Curious about Presidential History? Ask a Curator!
Do you have questions about Presidential history and artifacts? Tomorrow, the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives will be answering questions live for #AskaCurator Day on Twitter.
Over 600 museums from 40 countries will be participating, including our very own experts on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter. You can also ask curators at the National Archives Exhibits in Washington, D.C.
Museum Objects from the Presidential Libraries:
Rocking Chair used by John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office; RCA Radio Microphone used by FDR to deliver some of his Fireside Chats from the White House; HMS Resolute Desk replica at the JFK Library; Portrait by Octavio Ocampo presented to President Carter on the occasion of a state dinner honoring José López Portillo, President of Mexico, February 1979; 1957 Inaugural gown of Mamie Eisenhower; WWII POW Diary at the Truman Library;1952 Eisenhower campaign hat.
The 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Paris
This medal of the Ordre de la Libération was presented to Dwight D. Eisenhower by General Charles de Gaulle on May 28, 1945. The order was created by de Gaulle as a medal of extraordinary service on behalf of the French Resistance.
On this day in 1944, French and American forces swept into Paris greeted by cheering crowds. Take look at photos and video from the day at Today’s Document.
-from the Eisenhower Library
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
Ike Signs the NASA Act - Today in History
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Woot!
President Eisenhower Presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T. Keith Glennan as the first administrator for NASA and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator. Courtesty of NASA.
Seventy years ago, as dawn broke on June 6, 1944, German soldiers defending the French coast at Normandy beheld an awe-inspiring sight—the largest amphibious invasion force in history massed in the waters of the English Channel. The long-awaited invasion of northwest Europe was underway.
June 5, 1944 — General Eisenhower gives the final order for D-Day
The complex invasion also relied on outside factors such as moonlight, tides, and weather. The Normandy forecast predicted a break in storms for June 6. General Eisenhower gave the order that put the vast operation in motion in the early hours of June 5, 1944.
Images: General Eisenhower speaks with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division just before they board their planes to participate in the first assault of the Normandy invasion.
"Order of the Day" - statement as issued to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944.
A British officer reads the Order of the Day.
The Paratroopers of D-Day
When we think about the Normandy Invasion, most of us remember the troops landing on the beaches under heavy enemy fire. Just as important were the contributions of Airborne troops who parachuted into France before amphibious landing began.
More about the Airborne Division and "Operation Neptune" from the Eisenhower Library.
The 70th Anniversary of D-Day is this Friday.
In December of 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Premier Joseph Stalin convened for the Teheran Conference. The Big Three committed to setting a date for an invasion of southern France, code-named OVERLORD.
Stalin had asked that a commander in chief be selected for the invasion. FDR chose General Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force.
The Big Three signed the Military Conclusions of the Teheran Conference. Shown here, it summarized the agreements made for OVERLORD, including the coordination of a “cover plan to mystify and mislead the enemy.”
Images: The Big Three at the Teheran Conference. November 29, 1943.
The Military Conclusions of the Teheran Conference.
The White House Stenographer’s Diary entry for June 6, 1944.
FDR and Dwight D. Eisenhower on airplane en route from North Africa to Sicily shortly after the Eisenhower was selected as Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force. December 8, 1943.