1974, August 20 – Second Floor - Family Kitchen – The White House – Washington, DC – Gerald R. Ford – seated, reading newspaper – Making Breakfast.
From the series: Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs, 08/09/1974 - 01/20/1977
President Gerald Ford in the family kitchen of the White House, only 11 days after assuming the Presidency following Richard Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974.
On August 19, 1974, President Ford announced plans for an earned amnesty program in an address at the 75th annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
During the first week of his administration, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger had suggested that doing something about the some fifty thousand Vietnam War draft evaders and deserters would be a way to hasten the healing process. Former Secretary of Defense Mel Laird and the President’s three sons agreed. Ford asked his staff to coordinate with the relevant agencies to put together a conditional amnesty program.
“I stated my strong conviction that unconditional blanket amnesty for anyone who illegally evaded or fled military service is wrong,” he said. “But all, in a sense, are casualties, still abroad or absent without leave from the real America. I want them to come home if they want to work their way back…In my judgment, these young Americans should have a second chance to contribute their fair share to the rebuilding of peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
About a month later President Ford signed an executive order establishing the Presidential Clemency Board, which administered the earned amnesty program over the next year. Many of the applicants completed alternative service assignments before receiving their pardons.
-from the Ford Library
Here President and Mrs. Ford ride in the Presidential limousine during a trip to Chicago on August 19, 1974.
President Ford logged over 270,000 miles of travel while in office, and Mrs. Ford regularly accompanied him on trips. They attended public events together and made state visits to several foreign countries. “I had fun, I was privileged to travel in style and to see many wonders,” she reflected on their Presidential trips in her memoirs, “and these will stay in my memory.”-from the Ford Library
Petition from Minnie Fisher Cunningham of the Texas Woman Suffrage Association for passage of the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment” sent to Congress on May 2, 1916
The amendment passed Congress on June 4, 1919. It was ratified as the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920.
Petition from Texas Woman Suffrage Association, 5/2/1916, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 306659)
Photograph Taken in Maryland of the Ceremony Opening the Final Link of the Capital Beltway Around Washington, DC with Federal Highway Administrator Whitton and Maryland Governor Tawes Cutting the Ribbon, and John B. Funk, Chairman of the Maryland State Highway Commission Assisting, 08/17/1964
From the series: General Photograph Files, 1954 - 1984. Records of the Federal Highway Administration
Can All You Can — it’s “National Can-it-Forward-Day!”
“Can All You Can Its a Real War Job!" from the World War II Posters series
Pickles? Preserves? What are you canning today?
Open for Business, 08/15/1914
After years of difficult work and a loss of many lives to tropical diseases, the Panama Canal officially opened on August 15, 1914, ten years after the United States controversially took control of the land and project. Considered one of the great engineering feats of modern times, the Canal greatly reduced transit time from east coast ports to west coast ports of the United States and for European shippers as well. The U.S. War Department steamship, Ancon, made the first passage through the Panama Canal.
On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.
Later that day, the Washington Post proclaimed that the Social Security Act was the “New Deal’s Most Important Act…Its importance cannot be exaggerated …because this legislation eventually will affect the lives of every man, woman, and child in the country.”
This poster was distributed from November 1936- July 1937 during the initial issuance of Social Security numbers through U.S. post offices and with the help of labor unions.
More - Posters from the Social Security Archives
August 14 is National Navajo Code Talkers Day:
Recruiting the first 29.
“We hope and have every reason to believe, that the Navajos will play a major role in Marine Corps operations. When the war is over, their story may rank with great sagas of the battlefield.”
August 14, is National Navajo Code Talkers Day, proclaimed in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan for just that reason. The Code Talker story is an incredible war saga. The code developed by these men was never broken by the Japanese, and it was said, at the time, that without them, the Marines would have never taken Iwo Jima.
Records about the Navajo Code Talkers can be found throughout the National Archives: in the U.S. Marine Corps records in College Park, in the Military Personnel Records in St. Louis, and in the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Riverside and Washington, D.C. This topic is one of many which allow researchers to explore the National Archives!
Read more at: Prologue: Pieces of History » Unbreakable: Remembering the Code Talkers