Our Presidents

Aug 20

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Three of President Truman’s staff members – from left to right, Press Secretary Charles Ross; Special Counsel to the President Samuel Rosenman; and Appointment Secretary Matthew Connelly. 
-from the Truman Library

Three of President Truman’s staff members – from left to right, Press Secretary Charles Ross; Special Counsel to the President Samuel Rosenman; and Appointment Secretary Matthew Connelly. 

-from the Truman Library

(Source: facebook.com)

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 

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 

LBJ signs the Economic Opportunity Act, 50 years ago today. 

"Today for the first time in all the history of the human race, a great nation is able to make and is willing to make a commitment to eradicate poverty among its people." 
-President Lyndon B. Johnson

The Act was designed to provide education, job training, health and employment counseling, and neighborhood improvements. Programs included Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Legal Services, Upward Bound, and Head Start. 
Photo: LBJ visits a Job Corps Center. 11/8/65.
-from the LBJ Library

LBJ signs the Economic Opportunity Act, 50 years ago today. 

"Today for the first time in all the history of the human race, a great nation is able to make and is willing to make a commitment to eradicate poverty among its people." 

-President Lyndon B. Johnson

The Act was designed to provide education, job training, health and employment counseling, and neighborhood improvements. Programs included Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Legal Services, Upward Bound, and Head Start.

Photo: LBJ visits a Job Corps Center. 11/8/65.

-from the LBJ Library

Aug 19

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

Happy Birthday President Clinton!

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

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

Amnesty Program
On August 19, 1974, President Ford announced plans for an earned amnesty program in an address at the 75th annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.During the first week of his administration, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger had suggested that doing something about the some fifty thousand Vietnam War draft evaders and deserters would be a way to hasten the healing process. Former Secretary of Defense Mel Laird and the President’s three sons agreed. Ford asked his staff to coordinate with the relevant agencies to put together a conditional amnesty program.“I stated my strong conviction that unconditional blanket amnesty for anyone who illegally evaded or fled military service is wrong,” he said. “But all, in a sense, are casualties, still abroad or absent without leave from the real America. I want them to come home if they want to work their way back…In my judgment, these young Americans should have a second chance to contribute their fair share to the rebuilding of peace among ourselves and with all nations.”About a month later President Ford signed an executive order establishing the Presidential Clemency Board, which administered the earned amnesty program over the next year. Many of the applicants completed alternative service assignments before receiving their pardons.
-from the Ford Library 

Amnesty Program

On August 19, 1974, President Ford announced plans for an earned amnesty program in an address at the 75th annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

During the first week of his administration, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger had suggested that doing something about the some fifty thousand Vietnam War draft evaders and deserters would be a way to hasten the healing process. Former Secretary of Defense Mel Laird and the President’s three sons agreed. Ford asked his staff to coordinate with the relevant agencies to put together a conditional amnesty program.

“I stated my strong conviction that unconditional blanket amnesty for anyone who illegally evaded or fled military service is wrong,” he said. “But all, in a sense, are casualties, still abroad or absent without leave from the real America. I want them to come home if they want to work their way back…In my judgment, these young Americans should have a second chance to contribute their fair share to the rebuilding of peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

About a month later President Ford signed an executive order establishing the Presidential Clemency Board, which administered the earned amnesty program over the next year. Many of the applicants completed alternative service assignments before receiving their pardons.

-from the Ford Library 

This dapper young gentleman turns 68 today. 
Born William Jefferson Blythe, III on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas, he’s better known these days as the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. 
Photo circa 1950 — from the Clinton Library

This dapper young gentleman turns 68 today. 

Born William Jefferson Blythe, III on August 19, 1946 in Hope, Arkansas, he’s better known these days as the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. 

Photo circa 1950 — from the Clinton Library

Aug 16

A National Dance Day Post for Betty Ford
Dance played a significant role in Betty Ford’s early life. She began taking social-dance classes as a young girl before branching out into ballet, tap, and modern dance. At age 14 she began giving lessons on Saturday afternoons, teaching her students the foxtrot, the waltz, and the Big Apple.
During the summers of 1937 and 1938 Betty attended the Bennington School of Dance in Vermont, where she spent eight hours a day in classes and at rehearsals. She also was exposed to the work of and met choreographer Martha Graham. In 1939 Betty moved to New York City to study dance at Graham’s school. She became a member of the Martha Graham auxiliary performance troupe and performed at Carnegie Hall.In 1941 Betty’s mother persuaded her to return to Grand Rapids. Although the move ended her professional aspirations she continued to teach modern dance classes and also started and choreographed for her own dance group. “Dance was my happiness,” she reflected in her memoirs.Betty Bloomer (at left) in a class at the Bennington College Summer School of the Dance taught by Martha Hill (right center), 1937.
-from the Ford Library 

A National Dance Day Post for Betty Ford

Dance played a significant role in Betty Ford’s early life. She began taking social-dance classes as a young girl before branching out into ballet, tap, and modern dance. At age 14 she began giving lessons on Saturday afternoons, teaching her students the foxtrot, the waltz, and the Big Apple.


During the summers of 1937 and 1938 Betty attended the Bennington School of Dance in Vermont, where she spent eight hours a day in classes and at rehearsals. She also was exposed to the work of and met choreographer Martha Graham. In 1939 Betty moved to New York City to study dance at Graham’s school. She became a member of the Martha Graham auxiliary performance troupe and performed at Carnegie Hall.

In 1941 Betty’s mother persuaded her to return to Grand Rapids. Although the move ended her professional aspirations she continued to teach modern dance classes and also started and choreographed for her own dance group. “Dance was my happiness,” she reflected in her memoirs.

Betty Bloomer (at left) in a class at the Bennington College Summer School of the Dance taught by Martha Hill (right center), 1937.

-from the Ford Library 

The King of Iraq has Lunch at the White House
August 16, 1952, the President hosted a luncheon for the King of Iraq. Because the King and members of his party were Muslim, they had to be sure and have non-alcoholic drink alternatives for the cocktails and Champagne they served with lunch. 
-from the Truman Library 

The King of Iraq has Lunch at the White House

August 16, 1952, the President hosted a luncheon for the King of Iraq. Because the King and members of his party were Muslim, they had to be sure and have non-alcoholic drink alternatives for the cocktails and Champagne they served with lunch. 

-from the Truman Library 

Aug 14

ourpresidents:

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.
Later that day, the Washington Post proclaimed that the Social Security Act was the “New Deal’s Most Important Act…Its importance cannot be exaggerated …because this legislation eventually will affect the lives of every man, woman, and child in the country.”
This poster was distributed from November 1936- July 1937 during the initial issuance of Social Security numbers through U.S. post offices and with the help of labor unions.
More - Posters from the Social Security Archives

ourpresidents:

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.

Later that day, the Washington Post proclaimed that the Social Security Act was the “New Deal’s Most Important Act…Its importance cannot be exaggerated …because this legislation eventually will affect the lives of every man, woman, and child in the country.”

This poster was distributed from November 1936- July 1937 during the initial issuance of Social Security numbers through U.S. post offices and with the help of labor unions.

More - Posters from the Social Security Archives