Astronaut John Glenn presented President Kennedy with this Model of the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7 on Atlas 6 booster rocket, painted silver and red, on round black base.
The Friendship 7 model is at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.
JFK Chooses the Moon
Today in history, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at Rice University on the nation’s space effort. In one of the most memorable passages JFK said:
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…"
Images: Lunar sample made of mare basalt encased in a glass pyramid with rectangular base. This piece of moon rock was brought back to earth by Apollo 15 mission on August 7, 1971. The rock, called “breccia”, weighs 160 grams and is more than three billion years old. Courtesy of NASA Lunar Sample Display Program.
President John F. Kennedy Speaks at Rice University. 9/12/62.
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,
because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills,
because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win … ”
President John F. Kennedy
40th Anniversary of the Nixon Pardon: The 1976 Election
As the country prepared for the next Presidential election in 1976 Watergate and President Ford’s decision to pardon Richard Nixon in 1974 was still on people’s minds.
Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter repeatedly said he would not make the pardon a campaign issue. “The American people know who pardoned Richard Nixon,” he stated. “They don’t need to have it raised by a candidate.” His running mate didn’t share that view. Vice Presidential nominee Walter Mondale mentioned it in his speech at the Democratic National Convention and continued to bring it up during the campaign.
The Harris Survey confirmed that it was still an issue. In August 1976 poll results showed a 59 to 33 percent majority of voters believed President Ford “was wrong to pardon Richard Nixon.” At the same time, a 52 to 34 percent majority felt that he had acted in the country’s best interests. Based on the data Louis Harris concluded “that any change in public attitudes towards the Nixon pardon could have an immediate impact on the race for the White House.”
Ford’s campaign advisers included a briefing sheet on the pardon in the President’s debate preparation materials. In the first campaign debate he was asked to address why former President Nixon received a full pardon while amnesty for Vietnam draft resisters had been conditional. He stood by both decisions, stating that “the need and necessity for me to concentrate on the problems of the country fully justified the action that I took” in pardoning Nixon.
On November 2, 1976, Jimmy Carter won the election by a slim margin, receiving 50% of the popular vote to President Ford’s 48%. Many believed that the pardon had contributed to President Ford’s defeat, including Betty Ford. “Many people who definitely were for Jerry could not bring themselves to vote for him because he pardoned Nixon,” she later said. One post election analysis of the factors motivating voters’ decisions reported that “seven points of the anti-Ford vote stemmed from Watergate.”
Image: President Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter Meet at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia to Debate Domestic Policy during the First of the Three Ford-Carter Debates, 09/23/1976.
Today, the George W. Bush Library will be sharing President George W. Bush's schedule from September 11, 2001.
Additionally they will be sharing thoughts and memories left by visitors to the George W. Bush Library.
These events will show what the day was like from the point of view of a commander-in-chief, a husband, a father, and an American.
On June 27-28, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford hosted an International Economic Summit at the Dorado Beach Hotel near San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The main summit participants were the leaders of the G7 nations: Prime Minister James Callaghan of the United Kingdom; President Valery Giscard d’Estaing of France; Prime Minister Takeo Miki of Japan; Prime Minister Aldo Moro of Italy; Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of Germany; Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada; and President Ford.
Sessions were held in the Salon del Mar at a seven-sided table with the American delegation sitting in front of flags representing each country. Around the table, the French delegation sat to their right, followed by the Germans, Japanese, British, Italians and Canadians. The foreign and finance ministers of each country sat with their head of state.
You can see the Joint Declaration issued by the participants at the conclusion of the summit.
-from the Ford Library
On the Trail of John Ford’s D-Day Documentary
“When I came across the four reels prepared by SHAEF Public Relations, the lack of sound other than narration suggested the film was a rushed effort, completed perhaps days after the assault. My suspicions were aroused… How was this important production forgotten?”
Images from "D-Day to D plus 3" film reels created by the Depart of Defense, Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Signal Officer. June 6-9, 1944.
40th Anniversary of the Nixon Pardon: A President, a Pen, a Pardon
On Sunday, September 8, 1974, President Ford attended services at St. John’s Episcopal Church to pray for guidance and understanding before making his announcement to the nation.
In his remarks just before signing the document, he noted that the pardon reflected both his Presidential responsibilities and his personal beliefs:
As President, my primary concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States whose servant I am. As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience.
My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. My conscience tells me it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility, but to use every means that I have to insure it.
Shortly after the announcement was made former President Nixon released a statement accepting the pardon. Although such a statement wasn’t required President Ford felt it was very significant. According to the precedent set by Burdick v. United States, a pardon “carries an imputation of guilt, acceptance, a confession of it.” By resigning and accepting the pardon Nixon was publicly acknowledging his guilt in the Watergate cover up.
"It was an unbelievable lifting of a burden from my shoulders," President Ford wrote about announcing the pardon. "I felt certain that I had made the right decision, and I was confident that I could now proceed without being harassed by Nixon or his problems any more. I thought I could concentrate 100 percent of my time on the overwhelming problems that faced both me and the country."
The public’s reaction to the announcement, however, quickly proved that the pardon had not settled matters as President Ford had intended.
40th Anniversary of the Nixon Pardon: The Announcement
Ladies and gentlemen, I have come to a decision which I felt I should tell you and all of my fellow American citizens, as soon as I was certain in my own mind and in my own conscience that it is the right thing to do.
At 11:05 a.m. on September 8, 1974, President Ford addressed the nation from the Oval Office to announce his decision to “grant a full, free and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed.”
Listen to President Ford’s remarks from the White House Communications Agency Audio Recordings of President Gerald R. Ford’s Speeches, Remarks and News Conferences. A transcript is available here.
Image: White House photograph A0627-09.
President Truman Speaks on the First Live Transcontinental Telecast — Today in 1951
President Truman addressing the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco, California. 9/4/51.
From left to right: Dr. Warren Kelchner, Temporary Chairperson of the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference, Governor Earl Warren of California, President Harry S. Truman, and Secretary of State Dean Acheson standing on stage.
-from the Truman Library