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.
Happy Facial Hair Friday! Today’s featured mustache belongs to Grover Cleveland, who was re-elected to office on November 8, 1892, making him the first and currently only President to serve two non-consecutive terms.
Perhaps it was the mustache that won him this honor? President Cleveland had embraced the look of the mostly clean-shaved face when he entered office the first time in 1885, but he did have a mustache.
When he returned for a second term in 1893, he still had the mustache. In fact, he defeated the incumbent President Harrison, who was the last President to date to have a beard.
Did this electoral defeat signal the end of an era for beards and new dawn of the mustache?
In this cartoon from the 1907 off-year election, political cartoonist Clifford Berryman reminds us of how elections reflect the public mood and, thus, of the importance of voting. Illustrated here, William Jennings Bryan, William Randolph Hearst, and President Theodore Roosevelt anxiously calculate the impact of state and local elections on their political futures. The books scattered around the floor suggest that forecasting the consequences of an election is “infinitesimal calculus.” Bryan went on to run unsuccessfully for President the next year, and Hearst ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1909. Roosevelt did not run for reelection and instead went into temporary retirement after his term expired.
Figgerin’ on the Returns by Clifford K. Berryman, 11/7/1907, U.S. Senate Collection, U.S. National Archives (1693465)
From our friends at the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress and their new tumblr!
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
Happy 155th Birthday, Teddy!
Theodore Roosevelt, NYPD Commissioner, Governor of New York, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Rough Rider, Nobel Laureate, inspiration for the “Teddy Bear” and the twenty-sixth President of the United States, was born in New York City on October 27, 1858.
And as depicted here by cartoonist Clifford Berryman, contemplating a run for a third term, it looks like he’s all ready for Game 4 of the World Series too!
To the President of Congress
[Philadelphia, 17 September 1787]
We have now the Honor to submit to the Consideration of the United States in Congress assembled that Constitution which has appeared to us the most advisable.
The Friends of our Country have long seen and desired that the Power of making War Peace and Treaties, that of levying Money & regulating Commerce and the correspondent executive and judicial Authorities should be fully and effectually vested in the general Government of the Union. But the Impropriety of delegating such extensive Trust to one Body of Men is evident—Hence results the Necessity of a different Organization.
It is obviously impracticable in the fœderal Government Of these States to secure all Rights of independent Sovereignty to each and yet provide for the Interest and Safety of all—Individuals entering into Society must give up a Share of Liberty to preserve the Rest. The Magnitude of the Sacrifice must depend as well on Situations and Circumstances as on the Object to be obtained. It is at all Times difficult to draw with Precision the Lines between those Rights which must be surrendered and those which may be reserved. And on the present Occasion this Difficulty was encreased by a Difference among the several States as to their Situation Extent Habits and particular Interests.
In all our Deliberations on this Subject we kept steadily in our View that which appears to us the greatest Interest of every true american the Consolidation of our Union in which is involved our Prosperity Felicity Safety perhaps our national Existence. this important Consideration seriously and deeply impressed on our Minds led each State in the Convention to be less rigid on Points of inferior Magnitude than might have been otherwise expected. And thus the Constitution which we now present is the Result of a Spirit of Amity and of that mutual Deference & Concession which the Peculiarity of our political Situation rendered indispensible.
That it will meet the full and entire Approbation of every State is not perhaps to be expected. But each will doubtless consider that had her Interests been alone consulted the Consequences might have been particularly disagreable or injurious to others. That it is liable to as few Exceptions as could reasonably have been expected we hope and believe That it may promote the lasting Welfare of that Country so dear to us all and secure her Freedom and Happiness is our most ardent wish.
We the People
of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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
On September 11, 1945, Frances Curtis, a trustworthy, law-abiding, and loyal citizen, and “Very Good” typist, was passed over for a position at White House due to unpaid tuition bill and a superficial connection to organizations “considered Communistic in nature.”
Five years before the era of McCarthyism began, Frances Curtis’s application for a White House pass was denied by the Secret Service because “superficially, it appears that this applicant may have been directly connected with the Communist Party.”
Read the story of Frances Curtis and decide for yourself if her application should have been denied: http://go.usa.gov/47kP
Her file is one of the thousands of recently opened Secret Service records that are now available for research at the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.
Image: Frances Curtis’s application, courtesy of the Truman Library.
Calvin Coolidge became the 30th President of the United States in the early morning hours of August 3, 1923, following President Warren G. Harding’s sudden death in San Francisco during his tour of the west. Coolidge was vacationing at his family home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, and was sworn in by his father, a local notary.
Happy 100th Birthday President Ford!
This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Gerald R. Ford’s birth on July 14, 2013. Throughout 2013, we are celebrating President Ford’s Centennial at the Ford Presidential Library and Museum and the National Archives. Check out some of the highlights:
- Ford’s life in pictures each Friday
- President Ford and the Space Program — Apollo/Soyuz
- State Dinners with President and Mrs. Ford*
- The Gerald R. Ford Centennial
To get the party started, here’s some birthday photos from earlier festivities for Jerry:
Congressman Ford cuts the cake at the party for his 59th birthday on July 14, 1972. He was in a wheelchair following an operation for his “football” knee; President Ford opens presents at his surprise birthday party on July 14, 1975;
President and Mrs. Ford toast on the occasion of his 63rd birthday during a surprise lunch at the San Souci restaurant on July 14, 1976.
*The latest member of the National Archives family on Tumblr!
(State Dinners with President and Mrs. Ford from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum)