News From Our Blog

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From the Presidential Libraries:

John F. Kennedy at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice while on a trip to Europe with LeMoyne Billings in August 1937. From the JFK Library

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From the Presidential Libraries:

John F. Kennedy at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice while on a trip to Europe with LeMoyne Billings in August 1937. 

From the JFK Library

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From the Presidential Libraries:

White House Renovation, 1947-1952: The Red Room 

Shortly after moving into the White House, President Harry S. Truman noticed the signs of a building under serious physical stress.  Early in 1948, in response to the President’s concerns, engineering reports confirmed that the White House was in a serious state of disrepair.

Burned to the exterior walls in 1814, further compromised by the successive additions of indoor plumbing, gas lighting, electric wiring, heating ducts, and major modifications in 1902 and 1927, some said the White House was standing only from the force of habit.

The decision was made to move the Trumans across the street into the Blair House for three years while the White House underwent a complete reconstruction within its original exterior walls. 

The Truman Library is documenting the renovation of the White House on HistoryPin.  Take a tour through time with historic photos set against the contemporary setting of the Red Room.  So cool!

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From the Ford Library Museum:

Nelson Rockefeller, Vice President-Designate

President Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller, the former Governor of New York, as his Vice President on August 20, 1974. 

Selecting a Vice President had been one of President Ford’s main priorities after taking office. He requested recommendations from the members of his Cabinet and Congressional leaders. By the end of his first week as President he had narrowed his choice down to five candidates, and after careful deliberation he asked Rockefeller to take the position.

After announcing the nomination President Ford introduced Rockefeller for a brief press conference.I think he will make a great teammate,” he said. “I think he will be good for the country, I think he will be good for the world, and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Vice President-designate Rockefeller fielded questions about why he accepted a job he had previously turned down during other administrations and the confirmation process. Although he didn’t know what his specific duties would be yet he stated, I am deeply honored and should I be confirmed by the Congress, will look forward to the privilege and honor of serving the President of the United States and, as I said in the other room, through him all of the people of this great country.”

After four months of extended hearings Rockefeller was confirmed and sworn in as the 41st Vice President of the United States on December 19, 1974, becoming the second person to fill the office under the 25th Amendment.

Images: President Ford and Nelson A. Rockefeller in the Oval Office as the President prepares his message to Congress nominating Rockefeller as Vice President, 8/20/1974; Message of President Gerald R. Ford nominating Nelson A. Rockefeller to be Vice President of the United States, 08/20/1974, from the Records of the U.S. Senate.

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From the Smithsonian:

Yesterday, our National Museum of American History added more items to its LGBTQ History collection. The items are not on view yet, but you can see many of them online now

LGBTQ History is an important part of the American experience and the Smithsonian is committed to making sure these stories are told. In a blog post, a curator reflects on collecting and interpreting LGBTQ material culture.

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From the Presidential Libraries:

Happy Birthday President Clinton!
Here’s a list of Bill Clinton’s favorite books, in alphabetical order by author:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou.
The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker.
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Taylor Branch.
Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Lincoln, David Herbert Donald.
Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot.
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison.
The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century, David Fromkin.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez.
The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, Seamus Heaney.
King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed,Terror,and Heroism in Colonial Africa,Adam Hochschild.
The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis.
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius.
Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, Reinhold Niebuhr.
Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell.
The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis, Carroll Quigley.
The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron.
Politics as a Vocation, Max Weber.
You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe.
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Robert Wright.
The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, William Butler Yeats.
Photo: President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore view the Constitution of the United States in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives.  Washington, DC.  7/19/95.
-from the Clinton Library

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From the Presidential Libraries:

Happy Birthday President Clinton!

Here’s a list of Bill Clinton’s favorite books, in alphabetical order by author:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou.
  • The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker.
  • Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Taylor Branch.
  • Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Lincoln, David Herbert Donald.
  • Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot.
  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison.
  • The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century, David Fromkin.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez.
  • The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, Seamus Heaney.
  • King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed,Terror,and Heroism in Colonial Africa,Adam Hochschild.
  • The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis.
  • Meditations, Marcus Aurelius.
  • Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, Reinhold Niebuhr.
  • Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell.
  • The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis, Carroll Quigley.
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron.
  • Politics as a Vocation, Max Weber.
  • You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe.
  • Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Robert Wright.
  • The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, William Butler Yeats.

Photo: President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore view the Constitution of the United States in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives.  Washington, DC.  7/19/95.

-from the Clinton Library