Happy Birthday Hawaii!
On August 21, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state to join the United States of America. Hawaii’s journey to becoming a state had started five months prior when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admission Act on March 18, 1959.
This cover is from a brochure compiled by the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii that outlines student support for Hawaiian statehood. It features reasons for statehood from students, staff, and a number of American public figures. It was included as part of a statehood petition sent by University of Hawaii students to Representative Hugh Peterson (D-GA), then chairman of the House Committee on Territories.
The brochure is titled “Hawaii: 49th State” because Alaska had not yet entered the union.
-From the Eisenhower Library
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.
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
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
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