From Table to Farm - The White House Turkey Presentation
The annual turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House is a lighthearted event that has evolved over the years. Harry S. Truman presided over the first live turkey presentation in 1947, complete with a bird intended for the Thanksgiving meal. In fact, turkeys presented to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson wore signs that read, “Good Eating, Mr. President.”
It wasn’t until November 14, 1989 that President George Bush officially “granted a Presidential pardon” to a turkey. Take a gander at the lucky bird from that year in the photo above.
Photos: Annual presentation of Thanksgiving turkey to Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House. 11/16/67.
George Bush at the first official turkey pardoning, 11/14/89.
May 21, 1967. 9:15 PM. LBJ, Lady Bird, and their guests head to the White House Theater after dinner to watch three films: "El Weekend," a USIA film about the weekend that Latin American ambassadors spent at the Ranch; “The Australian Trip,” about LBJ’s 1966 journey (probably this film, shot by Lady Bird, later renamed): and "The President—December 1966," a monthly documentary of his activities.
All are now available, with many more, on the LBJ Library’s YouTube channel. Lots more about the White House Family Theater on the White House Museum site. Above: the theater in 1992.
LBJ’s 1941 U.S. Senate Campaign
Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson speaks with voters on one last campaign stop in Johnson City. The election was later that day. 6/28/41.
LBJ Library photo 41-6-130, by the Austin American-Statesman. Use free with credit to the original source.
LBJ with “Godfather of Black Politics,” Louis E. Martin
Louis Emanuel Martin was a close advisor to three Presidents; John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter. As a trusted White House counsel, his impact on African American issues and voters earned him the nickname “the Godfather of Black Politics.”
While working with JFK on the 1960 run for President, Martin persuaded Kennedy to call Coretta Scott King after her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested. That phone call is largely seen as the tipping point in winning over the African American vote for JFK in the Presidential election.
During LBJ’s time in office, Martin’s influence was prominent in marquis policies such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and in the nomination of Thurgood Marshall as a Supreme Court Justice. At the time of this photo, Martin was also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a position he had held since 1961 under JFK.
Jimmy Carter called Martin to the White House again in 1978 to serve as a special assistant to the President.
Photo from the LBJ Library: President Lyndon B. Johnson with White House advisor Louis E. Martin at the Reception for Democratic National Committee Delegates. In the Red Room of the White House. 4/20/66.
Cast your vote! Help National Archives curators select the first original landmark document in the new Rubenstein Gallery when it opens on November 8.
We’re asking the public to choose from five landmark documents:
- the 14th Amendment
- the 26th Amendment
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- the Immigration Act (1965)
- Desegregation of the Armed Forces
Cast your vote now! Go to http://go.usa.gov/DWSw
(The original Berryman cartoon is here: http://research.archives.gov/description/1696624)
Happy Birthday, LBJ!
Here’s the first photograph ever taken of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He was born approximately six months earlier, on August 27, 1908, in central Texas. No word on the teddy bear’s photographic history, but at least we know it had nicely brushed fur the day this was taken.
-from the LBJ Library