On this day, March 20, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson calls for federal and state troops to protect civil rights marchers led by Martin Luther King, Jr. The decision came two weeks after the “Bloody Sunday” attacks on demonstrators by police in Montgomery, Alabama.
LBJ signed a proclamation and executive order to provide federal assistance in the state of Alabama that would provide monetary funds for the Alabama National Guard and the U.S. Army to protect the demonstrators who would be marching from Selma to Montgomery.
This entry from the President’s Daily Dairy outlines the historic day.
On April 8-10, 2014, the LBJ Presidential Library will host a Civil Rights Summit to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter will all deliver remarks. Learn more
-from the LBJ Library
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
It’s hard to believe, but we’ve made it through all of the state dinners hosted by President and Mrs. Ford. We hoped you’ve enjoyed going behind the scenes at these White House events.
Although we’re saying goodbye to our state dinner focus, don’t worry! We’ll be back soon with even more great items from our collections.
President and Mrs. Ford wave goodbye to Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti as he departs the White House following a state dinner held in his honor on December 6, 1976.
Jeanne Holm, Special Assistant for Women’s Affairs
President Ford appointed Jeanne Holm, Major General USAF (Retired), as Special Assistant to the President for Women on March 8, 1976. She succeeded Patricia S. Lindh, who had resigned to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
Jeanne Holm enlisted in the armed services during World War II and later became the first woman to attend the Air Command and Staff College. She went on attain the rank of Major General in the Air Force, and at the time of her retirement in June 1975 had the distinction of being the highest ranking woman ever to serve in the U.S. armed forces.
As Special Assistant, Holm served as a liaison with women’s organizations and provided the President and White House staff members with advice on legislation, regulations, and executive orders. Her office also developed programs supporting women’s civil rights and encouraged recruitment of women for top-level government positions.
Off the Record with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
In 1975 the reporting duo from The Washington Post were working on a follow up to their book “All the President’s Men.” They had contacted President Ford about doing an off the record interview with them after he took office, but he declined their request.
Woodward and Bernstein arranged to meet with Press Secretary Ron Nessen at the White House in March 1975 to give him a progress report on their research. In preparation for their visit Nessen sent the President this decision memo to review his options. Although President Ford agreed to speak to them off the record for 30 minutes, the meeting didn’t take place.
-from the Ford Library
Late Night at the White House
After Italian Prime Minister Andreotti departed at 12:20 a.m. the party warmed up. The Marine Band kept a crowd on the dance floor, with President and Mrs. Ford joining in to do the Hustle.
Some guests provided extra entertainment. Actor Peter Graves of Mission: Impossible fame played the clarinet and poet Rod McKuen and baseball player Johnny Bench both sang. Pearl Bailey once again ended the night on a high note, this time with a medley that included “I’ll Be Seeing You” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” topped off with the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
The Fords didn’t leave the party until at 2:00 a.m.
Happy 135th Birthday, Albert Einstein! (also, Pi Day!)
Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm Germany. He entered the United States in June of 1935 and filed this declaration of intent to become a citizen in January of 1936. He would become a U.S. citizen in 1940.
In 1939 he collaborated with fellow physicist Leo Szilard on a letter regarding advances in nuclear research to President Franklin Roosevelt, which would ultimately lead to the development of the Manhattan Project. During World War II, he also worked as a part-time Federal employee developing underwater weapons for the U.S. Navy. Some of his correspondence from this work is available in our online catalog.
In 1948 he appeared in this instructional film “Atomic Physics," explaining how the work of other scientists featured in the film illustrated his theory of equivalence of mass and energy.
Day 15: June 15
This manuscript scroll of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament) was removed from a synagogue in Czechoslovakia for safekeeping after the 1938 Munich Crisis and brought secretly to the United States. The overwhelming majority of Czechoslovakia’s Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
On March 14, 1939, the National Council of Young Israel presented it to President Roosevelt to “inspire thousands upon thousands of young people with deeper respect and reverence for the eternal values contained therein.”
Under Jewish law, the sacred text of the Torah must be altered before it can be exhibited. A Jewish religious scribe (known as a sofer) has examined this Torah and confirmed that a portion of the sacred scroll was removed before it was given to FDR.