May 12, 1966. Lady Bird, President Johnson, Max Brooks, W.W. Heath, and Bill Moyers, among others, meet with architect Gordon Bunshaft to see his concept model for the future Presidential Library which will be built on the UT Austin campus.
In his oral history, Bunshaft describes the presentation:
Bunshaft: The President walked in and he said, “Mr. Bunshaft, I only have five minutes.” God, I ran him back and forth between these two things, and he stayed about fifteen minutes. I didn’t ever figure out how he could understand what I was talking about. This is a complex building, if you see it, especially on drawings. I ran him back and forth. That was a Friday. He didn’t say a word [about] whether he liked it or not. He left and Mrs. Johnson said, “Well, we’ll have to do a lot of thinking and talking about this.” Then that was the end of it. Monday the President called up Heath in Texas and said, “I approve the design.”
Mulhollan: From a lengthy fifteen minute briefing.
B: Yes. That floored everybody, because we assumed it would take at least a month. […] Frank [Stanton] had thought that the President might talk of this. He didn’t know about the approval. In fact, I didn’t either Tuesday. And [Johnson] described the building to his wife. After dinner, President Johnson described every damned detail of this building to Mrs. Stanton.
M: And got it right.
B: Got the whole damned thing. Now, how the hell he could have understood it and remembered it from fifteen minutes is beyond me. In fact, the next meeting I had, I talked to one of the secretaries, Juanita Roberts, and I said, “Look, he must have come back and studied that model.” The model was taken away the next morning, but he could have come back that evening. She’s very close, not his secretary, she’s an assistant; she’s not out there, but she’s in Washington—anyhow, swore up and down that the President never went back.
— Transcript, Gordon Bunshaft Oral History Interview I, 6/25/69, by Paige E. Mulhollan, Electronic Copy, LBJ Library.
In the only land battle of World War II to take place on incorporated U.S. territory, American forces began the invasion of Attu, in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, to dislodge occupying Japanese Forces on May 11, 1943.
U.S. FORCES BLAST JAPANESE FROM ATTU [ETC.], 1943
From the “United News” Newsreels series from the Office of War Information
Ethan Allen and his Vermont militia, the Green Mountain Boys, accompanied by Benedict Arnold, captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York from its small British garrison on May 10, 1775, in the second major engagement of the American Revolution.
A plan of Fort Ticonderoga in July 1758 during the Seven Years War. (111-SC-94756)
Controlling the southern end of Lake Champlain, the fort had been a strategic linchpin during the earlier French and Indian Wars but had later fallen into disrepair. However, the artillery pieces captured with the fort would prove key months later, when they were removed and used to break the siege of Boston, liberating it from British occupation.
Now a reconstructed museum, Fort Ticonderoga existed only as ruins in the years following the war. Read more about the fort and a would-be veteran in the compelling A Soldier of the Revolution; Or, Will the Real Isaac Rice Please Stand Up from the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine.
(Ed. note - visited Fort Ti this past summer, along with the “jr. curator.” -D)
Photograph of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson
Accidentally shot by his own troops following the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee’s “right arm”, died of complications from his injury on May 10, 1863.
National Archives’ online catalog down for maintenance May 10-25, 2013
The National Archives’ Online Public Access (OPA) system will be down for maintenance from May 10 to May 25, 2013. We are in the process of rolling out a new version of OPA that will bring the catalog up to date. After the updated system is rolled out, the catalog will be updated on a weekly basis. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we work to improve the system! You may wish to use the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) for your research during this period of downtime. The descriptions or catalog records will be available in ARC, although all digital images in ARC will be unavailable for this period. Please check out OPA after May 25th!
(You’ll have to excuse us if the frequency of our posts decreases for a bit. We may even have to rerun a post from last year.)
Happy Public Service Recognition Week!
Yesterday we celebrated the accomplishments of National Archives staff across the country in our annual Archivist’s Awards ceremony.
We created a little internal fanfare yesterday by recognizing staff for protecting and recovering stolen records, for outstanding service and support of our nation’s veterans, for achievement in engaging our citizens, for developing the Presidential Memorandum and Directive on Managing Government Records, for efforts to increase National Declassification Center production, to name just a few of awards tied closely to our Transformation pillars.
We also celebrated long term service milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years!
For me, every week is Public Service Recognition Week and I take great pride every day in the work that my staff does. Each member of the National Archives staff plays a vital role in fulfilling our mission of collecting, protecting, and making access happen. Congratulations to each one of you!
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog
May 9, 1942: These California farm families are preparing to evacuate to internment camps, as documented by photographer Dorothea Lange.
Centerville, California. Farm families of Japanese ancestry awaiting the evacuation buses which will take them to the Tanforan Assembly center along with 595 others evacuated from this district under Civilian Exclusion Order Number 34. 05/09/1942
Dorothea Lange, photographer. From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. You can find our past posts on Japanese American Internment & Relocation under the #Japanese American Internment tag.
For Teacher Appreciation Week, here’s an article written by Herbert Hoover dedicated to a teacher in Salem, Oregon. Miss Gray helped him develop a love of reading.
Readers Digest asked Herbert Hoover to prepare an article on the best advice he had ever received. “Thank You Miss Gray” was published in July 1959.
(Images: “The best advice I ever had” article by Herbert Hoover, 7/1959. From Hoover’s Articles, Addresses and Public Statements in the Herbert Hoover Papers in the Hoover Presidential Library. More teacher-inspired records are being posted at the National Archives Education page.)
Herbert Hoover does his part to #ThankaTeacher, and #ThankaLibrary.
(Hey #Tumblarians - a bit astonished that #thankalibrary returns “No Posts Found” ?!)
May 8 is National Bike to School Day!
SCHOOL CHILDREN, WERE FORCED TO USE THEIR BICYCLES ON FIELD TRIPS DURING THE FUEL CRISIS IN THE WINTER OF 1974. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH GASOLINE FOR SCHOOL BUSES TO BE USED FOR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, EVEN DURING DARK AND RAINY WEATHER, 02/1974
What did you ride to school? 10 Speed? BMX? Fixie?
Sometimes an “S” is just an “S”
When Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, his parents decided to name him Harry, after his mother’s brother Harrison Young. But what about a middle name? Should it be Shipp, in honor of his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman? Or should it be Solomon, in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young?
In the end, they entered his middle name as simply S, which led to a never-ending controversy about Harry S. Truman’s middle name. Read more.
Here’s President Truman behind his Oval Office desk sign - “The Buck Stops Here.”
“The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.
Top secret document sent by General Eisenhower to his superior officers to inform them that his mission was fulfilled - Germany was defeated and the war in Europe was over.
-from the Eisenhower Library