Planning for a second term
Just days before the 1976 election, James E. Conner, Secretary to the Cabinet, wrote this cover letter (page one of two) to President Gerald Ford. The attached papers offered strategies for evading pitfalls traditionally experienced in the transition to a second term. Ford was not reelected, however, and the papers were never delivered—as White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney noted at the bottom.
Memorandum for President Gerald Ford from James E. Connor Regarding a Second Ford Administration, 11/02/1976
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.
Practice Makes Perfect
Military personnel act as stand-ins for President-elect George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Vice President-elect J. Danforth Quayle and Marilyn Quayle during a rehearsal prior to the Inauguration Day ceremonies of the 41st president of the United States, 01/15/1989
Happy Birthday President Woodrow Wilson!
(December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924)
The Prosperity Painter, 01/30/1915
"The Prosperity Painter", by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, which appeared in the Washington Evening Star on January 30, 1915, depicts President Woodrow Wilson as a painter of prosperity while the economy continued to boom in America as war raged in Europe.
Highway Beautification Act
More than just wildflowers along highways - the Highway Beautification Act called for the removal of some types of billboards, unsightly roadside junkyards were removed or screened, and the enhancement of scenic views. In these photographs, President Lydon B. Johnson signs the Highway Beautification Act while the Act’s biggest supporter, Lady Bird Johnson looks on.
Photograph of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Highway Beautification Act, 10/22/1965
Photograph of President Lyndon B. Johnson handing Lady Bird Johnson a signing pen at the signing ceremony for the Highway Beautification Act, 10/22/1965
“…an offer from Th Jefferson late President of the United States, of the whole of his library for Congress in such a mode, and upon such terms as they consider highly advantageous to the nation, and worthy the distinguished gentleman who tenders it.”
Report from the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress regarding the purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s Library, 10/07/1814
One Down, Three to Go!
In this 1935 photograph of Mt. Rushmore, Washington has been completed and Jefferson is just getting started. Work began on the monument in 1927 and the faces of the four presidents were completed by 1939, with work ending in 1941.
[South Dakota Projects, 1917-1949]: Washington completed, Jefferson in progress, 09/1935
April 12, 1945 - This letter was dictated by Truman before President Roosevelt’s death later that same day. Then Vice-President Truman prophetically informs his sister-in-law, May Wallace, that he has more work than he has ever had in the past and seems to have less time to complete it. A handwritten note by Truman at the bottom tells her that the letter was dictated “before the world fell in on me….you know what a blow it was. But - I must meet it.”
Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
Opening Day of 1961 Baseball Season. President Kennedy throws out the first ball. (first row) Vice President Johnson, President Kennedy, Dave Powers, Elwood Quesada. (second row) Secreatry of HEW Abraham Ribicoff, Assistant Press Secretary Andrew Hatcher, Senator Hubert Humphrey, Senator Everett Dirksen, Senator Mike Mansfield. (third row) Lawrence O’Brien, spectators. Washington, D.C., Griffith Stadium, 04/10/1961
"I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President."
On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke to the nation about the situation in Vietnam and concluded with his decision not to seek re-election.
Read the entire address at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum »
President John F. Kennedy with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. White House, Oval Office Doorway., 03/28/1963
Adjutant of the 6th Wisconsin, 1st Lt. Edward P. Brooks, was captured on November 4, 1863, at Greenville, Virginia, and sent to Libby Prison in Richmond. Four months later President Abraham Lincoln directed Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler to arrange for the Brooks’s exchange. Butler reported to Lincoln that Brooks was freed on March 23, 1864.
Telegram from President Abraham Lincoln to Major General Benjamin Butler, 03/18/1864