President Kennedy favored a few dresses worn by Mrs. Kennedy
President Kennedy’s favorites included this black silk velvet and Chinese yellow silk satin evening dress designed by Chez Ninon. Mrs. Kennedy wore it to a White House state dinner honoring President Manuel Prado of Peru on September 19, 1961.
-from the JFK Library
Ahoy, mateys! ‘Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Here be President Gerald “Arrr” Ford talkin’ wit’ Al Oliver, a Pirate from t’ three rivers o’ Pittsburgh, before t’ Major League All-Starrr Game on July 13, 1976.
Football Friday: Oakland Raiders
Members of the Oakland Raiders gave President Ford this football during a visit to the White house on September 26, 1975. It is signed by members of the 1975 Raiders team, including future Hall of Famers John Madden, Jim Otto, Dave Casper, and George Blanda. Other notable signatures include Mark van Eeghen, Ray Guy, Ken Stabler, Al Davis and John Robinson.
Head Coach John Madden led the Oakland Raiders from 1969 until his departure in 1978. During his tenure the team often held first place in the AFC West division, and during the mid ’70s they played in the conference championship four years in a row.
Coach Madden brought the team to the 1975 American Football Conference (AFC) West Championship game, which they disappointingly lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-10. At the time the Raiders and the Steelers were considered by some to be the best teams in the NFL. This game was one of many during a bitter dirty rivalry that spanned several years. The team finished the season at 11-3.
The following season the Raiders won Super Bowl XI, their first NFL championship. President Ford sent the team a congratulatory telegram after their victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
As the Oakland Raiders’ sixth head coach Madden never had a losing season. Additionally, his career winning percentage still ranks second in NFL history.
Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is observed on the third Friday in September in honor of prisoners of war and those still missing in action.
In this photo from 1973, these American servicemen, former prisoners of war, are cheering as their aircraft takes off from an airfield near Hanoi, Vietnam, as part of Operation Homecoming. This Operation made possible the return of 591 American prisoners of war held by North Vietnam, some of whom had been held for up to 8 years.
Today, more than 83,000 Americans are still missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and the 1991 Gulf War. The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office continues to try to locate the missing, sometimes doing research at the National Archives at St. Louis, where military service records are held.
Did you know that FDR named his beloved Scottish terrier after a distant Scottish ancestor? Upon receiving the pet as a gift in 1940, Roosevelt changed the dog’s name from “Big Boy” to “Murray the Outlaw of Falahill” — “Fala” for short — in homage to the famous John Murray of Falahill.
Fala became Roosevelt’s constant companion and the most famous dog in America.
With both the Scottish Independence Referendum and The Roosevelts documentary in the news this week, here’s a little piece of Rooseveltian-Scottish trivia, courtesy of our colleagues at the fdrlibrary.
What are you following this week, The Roosevelts, or the referendum?
As we continue to explore the Roosevelts through National Archives records this week in conjunction with Ken Burns's The Roosevelts documentary series on pbstv, today we turn our attention to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor Roosevelt was an active and focused First Lady, transforming the role during her 12 years in the White House. She pushed for a number of domestic and social reforms, and remained professionally active in journalism, penning a monthly column for Woman’s Home Companion magazine and Ladies Home Journal as well as a syndicated daily newspaper column called “My Day.”
On March 6, 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt held the first of her 348 women’s-only press conferences. These press conferences were attended by the major female reporters of the day - including Lorena Hickok, Ruby Black, Bess Furman, May Craig, Emma Bugbee and Martha Stayer.
Eleanor used these press conferences as a way to not only announce her schedule of activities but also as a platform to publicize the work of women leaders, answer her critics, and entertain questions on a variety of subjects. Topics covered everything from domestic issues like social programs, race, youth activism, etc. to international politics and the role of women in war and peace.
Image of “Eleanor Roosevelt’s First Press Conference" and information via fdrlibrary.
Happy Constitution Day! Didn’t make it to the National Archives to check out our founding document? Go behind the scenes at the Constitutional Convention.
Constitution of the United States
Item From: General Records of the United States Government. (05/14/1787- 09/17/1787)
The Federal Convention convened on May 14, 1787 in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to revise the problematic Articles of Confederation. Since only two states had delegations present, any substantive debate was postponed until a quorum of seven states was attained on May 25th. After exhaustive deliberation well into the middle of June, the Convention concluded that the Articles were not salvageable and needed to be replaced with something that represented their collective interests while ensuring their continued independence.
Through subsequent closed sessions, the delegates continually debated, drafted and redrafted the articles of this new Constitution until it resembled the one we have today. The main points of contention were how much power was apportioned to the Federal Government, how many Congressional representatives were allotted to each state, and whether these representatives would be directly elected by their constituents or appointed by their state legislatures.
This new Constitution was the cumulative result of many minds coming together to conceptualize and debate the future course of the country. Through subsequent generations it has been amended and reinterpreted many times, but its continued success stems from adherence to these early promises of representation and compromise.
May 19, 1967. President Johnson sends a letter to Chairman Kosygin of the Soviet Union in an attempt to ease Cold War rising tensions. LBj later recalled:
“The spring of 1967 was an ominous season. I seemed to wake up almost every morning with a new crisis staring me in the face. Tensions were rising in the Middle East as a result of increased Syrian harassment of Israel. Castro’s illegal supply line of men and arms into Venezuela had been exposed to the world. The North Vietnamese were sending larger forces into South Vietnam.
I underlined these ‘situations’ in a letter to Kosygin on May 19, 1967. Each problem was dangerous in itself, I wrote, but taken together they ‘could seriously impair the interests of our two countries and the attempts which have been made on both sides to improve our relations.’ I urged that we act, together or separately, ‘to bring these situations under control.’”
Read the whole letter here. LBJ quote from Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Vantage Point: Perspectives on the Presidency 1963-1969. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. P. 480. LBJ Presidential Library photo A2981-12 [8/11/66], public domain. Draft letter, LBJ to Kosygin, #30c, “Kosygin,” Files of Walt W. Rostow, NSF, Box 10, LBJ Presidential Library.