President Obama is in Mexico today, and will speak from the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. In 1947, Mexican President Miguel Aleman greeted Harry Truman in the nation’s capital.
Here’s a photo of Aleman and Truman’s Presidential motorcade touring Mexico City. March 3, 1947.
-from the Truman Library
The First Inaugural Poet: Robert Frost
Today, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Richard Blanco as the inaugural poet for Barack Obama’s upcoming ceremony. Blanco will become the fifth inaugural poet in the history of U.S. Presidents.
John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration was the first to feature a poet at the swearing-in ceremony, and he named Robert Frost for the honor.
Frost wrote an original poem for the occasion called “Dedication.” He presented a handwritten version of the poem to President Kennedy. Jacqueline Kennedy framed the poem and wrote on the backside in pencil,
“For Jack. First thing I had framed to be put in your office. First thing to be hung there.”
Frost had planned to read a typed copy of the poem during President Kennedy’s Inauguration, but due to sun glare reflecting off the snow, he was unable to read his own draft. Instead, he recited “The Gift Outright” from memory.
Image: Framed poem, “Dedication,” handwritten by Robert Frost for the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy.
If you’re a southpaw, you’re in good Presidential company. Many of our U.S. Presidents have been left-handed, including Harry S. Truman, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Both Presidents Truman and Reagan were switched to writing with their right hands as young school children, but photos show them favoring the left in other activities. It’s widely believed that Herbert Hoover was also left-handed, but archivists at the Hoover Library tell us that they’ve found no documentation - it’s just left hander’s lore.
Happy International Left Handers Day!
President Obama hosts the G-8 Summit at Camp David today and tomorrow. Although many Heads of State have visited the presidential retreat since it was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942, this weekend will be the first time such a large group of foreign leaders have come together at Camp David.
FDR originally called the retreat in Maryland “Shangri-La.” This didn’t suit Dwight D. Eisenhower who stated the name was “just a little fancy for a Kansas farm boy.” As President, he renamed the compound “Camp David” in honor of his grandson David Eisenhower.
Here’s a photo of David Eisenhower at the entrance to Camp David. 10/2/60
Funny picture of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
This photo seems to be getting a second life on Tumblr. In case you’re curious: President Obama and former President Clinton make a surprise appearance in the briefing room of the White House, 12/10/10, photo by Drew Angerer.