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.
Day 67 - Eleanor’s Childhood Trips to Switzerland
Between 1899 and 1902, Eleanor spent three years at Allenswood, an elite boarding school for girls near London. During holidays she frequently travelled throughout England and continental Europe visiting friends and relatives, including a trip in 1900 to St. Moritz, Switzerland.
From Eleanor’s autobiography:
As the summer holidays came nearer my excitement grew for I was to travel to Saint-Moritz in Switzerland to spend my holiday with the Mortimers.
My first view of these beautiful mountains was breath-taking, for I had never seen any high mountains. I lived opposite the Catskill Mountains in summer and loved them, but how much more majestic were these great snow-capped peaks all around us as we drove into the Engadine. The little Swiss chalets, built into the sides of the hills and with places under them for all the livestock that did not actually wander into the kitchen, were picturesque, but strange to my eyes with their fretwork decoration…
The hotels [in Saint-Moritz] all bordered the lake, and the thing that I remember best about my time there was the fact that Tissie and I got up every morning early enough to walk to a little café that perched out above the lake on a promontory at one end. There we drank coffee or cocoa and ate rolls with fresh butter and honey, the sun just peeping out over the mountains and touching us with its warm rays. I can still remember how utterly contented I was!
"Shacks, put up by the Bonus Army on the Anacostia flats, Washington, D.C., burning after the battle with the military. The Capitol in the background. 1932."
In the summer of 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, World War I veterans seeking early payment of a bonus scheduled for 1945 assembled in Washington to pressure Congress and the White House. After the Senate rejected the bonus, most of the protesters went home, but a core of ten thousand members of the “Bonus Army” remained behind, many with their families. On the morning of July 28, violence erupted between the protesters and police, and President Hoover reluctantly sent in federal troops under Maj. Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Ignoring the President’s order for restraint, the flamboyant general drove the tattered protesters from the city and violently cleared their Anacostia campsite.
Jacqueline Kennedy was born on this day in 1929, in Southhampton, New York. She was named Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Her father, John, was a stockbroker on Wall Street whose family had come from France in the early 1800s. Her mother, Janet, had ancestors from Ireland and England.
As a child, Jackie loved to read. Before she started school, she had read all the children’s books on her bookshelves. Her heroes were Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Little Lord Fauntleroy’s grandfather, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind, and the poet Byron.
Photo: Jacqueline Bouvier, 1935. Photograph by David Berne in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
July 28, 1927: FDR incorporates the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, a rehabilitation home for polio patients
On this day in 1927, Franklin Roosevelt, who had contracted polio at age 39, created the nonprofit Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, the only hospital in the world to deal solely with the treatment of polio victims. Roosevelt’s visits to Warm Springs began a few years prior, during which he experienced marked improvements in his health after swimming in the mineral water resort pools.
The organization later became the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and was instrumental in developing a cure for polio.
Photo: Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his Georgia Warm Springs Foundation for polio patients, c.1930. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.
July 28, 1967. Rostow sends this memo to President Johnson regarding growing violence in China related to the Cultural Revolution. In a memo that Rostow received from Alfred Jenkins on July 21st, Jenkins reported:
“The pace of social disintegration in China at present is even greater than it was in January and February. Evidence from many sources gives a picture of turbulence and confusion, in varying degree, but in each of the 26 provinces of China!”
—memo, Jenkins to Rostow, 7/21/67, #49, “CHICOM - Cultural Revolution, July - December 1967,” Files of Alfred Jenkins, National Security File, Box 2, LBJ Presidential Library.
—scanned document memo, Rostow to LBJ, 7/28/67, #47, “CHICOM - Cultural Revolution, July - December 1967, Files of Alfred Jenkins, National Security File, Box 2, LBJ Presidential Library.
On this day, July 26, 1990, President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.
Read about the ADA at the Bush Library website.
President George H. W. Bush Signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, 7/26/1990.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
United States v. Nixon
Today the Nixon Library begins a new series—Road to Resignation—which highlights President Nixon’s last few days in office.
On this day, July 24, 1974, Chief Justice Warren Burger announced the verdict of the Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon. It ruled that President Nixon’s “generalized interest in confidentiality” was not grounds for the crushing of a subpoena seeking the release of the tapes of his recorded conversations relating to the Watergate affair.
The vote was 8-0: Justice William Rehnquist, a former Nixon administration official, had recused himself. The Watergate Tapes were released as a result.
- Follow the final days of Nixon’s Presidency here.
- Listen to key moments compiled by the Nixon White House Tapes Team here — Richard Nixon Resigns the Presidency.
Photo: U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 1973. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
President Truman - Just Stopping By
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman stopped by the U.S. Capitol unannounced. According to the President’s appointment calendar for the day:
”White at the Capitol, the President visited the Senate Chamber, took his old seat, was recognized by the President of the Senate and made a brief impromptu speech.”
Addressing the senators around him, he said, “I get homesick for this seat. I spent the best 10 years of my life in this seat.”
Photo: Senator Harry S. Truman on the Capitol Steps, circa 1940.