of Political History and the First Ladies Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of American History; and Tracy Reese, a fashion designer who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama. Presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association.
Tuesday, September 30, at 7 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater
The discussion will be streamed live on YouTube.
It’s National Coffee Day - Marines break for rest and coffee during a lull in the fighting on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands:
General Records of the United States Government
Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the power to raise revenue to “pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” The first appropriations act passed by the new Congress was signed into law on September 29, 1789, and set a budget of $639,000 to cover the Federal Government’s expenses for that year.
The scene of heavy fighting between Allied forces and German occupiers, the Dutch city of Nijmegen lies in ruins following the Allies’ ill-fated Operation Market Garden, 70 years ago in September, 1944.