Day 56: FDR’s Cruise to Hawaii
On July 1, 1934, FDR boarded the USS Houston to begin his three week journey to the Territory of Hawaii. During the cruise FDR and his party made stops in the Bahamas, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Colombia, Panama, Cocos Island and Clipperton Island. These stops included visits with foreign leaders and dignitaries, sightseeing through various countries and lots of fishing. FDR landed in Hawaii on July 24th to begin his historic visit.
225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
The First Congress faced many of the same issues as the Confederation Congress had under the Articles of Confederation. One of those issues was where the U.S. capital city would be located. The Confederation Congress voted in 1784 to move to capital to Trenton, New Jersey. However, the capital was never moved from New York City because they could not secure the required votes to appropriate the money to build the new city along the Delaware River.
At the start of the First Congress, the question was still highly contested. Some members wanted the federal city to be located along the Delaware River while others wanted the city further south along the Potomac River.
On July 24, 1789, this petition was sent to Congress by citizens of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Organized by John Cox, the petition outlined 13 reasons the district should be located in their 10 square miles along the Delaware River. He cited a victorious Revolutionary War battle near the location to exemplify its defensibility, and continued by listing the advantages of the land itself. Not only did his location have the best fishing, timber, stone for building, and wildlife, but it even had the “cheapest and best of all manure, The Plaster of Paris” to use as fertilizer. As if that was not enough, the land would be “capable of supplying wood, as well for fuel as for other purposes, by water to the end of time.
Congress continued to debate the issue until it passed the Residence Act in 1790, which established the temporary and permanent seat of the federal government.
Petition of John Cox and Others in Support of the Establishment of the Permanent Seat of the Government on the Delaware River, Sen 1A-G2, 7/24/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate
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
Having spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon, the Apollo 11 astronauts returned to Earth on July 24, 1969, and were recovered by the USS Hornet after splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
Miss one of our earlier posts from Apollo 11’s 45th anniversary? See the rest of our #Apollo45 series!
Apollo 11 Flight Plan
The flight plan for Apollo 11 was a minute-by-minute time line of activities for the mission crew—Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin—and Mission Control in Houston. The flight was launched July 16, 1969. Touchdown on the moon took place, as scheduled, on July 20, 102 hours, 47 minutes, and 11 seconds after launch from Cape Kennedy. The astronauts spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon, and returned to Earth on July 24.
From the series: Pre-Shuttle Flight Data Files, 1968 - 1977. Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006
Bill Clinton meets President Kennedy
On this day in 1963, sixteen-year-old Bill Clinton visited the White House as a delegate from Arkansas to the Boys Nation Convention. Here’s future-President Clinton shaking hands with President John F. Kennedy. 7/24/63.
-from the Presidential Timeline
The Case of Dr. Samuel Mudd
On April 15, 1865, Dr. Samuel Mudd set the leg and allowed President Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice David Herold sleep at his house. Dr. Mudd was convicted of conspiring to help Booth escape because he did not alert the authorities to Booth’s presence at his farm. He was given a life sentence, but was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson on February 8, 1869 following his leadership and heroic action to help the sick during a yellow fever epidemic at Fort Jefferson where he was imprisoned.
Dr. Mudd’s grandson Dr. Richard Mudd worked hard to clear his grandfather’s of complicity in the assassination. He petitioned President Jimmy Carter who sent this reply on July 24, 1979.
"…Your petition and the petitions submitted to me on behalf of your grandfather by numerous members of Congress, several state legislatures, historians and private citizens have been exhaustively considered by my staff over the past two years. Regrettably, I am advised that the findings of guilt and the sentence of the military commission that tried Dr. Mudd in 1865 are binding and conclusive judgement, and that there is no authority under law by which I, as President, could set aside his conviction. All legal authority vested in the President to act in this case was exercised when President Andrew Johnson granted Dr. Mudd a full and unconditional pardon on February 8, 1869."
Read more documents about Dr. Samuel Mudd at the Jimmy Carter Library.
On July 24, 1915, the top-heavy passenger ship SS Eastland rolled over while docked in Chicago. 844 passengers and crew were killed in the incident. Later the US Navy bought the salvaged ship. It was restored and modified to make it a gunboat and renamed the USS Wilmette.
Photograph of The Eastland (upside down) on Chicago River, Chicago., ca. 07/24/1915
0658 RECOVERED 2 HELOS. ASTRONAUTS, N.A. ARMSTRONG, LCOL M. COLLINS USAF, AND COL E.E. ALDRIN JR USAF
Deck Log of the USS Hornet, 07/24/1969
Documenting in rather matter-of-fact terms both the arrival of the President of the United States and successful recovery of the Apollo 11 astronauts.
The Nixon-Kruschev “Kitchen Debate”
The impromptu debate between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev on July 24, 1959, at the U.S. National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow.