L. Gordon Cooper was the first American astronaut to sleep in space. His historic slumber occurred aboard his MA-9 flight, the last Mercury mission.
The MA-9 mission helped NASA learn about the effects of sending astronauts into space for longer time spans. At over 34 hours, Cooper spent more time in space than all of the previous Mercury astronauts combined. In all, he would orbit the Earth 22 times.
Photos from the celebration of L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.’s successful MA-9 Mission. Presentation of Distinguished Service Medal. May 21, 1963.
-L. Gordon Cooper, Jr. family with President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Alan Shephard, Leverett Saltonstall, Everett Dirksen.
-President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.
-from the LBJ Library
More on L. Gordon Cooper from NASA
50 Years Ago Today - Mercury 7 Astronauts Visit the White House
(From L-R): Major L. Gordon Cooper, Lieutenant Colonel Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Major Donald K. “Deke” Slayton, Lieutenant Commander Walter Schirra, Lieutenant Commander M. Scott Carpenter, Commander Alan B. Shepard, and their wives visit the White House
The American Red Cross was founded on this day — May 21, 1881.
On the founding anniversary of the American Red Cross, here’s Kathleen Kennedy in her A.R.C. uniform from World War II. The photo was taken in London, circa 1943.
Kathleen was the second daughter and fourth child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy.
While in college, Kathleen Kennedy began volunteering for the Red Cross in New York in the summer of 1940. After working for the Times-Herald newspaper, she rejoined the war effort by volunteering again for the Red Cross, this time in London. Read More
-From the JFK Library
Our gratitude goes out to all the volunteers and relief workers of the Red Cross in Oklahoma today, and across the world everyday.
Opening today at the LBJ Library — “The First Ladies Collection” of Madame Alexander dolls. Shown here are two of the dolls that will be on display, Jaqcueline Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson, both dressed in their inaugural gowns.
The dolls will be on display in the Great Hall of the LBJ Library through November.
In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s an entertaining letter from JFK’s mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, to President Kennedy.
In 1962, Rose Kennedy wrote to Soviet Premier Khrushchev asking for an autographed photo. Learning that his mother had reached out to the Soviet Premier, JFK wrote her this letter asking her to please check with him before she took it upon herself to correspond with heads of state as requests like hers are “subject to interpretations.” The timing is interesting, considering JFK wrote back to Rose almost immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In response to this letter, Rose Kennedy wrote back, saying: “I understand very well your letter, although I had not thought of it before. …When I ask for Castro’s autograph, I will let you know in advance!”
From the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Papers/JFK Library
On April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba.
The Cuban-exile invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire.
Cuban planes strafed the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile’s air support. Bad weather hampered the ground force, which had to work with soggy equipment and insufficient ammunition. Read More
The declassified Top Secret pages shown here are from the Cuba Security Folder, 1961. It contains material collected by the office of President John F. Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, concerning Cuba. All 124 pages can be viewed in the digital archive from the JFK Library.
Today in History— The Death of Dwight D. Eisenhower
On January 20, 1961 Eisenhower retired to his small farm adjacent to the battlefield outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In retirement he did not completely retreat from political life. As an Elderstatesman he remained active in the Republican Party. Both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson solicited his advice on international problems.
Upon entering the office of the Presidency, Dwight Eisenhower had resigned his permanent commission as General of the Army. President Kennedy reactivated his commission as a five star general in the United States Army. With the exception of George Washington, Eisenhower is the only United States President with military service to reenter the Armed Forces after leaving the office of President.
In August 1965, Eisenhower suffered a serious heart attack that ended his participation in public affairs. He was frequently hospitalized over the next three years. He suffered another heart attack in the summer of 1968 and he spent his last few months in Walter Reed Army Hospital, where he died on March 28, 1969.
Eisenhower was buried in his World War II uniform.
-from the Eisenhower Library
John F. Kennedy, Jr. sits in the pilot’s seat of the Presidential helicopter during a weekend trip to Camp David in Frederick County, Maryland.
Photo Credit: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library. View more here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-03-31-A.aspx
Soon after the Kennedys moved into the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy embarked on a major restoration of the presidential mansion. Her efforts inside the White House are well documented, but did you know that she was also responsible for redesigning and replanting the White House gardens? After President Kennedy’s death, Lady Bird Johnson renamed the East Garden as the “Jacqueline Kennedy Garden” in honor of her work. Pictures of the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden are below, including the dedication plaque which reads, “This garden is dedicated to Jacqueline Kennedy with great affection by those who worked with her in the White House. April 22, 1965.”