Ike Signs the NASA Act - Today in History
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Woot!
President Eisenhower Presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T. Keith Glennan as the first administrator for NASA and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator. Courtesty of NASA.
Nixon and Khrushchev’s Kitchen Debates
On this day in 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met for the opening of the American National Exhibition in Moscow.
As Nixon led Khrushchev through the model house they began a series of impromptu debates (mainly held in the model kitchen), on capitalism and communism. To debate such ideas both leaders used examples of household appliances to better stress their arguments. Nixon’s performance in the “Kitchen Debate” further raised his stature back in the United States.
In this photograph we have Nixon and Khrushchev debating in front of the now famous model kitchen. To the right of Nixon is future Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. 7/24/59.
-from the Nixon Library
Helen Keller was born on this day, June 27, 1880.
Helen Keller wrote letters to eight U.S. Presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt through Lyndon B. Johnson, on behalf of her work for the disabilities community. You can find more Presidential records featuring Helen Keller here.
Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller (both far left) and others in Martha’s Vineyard. 8/25/54.
"I have been reading comic books for seven to nine years. Every kind of book that was written, I have never robbered a bank or thinks like that."
From the series: Committee Papers, compiled 1816 - 2011. Records of the U.S. Senate, 1789 - 2011
This letter was received by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Special Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. Teenager Robert Merdian wrote to express his support for comic books, which were then being investigated by the subcommittee to determine whether a relationship existed between juvenile violence and crime and such media as television and comic books.
Gay and Lesbian History in Congressional Records
Judith Adkins, archivist, introduces LGBT-related records within the holdings of the National Archives Center for Legislative Archives.
Tuesday, June 10 at 11 a.m. in Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance).
Repeated on Thursday, June 12, at 11 a.m. at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room C.
Image: Executive Order 10450, April 27, 1953; General Records of the United States Government (RG 11); National Archives and Records Administration.
Records of the Supreme Court of the United States. National Archives Identifier: 301670
May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision regarding education in America. The Oliver L. Brown et. al. v. Board of Education of Topeka (KS) ruling declared public schools that were separated by race as unconstitutional. The unanimous decision stated that segregated schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The ruling meant that African-American children had a right to attend schools that were properly equipped with well-trained teachers and staff. This decision was celebrated by many who believed that black children received an inadequate education in the racially segregated schools and was condemned by those who wanted to keep the races separated.
The National Archives holds many records relating to the Brown v. Board of Education case and the other four cases that made up this historic lawsuit. Related records ranged from court documents, photographs, online study-guides, and information papers.
See more of these records at: Rediscovering Black History » Federal Records Relating to the Brown v. Board of Education Case
"We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place."Case File for Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka et al., ca. 1950 - ca. 1955. Records of the Supreme Court of the United States. National Archives Identifier: 1656510
Sixty years ago on May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered this unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The Court found that state-sanctioned segregation of public schools violated the 14th Amendment. The decision marked the end of the “separate but equal” precedent set by the Supreme Court nearly 60 years before in Plessy v. Ferguson. Although this decision is commonly known as “Brown v. Board” this decision was actually six cases grouped together. Selected pages are shown.
"Nurses in the Army" from THE BIG PICTURE for International Nurses Day:
Americans are well aware of the great and heroic achievements of United States Army nurses. In World War II and during the Korean War, the Army nurse went through great hardship in performance of her duty — the same dangers endured by the troops which she accompanied into combat. But relatively little has been reported of the Army nurse in peacetime. Yet, she still serves — not only in the States — but all over the world. THE BIG PICTURE gives television audiences some impression of the work of an Army nurse overseas. Not only her work will be shown, but how she spends her leisure time and sometimes what she thinks and feels.
International Nurses Day is observed on May 12 in honor of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday (5/12/1820 - 8/13/1910).
Director J. Edgar Hoover
Ninety years ago, on May 10, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was appointed the 6th Director of the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation. When the BOI was eventually reorganized Hoover was appointed the first Director of the new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1935 and would remain in that position until his death in 1972.
Portrait of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, ca. 1953
"Phenomena resembling a flying saucer…Had dark center surrounded by ring of brilliant flame…"
"Flying Saucer Excerpt from SS Hunters Point Log Book, 05/06/1957”
Report of a flying saucer from the log book of the vessel SS Hunters Point. Investigate some of our previous posts about flying saucers and other unidentified phenomena.
Happy Birthday to John James Audubon!
Photograph of President Truman at the White House accepting ten paintings by John J. Audubon, a gift to the United States from Australian philanthropist E. J. Hallstrom., 07/18/1951
Abbie Rowe, photographer. From the series: Photographs Relating to the Administration, Family, and Personal Life of Harry S. Truman
The naturalist and painter was born in Haiti on April 26, 1785. Sent to America in 1803, he lived on the family farm outside of Philadelphia, where he proved that the same birds return to the same nesting sites each year by tying strings around their legs. After 10 years in business—painting all the while as his hobby—Audubon went into the wilderness on an epic quest to paint the birds of American. A few years later, he sailed to England where his work “The American Woodsman” was an overnight success.
Think your driver’s license photo makes you look silly? At least you aren’t Department of Commerce official J. Mishell George. No, this isn’t a April Fool’s prank. Newspaper reader Judge L.S. Oliver really thought George looked downright nefarious.
Letter from Judge L.S. Oliver to the Permanent Subcommitte on Investigations, 3/13/1956, Records of the United States Senate
Before and After Operation Doorstep
Mannequin Family in a House at Operation Doorstep, 7,500 Feet from the Blast, before the Blast, 03/17/1953
Mannequin Family in a House at Operation Doorstep, 7,500 Feet from the Blast, after the Blast, 03/17/1953
(see also "Operation Cue" conducted in May of 1955.)
Eisenhower Reaches out to the Russian People
On March 4, 1953 President Dwight D. Eisenhower drafted this statement for the Russian people while Joseph Stalin was gravely ill. Stalin died the next day on March 5, 1953.
Draft statement by President Eisenhower on Joseph Stalin, 03/04/1953