“I am a little country boy eight years old.”
-Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson letter to FDR
A guest post from Sherri DeCoursey, who used the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library to find a special piece of history for her father.
For as long as I can remember, a photo of FDR and a letter have hung side-by-side in the den of Mom and Dad’s home. The yellowed letter, written by FDR’s secretary Missy LeHand, was in response to a letter my father wrote the President in 1941. My dad—Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson—was eight years old in 1941. Dad will be 80 in June of this year…
Wouldn’t it be amazing, I thought, to have a glimpse of my father at such a young age—however small that glimpse was—if only to expand what I already knew about him as a father, business professional, family provider, veteran, jokester, and as we’ve grown older—a friend. What in the world would eight-year-old Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson have to say to the man running the country during such perilous times?
Seventy-two years after my father penned his letter, I discovered the answer to these questions in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Read more on The National Archives blog
Today at noon, the National Archives released 950 pages of records sealed in U.S. v. Liddy, the Watergate break-in case. The sealed proceedings include evidentiary discussions held outside the jury’s hearing, pretrial discussions between defendants’ lawyers and the Court, and post-trial sentencing information.
The 36 folders of documents total approximately 950 pages. A folder title list is available here: http://go.usa.gov/gWG5
Image: Document from Exhibits B and C.
RFK Records Related to the Cuban Missile Crisis Released
The National Archives and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum are releasing more than 2,700 pages from the Robert F. Kennedy Papers, including documents relating primarily to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The materials were accumulated by RFK in his capacity as both Attorney General and advisor to President Kennedy.
The files relate to matters that ordinarily do not come under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General or the Justice Department. They include memos, correspondence, reports, notes from Executive Committee meetings, as well as CIA and State Department telegrams and cables chiefly related to the United States relationship with Cuba during the years 1961 to 1963 – a time which included the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion.
The records will be available in the Research Room at the JFK Library in Boston and you can explore them here.
Happy American Archives Month! In honor of this important time of year, we’ll be highlighting the research rooms and archives across the country. From Boston to San Francisco, there are National Archives facilities that you can use and archivists ready to assist you!
But we’ll also be sharing some fun vintage photos of archivists at work from Record Group 64, which holds the historic photographs of National Archives staff.
So what is this woman doing? She’s showing off the cellulose acetate used for the lamination of documents, of course.
The World Trade Center seen beyond the Brooklyn Bridge Across the East River
In remembrance of September 11, 2001, a photo of the World Trade Center one year after it opened. April, 1974.
The following 9/11 resources have been carefully selected by the George W. Bush Library:
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.
Gerald R. Ford used this family bible to take the Oath of Office as 38th President of the United States.
On August 9, 1974, Gerald R. Ford assumed the office of the Presidency after President Richard Nixon resigned. The swearing-in ceremony took place in the East Room of the White House. Ford placed his hand on this family Bible for the Oath of Office.
In his remarks, Ford said,
“The oath that I have taken is the same oath that was taken by George Washington and by every President under the Constitution. But I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances never before experienced by Americans. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.”
-from the Ford Library
FDR’s Accessibility Designs
The FDR Library was conceived and built under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s direction during 1939-41.
Because a 1921 attack of polio had left Roosevelt paralyzed from the waist down, FDR primarily used personally-designed wheelchairs for daily mobility. Since he intended to personally and regularly use the vast collection of papers and manuscripts housed in the archives at the Library, he made sure the storage area aisles were built wide enough to accommodate his wheelchair.
He also personally designed the document storage boxes initially used to house his papers. To enable his own lap-top style reading while in the storage areas, a special box type was created that could lie flat on the shelf, open in a clam-shell fashion, and act as a sort of paper tray. Read More
Pictured, an archivist in the FDR Library archival stacks, circa 1950. The document boxes were designed by FDR.
The Motion Picture Preservation Lab has been hard at work preserving hundreds of outtakes from President Truman’s 26 part television documentary - Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman, broadcast November 1964. We’re nearly done! Follow us over the next few Fridays to see what we encountered, and what we’ve accomplished!
The reels pictured here are suffering from extreme levels of vinegar syndrome, as indicated by the yellow strips in the can.