Gerald R. Ford walks with Darrell Johnson, manager of the Boston Red Sox, and George “Sparky” Anderson, manager of the Cincinnati Reds, before the start of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 7/13/76.
-from the Ford Library
The Great Navy of the State of Nebraska
Gerald Ford was appointed an Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska on July 12, 1962. This honorary title bestowed on prominent individuals by the Governor of Nebraska is the state’s highest honor. The designation of Admiral, rather than another high-ranking military title, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that the state is landlocked.
The exhibit Taking the Seas: The Rise of the American Aircraft Carrier opens on Monday, July 14, at the Ford Presidential Museum. We’ll be posting materials related to the exhibit and Gerald R. Ford’s service in the U.S. Navy over the next few months.
"Your Dad has told me that you are a stamp collector and I thought you might like to have these stamps to add to your collection."
Letter from President Franklin Roosevelt to nine year old Bobby Kennedy on July 12, 1935
"I am going to frame your letter and I am going to keep it always in my room."
Reply to President Roosevelt from Bobby Kennedy on July 19, 1935
President Ford dances with Queen Elizabeth II while Mrs. Ford partners with Prince Philip following a state dinner honoring Her Majesty on July 7, 1976.
Heads up! We’re almost halfway through the World Cup.
Brazilian superstar Pelé showed President Ford, a former college gridiron standout, what he could do with his kind of football when visiting the White House on June 28, 1975.
Original images White House photographs A5272-18 to 22.
FDR and the GI Bill of Rights
June 22 marks the 70th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the GI Bill of Rights. Although World War II was far from over, FDR was determined to plan ahead for a smooth transition to peace, both abroad and at home. The President proposed to Congress a way to level the economic impact of the war’s end and to integrate returning veterans back into American society.
The result was the GI Bill. Now widely credited with creating the post-war middle class, the GI Bill of Rights provided returning veterans with educational benefits, work training, hiring preferences, and subsidized loans for buying homes, businesses and farms. It continues today to be one of the lasting legacies of the Roosevelt administration.
It’s time for the 2014 World Cup!
This year Brazil is hosting the tournament. Football great Edson Arantes Nascimento, better known as Pelé, helped lead the Brazilian national team to three World Cup victories in 1958, 1962, and 1970.
Pelé met with President Ford in the Rose Garden on June 28, 1975, and gave him some pointers on how to juggle a soccer ball.
It’s the 90th Birthday of George Bush!
George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts.
On his 18th birthday, Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts with World War II raging on two fronts. That same day, although he had been accepted at Yale University, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman second class. He received his wings on June 9, 1943, becoming the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy at the time.
During World War II, Bush flew torpedo bombers, completing 58 missions. On a run over Chichi Jima in 1944, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Bush bailed out and was rescued by a Navy submarine.
For his service during WWII, Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.
Watch this space for more on the life of George Bush throughout today.
Happy Birthday President Bush!
George Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, circa 1925; At age 12; At Phillips Academy, Andover, MA. circa 1940; U.S. Navy Portrait (1942-1945); U.S. Navy Pilot George Bush in the cockpit of an Avenger, (1942-45).
Did you know President Kennedy and Bob Hope share a birthday? Here are the duo together at the White House to honor Hope with the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of services to the country and the cause of world peace.
Happy Birthday President Kennedy and Bob Hope!
FDR officially opens the Golden Gate Bridge to vehicular traffic via remote telegraph button on May 28, 1937:
"Press Button — Opening Golden Gate Bridge"
The Golden Gate Bridge opened on this day, May 27, 1937.
On the first day only pedestrian traffic was allowed to cross. On the second day, May 28th, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ceremonially opened the bridge to vehicular traffic.
FDR pushed a golden telegraph button from the Oval Office of the White House that was transmitted across the coast to the festivities in San Francisco.
Here is the White House Stenographer’s Diary entry for May 28th, 1937, recording FDR’s Golden Gate telegraph appointment. FDR telegraphed at three o’clock Eastern Standard Time so the California procession could begin promptly at noon.
-from the FDR Library
On May 20, 1797, President John Adams nominated his son, John Quincy Adams, to be Minister Plenipotentiary to the King of Prussia. JQA served in this position until 1801.
Nomination of John Quincy Adams to be Minister Plenipotentiary, 5/20/1797, McCormick Collection, Records of the U.S. Senate (NARA ID 306287)
Happy (Almost) Birthday, Mr. President
Ten days before President John F. Kennedy’s 45th Birthday, he celebrated with a Democratic Party fundraiser for 15,000 people at Madison Square Garden. The event was hosted by President Kennedy’s brother in-law Peter Lawford and included many big name stars of the day. It was at this event where Marilyn Monroe famously and breathlessly sang Happy Birthday, Mr. President.
Reviews of a Revue
The Fords invited actress-singer-dancer Ann-Margret to entertain guests after the dinner honoring the Shahanshah and Empress of Iran. Known for her work in musicals and movies including Bye Bye Birdie and Tommy, she had also traveled to Southeast Asia on a USO tour to entertain troops stationed there.
Ann-Margret’s debut White House performance was based on her night club act. Her musical numbers included “I Won’t Last a Day Without You,” “Swedish Lullaby,” and a “Salute to the Bicentennial.”
Press reaction to the entertainment was mixed to negative. The Fords took it in stride. “We certainly didn’t please all of the people all of the time. We thought it was great, for instance, to ask Ann-Margret,” Betty Ford wrote in her memoirs. “Well, Betty Beale came out with a column in the Washington Star that ripped us up and down for having made that choice.” Other commentators called the Vegas-style revue tasteless and deemed it too low-brow for the White House and its royal guests.