When War Broke Out -
Despite news of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, Ambassador Walter Hines Page and his family left London for a few weeks of vacation in the countryside—as did many other Londoners after the social season closed. The holiday atmosphere changed…
"Shacks, put up by the Bonus Army on the Anacostia flats, Washington, D.C., burning after the battle with the military. The Capitol in the background. 1932."
In the summer of 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, World War I veterans seeking early payment of a bonus scheduled for 1945 assembled in Washington to pressure Congress and the White House. After the Senate rejected the bonus, most of the protesters went home, but a core of ten thousand members of the “Bonus Army” remained behind, many with their families. On the morning of July 28, violence erupted between the protesters and police, and President Hoover reluctantly sent in federal troops under Maj. Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Ignoring the President’s order for restraint, the flamboyant general drove the tattered protesters from the city and violently cleared their Anacostia campsite.
Jacqueline Kennedy was born on this day in 1929, in Southhampton, New York. She was named Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Her father, John, was a stockbroker on Wall Street whose family had come from France in the early 1800s. Her mother, Janet, had ancestors from Ireland and England.
As a child, Jackie loved to read. Before she started school, she had read all the children’s books on her bookshelves. Her heroes were Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Little Lord Fauntleroy’s grandfather, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind, and the poet Byron.
Learn more about growing up as Jacqueline Kennedy from the JFK Library
Photo: Jacqueline Bouvier, 1935. Photograph by David Berne in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
July 28, 1927: FDR incorporates the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, a rehabilitation home for polio patients
On this day in 1927, Franklin Roosevelt, who had contracted polio at age 39, created the nonprofit Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, the only hospital in the world to deal solely with the treatment of polio victims. Roosevelt’s visits to Warm Springs began a few years prior, during which he experienced marked improvements in his health after swimming in the mineral water resort pools.
The organization later became the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and was instrumental in developing a cure for polio.
Learn more about all the Roosevelts with preview videos from Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts.
Photo: Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his Georgia Warm Springs Foundation for polio patients, c.1930. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.
July 28, 1967. Rostow sends this memo to President Johnson regarding growing violence in China related to the Cultural Revolution. In a memo that Rostow received from Alfred Jenkins on July 21st, Jenkins reported:
“The pace of social disintegration in China at present is even greater than it was in January and February. Evidence from many sources gives a picture of turbulence and confusion, in varying degree, but in each of the 26 provinces of China!”
—memo, Jenkins to Rostow, 7/21/67, #49, “CHICOM - Cultural Revolution, July - December 1967,” Files of Alfred Jenkins, National Security File, Box 2, LBJ Presidential Library.
—scanned document memo, Rostow to LBJ, 7/28/67, #47, “CHICOM - Cultural Revolution, July - December 1967, Files of Alfred Jenkins, National Security File, Box 2, LBJ Presidential Library.
United States v. Nixon
Today the Nixon Library begins a new series—Road to Resignation—which highlights President Nixon’s last few days in office.
On this day, July 24, 1974, Chief Justice Warren Burger announced the verdict of the Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon. It ruled that President Nixon’s “generalized interest in confidentiality” was not grounds for the crushing of a subpoena seeking the release of the tapes of his recorded conversations relating to the Watergate affair.
The vote was 8-0: Justice William Rehnquist, a former Nixon administration official, had recused himself. The Watergate Tapes were released as a result.
Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 1973. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
President Truman - Just Stopping By
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman stopped by the U.S. Capitol unannounced. According to the President’s appointment calendar for the day:
”White at the Capitol, the President visited the Senate Chamber, took his old seat, was recognized by the President of the Senate and made a brief impromptu speech.”
Addressing the senators around him, he said, “I get homesick for this seat. I spent the best 10 years of my life in this seat.”
More - Search Truman’s White House Appointment Book from the Truman Library
Photo: Senator Harry S. Truman on the Capitol Steps, circa 1940.