It’s Earth Day!
"City farmers" tend their gardens in the Fenway administered by the Fenway Civic Association. Four hundred twenty-five gardens are tilled on these five acres in metropolitan Boston, 04/1973.
This year’s Earth Day theme is “Green Cities” and the gardeners of Boston’s Fenway Victory Gardens have been at it since 1942! (We wonder if cityofbostonarchives has any other photos from these historic gardens…)
“THE FAIR Are you ready? It’s here!!
The long-awaited New York World’s Fair, which took four years to create, opens its doors to the first of 70,000,000 expected visitors. Dominated by the Fair’s symbol THE UNISPHERE (which means Peace through understanding) the billion-dollar-baby of Robert Moses covers 646 acres…”
The 1964 New York World’s Fair opened fifty years ago this week, on April 22nd, with the theme of “Man’s Achievements in an Expanding Universe.” If this extended Universal News story leaves you with the impression that the fair was not a runaway success, that’s because it wasn’t. The fair was not sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions, and it was sandwiched between the official 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Expo 67 in Montreal, making it a less compelling draw. The opening day’s unfortunately dreary weather was emblematic of the entire two-season event; total attendance for the fair came in at fifty-one million, yet that fell short of the expected seventy million visitors. You might recognize the Unisphere sculpture and “flying saucer” towers in the still below from the 1997 film Men in Black, where they feature prominently.
The Fiftieth Running of the Boston Marathon, April 20, 1946
"One hundred and one long distance runners compete in the fiftieth annual marathon race of over 26 miles at Boston in the United States. Among the runners are former winners and young hopefuls. Through the suburbs of Boston the runners make their way. And all eyes are on courageous Stylianos Kyriakides of Greece, who passes last year’s winner. Kyriakides goes on to win in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 27 seconds and gain the laurel wreath."
The Johnson “Treatment”
Standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall, President Lyndon Baines Johnson used his imposing stature as one tool in his own brand of political persuasion, known as the Johnson “treatment.” LBJ used his “treatment,” shown in the photograph above, to intimidate, badger, flatter, or plead in order to achieve his political goals.
President Johnson and Louis Martin at the reception for Democratic National Committee Delegates, April 20, 1966
This photo is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.
During the recent #Signatures tweetup for the “Making their Mark” exhibit, we coaxed exhibit curator Jennifer Johnson (r) and designer Amanda Perez (l) into re-enacting the scene. It was a little tricky for everyone to keep a straight face, but they were great sports!
All In the Planning
Selecting dishes to serve at this state dinner was trickier than usual, as President and Mrs. Kaunda both had significant dietary restrictions. The final menu featured filet of sole to start and capon as the main course.
For centerpieces, Mrs. Ford borrowed porcelain made by Cybis Studio, America’s oldest existing porcelain arts studio, from Blair House. The sculptures represented major North American Indian tribes of the United States.
The Fords also continued to invite people representing wide and varied backgrounds. Guests at this dinner included recently appointed Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman, sportscaster Howard Cosell, choreographer Jerome Robbins, fashion designer Gloria Sachs, and architect Gordon Bunshaft, who designed the Hirshorn Museum.
The Day After the Doolittle Raid
Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai Shek and Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell pose together the day after the Doolittle Raid on Japan. This raid also known as the Tokyo Raid was the first time American forces attacked Japan at home.
Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai Shek and Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General, China Expeditionary Forces, on the day following Japanese bombing attack [Doolittle Raid]. Maymyo, Burma., 04/19/1942
Apollo 13 Astronauts Safe on Earth
An oxygen tank explosion on day two of the mission led to great hardships for the crew. The craft lost cabin heat, had limited power, and had a water shortage. The crew returned to earth on April 17 and are seen here meeting with President Richard Nixon on day later. The mission was dramatized in the movie Apollo 13.
Richard M. Nixon meeting with Apollo 13 astronauts in Hawaii., 04/18/1970
More at the Apollo 13 Mission page at NASA.
"The Day the Books Went Blank"
What happens if a library is not used, the collection not maintained, and the books not read? Would the pages go blank? That’s the outcome dramatized in “The Day the Books Went Blank”, a 1961 educational film intended to show the importance of maintaining quality libraries, from The Library Extension Agencies of the six New England States.
Remember your local library for Library Week (and every week)!
The theme of this year’s National Library Week is “Lives Change.” How has a library, or librarian, changed your life?
Happy Birthday Natural Bridges National Monument!
Natural Bridges was Utah’s first National Monument when it was a designated a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt on April 16, 1908.
SIPAPU BRIDGE, WHITE CANYON. NATURAL BRIDGES NATIONAL MONUMENT, 05/1972
From “The Day the Books Went Blank”, a 1961 educational film intended to show the importance of maintaining quality libraries, from The Library Extension Agencies of the six New England States.
United States Patent 1,059,284: Ladder-Gripping Attachment for Shoes, 04/15/1913
This patent was included in the patent file for shoes invented by Michael Jackson. The shoes enabled him to execute his signature dance move that allowed him to lean forward to an exaggerated angle while performing on stage the song “Smooth Criminal.” This patent for a Ladder-Gripping Attachment for shoes was included in file because the patent examiner searched for any relevant patents.
(Today’s Document does not endorse hanging upside down from a ladder, even if you are wearing patented Ladder-Gripping Attachments for Shoes.)
It’s April 15 - Are Your Taxes Done?
State-of-the-art systems at internalrevenueservice are waiting to process your returns!
While punch cards and tape drives seem archaic now, they were a “new dimension” in data processing and tax administration at the time of this IRS educational film, “Right on the Button,” from the late 1960s.
Now, go finish those taxes!
Only a few days left to see the electoral tally with George Washington elected President!
Beginning today through April 16, the First Senate Journal will be on display at the National Archives in the Rotunda Gallery to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the First Congress in 1789. The Journal is open to the entry from April 6, which shows the results of the electoral tally for President and Vice President of the United States: George Washington of Virginia was unanimously elected President, and John Adams of Massachusetts, who finished second in the balloting, was elected Vice President.
“Don’t wish to disturb you”
On the afternoon of April 14, 1865, just hours before he assassinated President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth left this calling card for Vice President Andrew Johnson at his Washington D.C. hotel. Booth’s co-conspirator, George Atzerodt was to kill Johnson that night, but he lost his nerve and did not make an attempt. Historians continue to debate why Booth left his card with Johnson.
Calling card left by John Wilkes Booth. National Archives, Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army)
Booth’s calling card is among the featured items at the “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" exhibit now on display at the National Archives Museum.