President Ford hosted a working stag dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau on December 4, 1974.
The event outline illustrates how streamlined the evening would be. All of the guests were high-ranking U.S. and Canadian government officials. Unlike other state dinners spouses were not invited, and there was no after-dinner entertainment.
We asked Senior Paper Conservator, Kathy Ludwig, about the most interesting project she’s worked on. The most intrinsically valuable document she has treated at the National Archives is the Monroe Doctrine. The document is the Senate version the 36-page text of President James Monroe’s seventh annual Message to Congress on December 2, 1823. The Monroe Doctrine, hand-written by an administrative assistant and signed by the President, was a defining moment in American foreign policy. We’ll explore its conservation treatment in the next few posts.
President William J. Clinton presides over the historic handshake of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat during the Middle East Peace Agreement signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, September 13, 1993.
Photograph at the Middle East Peace Agreement Ceremony, 09/13/1993. Vince Musi, Photographer. From the series: Photographs Relating to the Clinton Administration, 01/20/1993 - 01/20/2001
Mediterranean Passport for Ship Roscoe, 08/23/1830
From the series: Mediterranean Passports, 1802 - 1840, of the Records of the U.S. Customs Service
This Mediterranean Passport was issued by the Collector of Customs of the New Bedford District to the American ship, Roscoe on August 23, 1830. It is signed by the President Andrew Jackson; and the Secretary of State Martin Van Buren.
Mediterranean Passports were issued to American ships that traveled in the Mediterranean Sea and provided protection from attack by ships of the nations collectively known as the Barbary Coast powers. Treaties made by the United States between 1786 and 1836 with the Barbary Coast nations of Tunis, Tripoli (today Libya), Algeria, and Morocco included a provision that American ships carrying this passport would be allowed to pass unmolested.
King Hussein, President Ford, Queen Alia, and Mrs. Ford pause at the base of the Grand Staircase before proceeding to the East Room to receive their guests.
Having attended White House functions before, President Ford felt that this first state dinner “would also give Betty and me an opportunity to put our personal imprint on White House social occasions.” He observed that during the previous administration after dinner entertainment had been formal and the Nixons usually left just after the show. The Fords wanted their dinners to be “more relaxed” and included after-dinner dancing as part of the evening.
Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water Between the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, 08/05/1963
On August 5, 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. After Senate approval, it was signed by President Kennedy on October 7, 1963. The treaty went into effect on October 10, 1963, and banned nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water.
Apollo-Soyuz: Cold War Collaboration
On July 17, 1975, the Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts docked together in space during the first joint U.S.-Soviet space mission. Cosmonauts Aleksey Leonov and Valeri Kubasov and astronauts Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand, and Donald Slayton conducted joint scientific experiments, exchanged gifts, and spoke in each other’s languages.
This mission was seen as an opportunity not only to cooperate in space but also to strengthen U.S.-Soviet cooperation in general.
President Ford and Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev both called to congratulate the crews after the docking.
Model of the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft depicts their linkage in outer space. The commemorative pins attached to the base were worn by the cosmonauts when they presented the model to President Ford on September 7, 1974.
Photo and caption courtesy of NASA: In perhaps the most iconic image from the flight, astronaut Deke Slayton and cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov are seen together in the Soyuz spacecraft.
For roughly 4 cents an acre, the fledgling United States doubled in size with the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, signed 210 years ago with France on April 30, 1803.
Acting on orders from President Thomas Jefferson (who had put his doubts as to the constitutionality of the expansion aside) American agents James Monroe and Robert Livingston had planned only to negotiate for the purchase of New Orleans and Florida from France. Instead they were offered the entire territory for the equivalent of 15 million dollars, an offer they hastily accepted.
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.
The “Iron Lady:” Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, October 13, 1925 - April 8, 2013
- Photograph of President Reagan walking with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at Camp David, 11/06/1986. ARC Identifier 198578
- Jimmy Carter with Margaret Thatcher, 09/13/1977. ARC Identifier 176181
- President Bush Presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 03/07/1991. ARC Identifier 672821
Letter from King Chulalongkorn of Siam, to President Grover Cleveland, 03/11/1893
The United States and Thailand, then called Siam, entered into their first official relationship on March 20, 1833, when the two countries signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Formal diplomatic relations would not be established until October 23, 1882, when John A. Halderman presented his credentials as Minister Resident and Consul General. This letter, dated March 11, 1893, from the King of Siam to President Cleveland appoints Phya Maha Yodha as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, to be resident in Europe but to travel to the United States as necessary.
March 7, 1966. In a rare handwritten letter to President Johnson, General de Gaulle states the reasons for his decision to withdraw France from the military aspects of NATO.
“…France considers that the changes that have occurred, or are in the process of occurring, since 1949, in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, as well as the evolution of her own situation and her own forces, no longer justify, in so far as she is concerned, the arrangements of a military nature made after the conclusion of the Alliance, either jointly in the form of multilateral agreements, or by special agreements between the French Government and the American Government.”
This decision led to the withdrawal of American bases from France and the relocation of NATO headquarters from Paris to Brussels. To read the full translation, see the Foreign Relations of the United States Series.