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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

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From PBS:

August 14, 1935: FDR Signs Social Security Act into Law
On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which was originally designed to provide economic security during the Great Depression.  Funded through a 2% payroll tax, the 1935 Social Security Act offered aid for the unemployed, the elderly, children and various state health and welfare programs.
Learn more about all the Roosevelts with preview videos from Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts.
Photo: Library of Congress

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From PBS:

August 14, 1935: FDR Signs Social Security Act into Law

On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which was originally designed to provide economic security during the Great Depression.  Funded through a 2% payroll tax, the 1935 Social Security Act offered aid for the unemployed, the elderly, children and various state health and welfare programs.

Learn more about all the Roosevelts with preview videos from Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts.

Photo: Library of Congress

Image description: In case you missed it, yesterday was Left Handers Day. Did you know several of our presidents were southpaws?

From the Presidential Libraries:

Left-Handed Presidents

If you’re a southpaw, you’re in good Presidential company.  Many of our U.S. Presidents have been left-handed, including Harry S. Truman, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

Both Presidents Truman and Reagan were switched to writing with their right hands as young school children, but photos show them favoring the left in other activities.  It’s widely believed that Herbert Hoover was also left-handed, but archivists at the Hoover Library tell us that they’ve found no documentation - it’s just left hander’s lore.

Happy International Left Handers Day!