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.
“I respectfully remind you sir, that we have been the most patient of all people.”
-Letter from Jackie Robinson to President Eisenhower of May 13, 1958
After he retired from Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson went on to champion the cause of civil rights from his position as a prominent executive of the Chock Full o’Nuts Corporation.
Robinson had grown increasingly impatient with what he regarded as President Eisenhower’s failure to act decisively in combating racism. In this letter dated May 13, 1958, he expresses his frustration and calls upon the President to finally guarantee Federal support of black civil rights.
For Teacher Appreciation Week, here’s an article written by Herbert Hoover dedicated to a teacher in Salem, Oregon. Miss Gray helped him develop a love of reading.
Readers Digest asked Herbert Hoover to prepare an article on the best advice he had ever received. “Thank You Miss Gray” was published in July 1959.
(Images: “The best advice I ever had” article by Herbert Hoover, 7/1959. From Hoover’s Articles, Addresses and Public Statements in the Herbert Hoover Papers in the Hoover Presidential Library. More teacher-inspired records are being posted at the National Archives Education page.)
Herbert Hoover does his part to #ThankaTeacher, and #ThankaLibrary.
(Hey #Tumblarians - a bit astonished that #thankalibrary returns “No Posts Found” ?!)
Sometimes an “S” is just an “S”
When Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, his parents decided to name him Harry, after his mother’s brother Harrison Young. But what about a middle name? Should it be Shipp, in honor of his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman? Or should it be Solomon, in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young?
In the end, they entered his middle name as simply S, which led to a never-ending controversy about Harry S. Truman’s middle name. Read more.
Here’s President Truman behind his Oval Office desk sign - “The Buck Stops Here.”
Happy Birthday Willie Nelson!
“When I was in trouble in the White House or when I wanted to have some deep thoughts, I had a very high quality hi-fi player, and the number one thing I played was Willie Nelson songs. All the good things I did as a president, all the mistakes I made — you can blame half of that on Willie.”
-Jimmy Carter in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine
Photos: Jimmy Carter with Willie Nelson and his guests outside of the Old Executive Building. 4/25/78; President Carter on stage at a performance by country western singer, Willie Nelson at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. 9/13/80.
The two remain friends today.
-from the Carter Library
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.
FDR at The First Presidential Library Dedication
The first Presidential Library and Museum was conceived and built under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s direction from 1939 to 1940 in Hyde Park, NY. The official FDR Library dedication was a small, quiet affair, with close friends and family attending the ceremony.
-History of the FDR Library
Via the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
As part of the Dedication Ceremonies, President and Mrs. Bush presented the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which will operate the Library and Museum. The Bush Center and NARA signed a joint use agreement at a ceremony in Freedom Hall today.
“This is the private box in Ford’s Theater, Washington, where President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, on the night of April 14, 1865. “
For another perspective on that evening, see the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police blotter of April 14, 1865.
Seventy years ago today on April 13, 1943, the Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth (4/13/1743).
The Death of FDR
On April 12, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, 63, President of the United States serving his fourth term, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in his cottage at the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation.
Vice President Harry S. Truman took the oath of office as President at 7:09 P.M., in the Cabinet Room in the White House. Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone of the Supreme Court administered the oath.
Shown here is the White House Stenographer’s Diary on the day of FDR’s death.
-from the FDR Library
Be sure to see Truman’s reaction in his post-script on a letter to his sister-in-law written the same day.
April 11, 1965. LBJ signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, at the Junction School in Johnson City, TX. Among the guests at the bill signing are Kate Deadrich Loney (LBJ’s first school teacher), Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and Adm. William Raborn, along with Lady Bird and Lynda.
“As a son of a tenant farmer, I know that education is the only valid passport from poverty.
“As a former teacher—and, I hope, a future one—I have great expectations of what this law will mean for all of our young people.
“As President of the United States, I believe deeply no law I have signed or will ever sign means more to the future of America.”
Today the schoolhouse is part of the LBJ National Historic Park.