Eleanor Roosevelt’s First Press Conference - March 6, 1933
On March 6, 1933 Eleanor Roosevelt held the first of her 348 women’s only press conferences. Before this time, First Ladies had little contact with reporters. Eleanor recognized that holding regular conferences could enhance the public role of the First Lady - a role she transformed during her 12 years in the White House.
About 35 women attended Eleanor’s first press conference which was held in the Monroe Room on the second floor of the living quarters in the White House. The press conferences were attended by the major female reporters of the day - including Lorena Hickok, Ruby Black, Bess Furman, May Craig, Emma Bugbee and Martha Stayer.
Eleanor used these press conferences as a way to not only announce her schedule of activities but also as a platform to publicize the work of women leaders, answer her critics, and entertain questions on a variety of subjects. Topics covered everything from domestic issues like social programs, race, youth activism, etc. to international politics and the role of women in war and peace.
When Prohibition officially ended on December 5, 1933, booze peddlers large and small quickly did the legal thing and registered their products’ labels with the U.S. Patent Office. Here’s one aptly named product, to cash in on this “heady” time, registered with the Patent Office on March 6, 1934.
Trademark Application for Esslinger’s “Repeal Beer” Label, Case File 43336. 3/06/1934. NARA ID: 7788265
From the series: Case Files for Registered Product Labels , 1874 - 1940. Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, 1836 - 1978
(Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.)
Discharge Petition #14 Filed by Oscar De Priest Regarding H. Res. 236, a Resolution to Prevent Discrimination, 01/24/1934 - 03/05/1934
Item from Records of the U.S. House of Representatives. (04/01/1789 -)
This resolution and discharge petition from Representative Oscar De Priest, a Republican from Illinois, attempted to end racial discrimination in the House of Representatives’ Restaurant. De Priest introduced H. Res. 236 to the House, which called for the creation of a special committee to investigate the House Restaurant’s refusal to serve two African Americans, one of whom was a member of his staff. When the resolution stalled in the Rules Committee, De Priest successfully used a discharge petition to move the bill out and onto the House floor.
Don’t forget to check out the National Archives’ future exhibition “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures,” opening to the public on March 21, 2014!
March 4, 1933: First Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt
On this day in 1933, the first inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt was held in Washington, D.C. The longest-serving president in U.S. history, and leader through the Great Depression and World War II — two of the nation’s worst crises — Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered by many to be our greatest president.
Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Joseph Robinson in Washington, Washington, D.C., March 4, 1933 (National Archives).
(Nice use of the Content Source link, pbsthisdayinhistory!)
Shirley Temple Black (April 23, 1928 - February 10, 2014)
Today we remember Shirley Temple. During her early years as an actress, Shirley visited with the Roosevelts at the White House and in Hollywood. In her March 19, 1938 “My Day” column, Eleanor Roosevelt had this to say about Shirley:
Our first visit was to Shirley Temple, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting before and who is, without exception, one of the most charming children I know. She is simple and unaffected and accepts the inevitable photographers and her as naturally as if this was the way every little girl lived her life
While visiting the White House in June 1938, Shirley presented FDR with a “Shirley Temple Police” Badge. She signed her letter from “Chief Shirley Temple.”
In July of 1938, Shirley and her parents visited Hyde Park for a picnic. Mrs. Roosevelt wrote all about the day in her July 11, 1938 “My Day” column.
Our vote for Best in Show at tonight’s Westminster Dog Show:
"Dance stars lead dog’s life! —Dumpsie and Waffles in hectic rehearsals for big revue."
From: Universal News Volume 3, Release 7 #1-10, January 19, 1931
NEW YORK, NY - Sky-line for the masque ball! - Beaux Arts fete features novel architectural costumes.
Excerpted from: This Week in Universal News: Beaux-Arts Ball, 1931, Universal News Volume 3, Release 7 #1-10, January 19, 1931
On January 23, 1931, architects dressed up as the buildings they designed for the Beaux-Arts Ball in New York. In this week’s featured story, they are pictured from left to right, A. Stewart Walker as the Fuller Building, Leonard Schultze as the Waldorf-Astoria, Ely Jacques Kahn as the Squibb Building, William Van Alen as the Chrysler Building, Ralph Walker as the Wall Street Building and Joseph Freedlander as the Museum of the City of New York.
Watch the entire newsreel, featuring a polar submarine, a train wreck, Charles Lindbergh receiving a medal from a French ambassador, dancing dogs, and “dangerous” figure skating, among other stories here.
Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. In 1974, Universal deeded its collection to the United States through the National Archives and is one of our most used motion picture collections. Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.
A New York Tradition
The ice rink at Rockefeller Center had high end shops and was known as the Sunken Plaza. In 1936 a temporary ice rink was built to encourage people to patronize the shops. The footage from this Universal Newsreel shows ice skaters in 1937, when the rink became a permanent holiday tradition.
Cheers, Prohibition Ends!
Eighty years ago on December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, as announced in this proclamation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment of January 16, 1919, ending the increasingly unpopular nationwide prohibition of alcohol.
Excited for Thanksgiving?
If you really want to work up an appetite, check out this playlist of other Thanksgiving-themed films recently digitized by our Motion Picture Preservation Lab and now on the U.S. National Archives’ YouTube Channel.
FDR reflects on Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address 75 years later:
The 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: FDR’s View
Today, one hundred-fifty years later, we pause to remember one of the greatest speeches ever made by a US President: Abraham Lincoln’s poetically beautiful Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863, upon the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
On July 3, 1938, speaking on the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reflected on Lincoln and his words:
“Immortal deeds and immortal words have created here at Gettysburg a shrine of American patriotism. We are encompassed by ‘The last full measure of devotion’ of many men and by the words in which Abraham Lincoln expressed the simple faith for which they died.
“It seldom helps to wonder how a statesman of one generation would surmount the crisis of another. A statesman deals with concrete difficulties—with things which must be done from day to day. Not often can he frame conscious patterns for the far off future.
“But the fullness of the stature of Lincoln’s nature and the fundamental conflict which events forced upon his Presidency invite us ever to turn to him for help.
“For the issue which he restated here at Gettysburg seventy five years ago will be the continuing issue before this Nation so long as we cling to the purposes for which the Nation was founded—to preserve under the changing conditions of each generation a people’s government for the people’s good.”
FDR found that Lincoln’s words were timeless. Roosevelt drew strength and insight from the promise of Lincoln’s words while leading the country in the defining battles of his own time.
Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse!
Soon after his debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse and his creator, Walt Disney, were in court. This exhibit can be found in the infringement of trademark case, Walt Disney v. Pathe Exchange, et al, filed by Disney’s lawyers on March 30, 1931. The Walt Disney company won this case (and many others).
We love this document because Mickey and Minnie can stay so positive, even as their fate is being litigated!
From the holdings of the National Archives at Riverside, Records of District Courts of the United States (RG 21).
Happy Halloween & Safe Trick-or-Treating!
The FDA created a simple display in 1933 to illustrate problems with the current food and drug laws. The exhibit generated a buzz in the media. These photos from the show demonstrate the way that consumers could be fooled or endangered by certain products.