May 12, 1966. Lady Bird, President Johnson, Max Brooks, W.W. Heath, and Bill Moyers, among others, meet with architect Gordon Bunshaft to see his concept model for the future Presidential Library which will be built on the UT Austin campus.
In his oral history, Bunshaft describes the presentation:
Bunshaft: The President walked in and he said, “Mr. Bunshaft, I only have five minutes.” God, I ran him back and forth between these two things, and he stayed about fifteen minutes. I didn’t ever figure out how he could understand what I was talking about. This is a complex building, if you see it, especially on drawings. I ran him back and forth. That was a Friday. He didn’t say a word [about] whether he liked it or not. He left and Mrs. Johnson said, “Well, we’ll have to do a lot of thinking and talking about this.” Then that was the end of it. Monday the President called up Heath in Texas and said, “I approve the design.”
Mulhollan: From a lengthy fifteen minute briefing.
B: Yes. That floored everybody, because we assumed it would take at least a month. […] Frank [Stanton] had thought that the President might talk of this. He didn’t know about the approval. In fact, I didn’t either Tuesday. And [Johnson] described the building to his wife. After dinner, President Johnson described every damned detail of this building to Mrs. Stanton.
M: And got it right.
B: Got the whole damned thing. Now, how the hell he could have understood it and remembered it from fifteen minutes is beyond me. In fact, the next meeting I had, I talked to one of the secretaries, Juanita Roberts, and I said, “Look, he must have come back and studied that model.” The model was taken away the next morning, but he could have come back that evening. She’s very close, not his secretary, she’s an assistant; she’s not out there, but she’s in Washington—anyhow, swore up and down that the President never went back.
— Transcript, Gordon Bunshaft Oral History Interview I, 6/25/69, by Paige E. Mulhollan, Electronic Copy, LBJ Library.
Sometimes it seems like that commentary is missing on your end though, and since you’re the govt it’s reinforcing troubling normative whitewashed history. Lots of us are critical thinkers but a lot of people have never heard a competing narrative!
That’s actually deliberate. As the National Archives, our role is to preserve & make these records—the raw materials of history—available to the public. Speaking very generally, commentary and interpretation goes beyond our mandate, especially as a non-partisan Federal Agency. If there’s background information that accompanies the record we’ll include it, and may add any necessary context. But in general we try to stick to the basic facts and let the records speak for themselves (and on Tumblr that usually works surprisingly well).
Thanks for writing!
Completed 40 years ago in May 1973, Chicago’s Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) was the tallest building in the world, and still reigns as the tallest building in the United States, until the imminent completion of New York’s One World Trade Center.
NEW AMTRAK TURBOLINER…THE NEW SEARS TOWER IS SEEN ON THE SKYLINE. 06/1974
From the EPA’s DOCUMERICA Series
(More items from DOCUMERICA are currently on exhibit at the National Archives: “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project”)
Well that’s an upsetting primary source.
While this comment was in reference to this morning’s letter requesting the National Guard’s assistance at Kent State, you could probably say that about many of our posts. But these comments are an opportunity we hate to miss. Sometimes history is upsetting (a lot of the time, actually). This is probably a good time to mention our post from last year:
In short, if you’re not bummed out sometimes by our posts, then we’re probably not doing our job.
But to make up for it, maybe you missed our post from Bugs Bunny’s sort-of-75th birthday?
And thanks for writing!
“Gradually the low oak and willow hammocks give way to an unbroken cypress forest. Most of the growth is young, but around dark ponds are hoary old trees hung with Spanish moss. Cypress is one of the few coniferous or evergreen trees that sheds its leaves. From early winter to early spring the gray trunks and branches are bare, and it is an eerie experience to drive for miles through ghostly ranks of young and old cypress woods, the smoky skyline sweeping up from the younger growth to the tall tops of old cypresses around the pools.”
Florida: A Guide To the Southernmost State (WPA, 1939) on the Everglades.
ARC ID: 544605
(Our first submission for National Parks Week! Clearly The American Guide likes the Everglades National Park! Original photo caption: “CHOKOLOSKEE ROOKERY IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, 07/1972”)
By 1912, 13 states had adopted the progressive idea of direct presidential primaries to break the control of party bosses on delegate selection for the national convention. Theodore Roosevelt dominated these state primaries. In this cartoon, which features Roosevelt and President William Howard Taft tugging on the arms of a personified “Ohio,” Clifford K. Berryman depicts the climax of this preconvention battle, which took place in that state in late May. Berryman terms Ohio “The Mother of Presidents” not only because it was Taft’s home state, but also because it sent a large quota of delegates to the national convention. In an intense and bitter contest, Roosevelt won a complete victory, winning the popular vote by a large margin and capturing nearly every district delegate.
Untitled [Ohio, the Mother of Presidents], by Clifford K. Berryman, 5/21/1912, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 206104)
Allied women in Paris to plead for international suffrage. Women, representing Allied Nations, who called upon the President during his stay in Paris, and asked to be given a place at the Peace Conference, to inquire into and report upon the conditions concerning women and children throughout the world.
First row, left to right: Mrs. J. Borden Harriman (United States); Mme. DeWitt Schlumberger (France); Mme. Pichon-Laudry (France). Second row: Mrs. Juliette Barrett Rublee (United States); Dr. Katherine Bennett Davis (United States), Mme. Brunsching. Third row: Mrs. Millicent Garrett Fawcett (Great Britain); Mrs. Oliver Stratchey (Great Britain); Miss Rosamond Smith (Great Britain). Fourth row: Mme. Brigode (Belgium); Marie Paunt (Belgium); Miss Nevia Boyle (South Africa); Mlle. Van den Plas (Belgium). Sixth row: Mme. Sonnine Capi (Italy); Mlle. Eva Mitzhouma (Poland). 02/27/1919
Transmittal and Certificate of Achievement awarded to Sergeant Elvis A. Presley …”in recognition of faithful and efficient performance of duty and for outstanding service to the United States Army.”, 02/24/1960
Q:If you're truly the National Archives, how about some West Coast love? Of the 20-something most recent stateside pictures on your Facebook where a place is identified, two are west of the Mississippi: New Mexico & Hawaii. We're America, too! (Breakdown: DC 8, MA 4, NY 3, PA 2, HI 1, NM 1, SC 1). Thanks.
First, we’re touched you follow our posts so closely! Really our #1 goal is to show you something from the National Archives’ holdings that relates to today in history (and maybe gets you to think just a bit). We do what we can to vary our posts across geography, era, topic, etc., but history and our holdings do not always cooperate. Having said all that, of course we love the West Coast! (the rest of the country too, for that matter). And don’t forget our colleagues at the Riverside Archives’ “Tumblrweed Times” - their holdings include California, Nevada & Utah!
And as always — we’re open to suggestions! If there’s an item in the National Archives holdings you’d like us to feature, please feel free to suggest it!
Residence of G. L. Rule Feb. 18, 1898. Have lived here since Sept. 1893. Family stands in foreground; sod building and cabin in background, Arizona Territory
From the Series: Photographs Accompanying Reports to the Secretary of the Interior
“…when the attack was made on the City of Washington and on the City of Baltimore, the citizen soldiers were in service without pay or rations, several months in each of the years 1812-1813 and 1814. And it is for the consideration of those service that your memorialists think they are entitled to 160 acres of Land each.”
Memorial of the “Association of Defenders of Baltimore in 1814” for a grant of 160 acres per man as remuneration for services in the war, 02/17/1853