POW Week at the Nixon Library
A sheriff-led motorcade will escort Vietnam POWs to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California at 12:30PM PT. Their arrival at the Library coincides with the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s POW homecoming dinner at the White House.
An All-American Homecoming is a new exhibit at the Nixon Library about the POWs visit to the White House. The event occurred on May 24, 1973, and it remains the largest dinner ever held at the White House. This week, the Nixon Foundation is hosting a series of events to celebrate the POWs.
Tomorrow evening, on the anniversary of the original White House homecoming, the Foundation will hold a reunion dinner for the POWs in the Nixon Library’s “East Room.” The original menu will be recreated, including American comfort foods like sirloin steak and potatoes.
Learn more about POW Week at the Nixon Library through the Nixon Foundation.
Photo: Entertainers sing “God Bless America” to the returned POW troops at the White House. From L-R: Phyllis Diller, Former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley, actress Joey Heatherton, President Nixon, Songwriter Irving Berlin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Pat Nixon and Comedian Bob Hope. 5/24/73.
April 28, 1965. 4:40 PM. Ambassador Bennett sends this cable from Santo Domingo to the White House less than two hours after the previous one. It begins: “Regret report situation deteriorating rapidly.”
LBJ’s secretary Juanita Roberts (foreground at her desk, in 1968) hand-delivers it to the President seven minutes after it is received, interrupting a meeting with foreign policy advisors.LBJ Library, National Security File, Country File Dominican Republic, Bennett “HELP,” Box 48, #7c.
Each change of Presidential administration requires a massive move of records and materials.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum holds more than 70 million pages of textual records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails (totaling roughly 1 billion pages), and 4 million digital photographs (the largest holding of electronic records of any of our libraries).
Collecting this material, cataloging and processing it, and making it available to the public was a task that began on January 20, 2009.
Read more about how National Archives staff got it all done on the Prologue blog.
Image: This moving van was outside the White House on January 20, 1993. From the Clinton Presidential Library.
The first Eisenhower Easter Egg Roll will be held Saturday, March 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home.
This event is free and open to the public and will feature games, crafts, face painting, an Easter egg hunt and more. The egg hunt will begin promptly at 1 p.m. so don’t be late! Admission to the Museum and Boyhood Home will be free all day.
February 16, 1967. Lady Bird Johnson and Mary Lasker accept on behalf of their beautification program a surprise donation of flower seeds to be used in Washington, DC school grounds, in a presentation at the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden of the White House.
LBJ Presidential Library photo #C4560-20a, public domain.
That’s one classy wheelbarrow!
Do you love White House pets? Are you in elementary school? Then we have a tour for you!
On Wednesday, February 13, author Kathryn Gibbs Davis will present her children’s book, Wackiest White House Pets, at the Jimmy Carter Library.
Reservations are required!
Image: Amy Carter poses with her doll house and cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang: 2/3/1978 [Carter Presidential Library, ARC177849]
Nixon’s Surprise Visit from Elvis
President Richard Nixon shakes hands with Elvis Presley in the Oval Office. Presley was born on January 8, 1935, and Nixon was born on January 9, 1913 (100 years ago tomorrow).
Incidentally, the photo from this impromptu meeting on December 21, 1970, is among the most requested from the National Archives. The Elvis-Nixon meeting draws more inquiries than the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Birthday cheers for Elvis and Nixon!
-from the Nixon Library
The 1941 Christmas Tree: A Bright Light in Dark Times
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, there was some doubt that the White House Christmas Tree lighting ceremony would take place at all.
The Roosevelts had planned for a “more homey” lighting of the National Christmas tree on December 24 in 1941, and so FDR had directed that the tree be moved from the Ellipse to the White House grounds, just next to the South Lawn Fountain.
But with firm backing from the President, the tree-lighting went forward, and thousands came to the White House to share a bright moment of hope during dark and uncertain times.
President Roosevelt reminded the audience, “Our strongest weapon against this war is the conviction of the dignity and brotherhood of man which Christmas Day signifies—more than any other day or any other symbol.” He continued, “Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practise them, we set our faith in human love and in God’s care for us and all men everywhere.”
Read the whole story at Prologue: The 1941 Christmas Tree: A Bright Light in Dark Times
Image: President Roosevelt, with Churchill to his right, addresses the crowd at the 1941 lighting of the White House Christmas tree. From the FDR Presidential Library.