In Case of Failure D-Day Message
Following the decision to invade the beaches of Normandy, General Eisenhower jotted down a press release to be used only if the operation failed. Ike’s handwritten note is mistakenly dated “July” 5 instead of “June” 5.
The invasion had been delayed for several years so that adequate forces and landing craft could be built up in Britain. Intricate planning took into account calculations for optimal tide, moon, and weather conditions. Even after Allied forces embarked on June 5, dicey weather required waiting one more day until June 6, 1944.
You can follow the course of D-Day through more photos and documents to come.
-from the Eisenhower Library
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day - a time set aside to honor fallen soldiers of the Civil War by decorating their graves with flowers. The first Decoration Day was observed on May 30, 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War. On that day, the largest known ceremony was held at Arlington National Cemetery, across the river from Washington D.C. Read More
This Memorial Day weekend, we honor and thank all of the men and women who have served our country.
Before they were Presidents -
During World War II, George Bush became a decorated naval pilot who flew torpedo bombers. In 1944, he was shot down over the island of Chi Chi Jima and rescued.
Pictured here is Navy Pilot George Bush in a VT-51 “Avenger,” 1944; and World War II aircraft and ships.
On May 15, 1942, Lieutenant Ronald Reagan requested a transfer to the Army Air Force. As part of the transfer, Reagan was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit. There, he worked on, and eventually starred in, film shorts to promote World War II efforts.
This movie still of Ronald Reagan in a P-40 airplane is from the Army Air Force training film “Identification of a Japanese Zero.” 1943
“The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.
Top secret document sent by General Eisenhower to his superior officers to inform them that his mission was fulfilled - Germany was defeated and the war in Europe was over.
-from the Eisenhower Library
The Unconditional Surrender of German
On May 7, 1945, the European conflict of World War II ended when Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France.
In this photo, Colonel General Gustaf Jodl, German Chief of Staff signs the documents of unconditional surrender, under which all remaining forces of German Army are bound to lay down their arms.
On Jodl’s left is General Admiral Von Friedeburg of the German Navy, on his right is Major Wilhelm Oxenius of the German General Staff.
-from the FDR Library
Vice President George Bush’s Notes Regarding the Assassination Attempt on President Ronald Reagan, 03/30/1981
This item is a Flight Information Card produced by the 89th Military Airlift Group for use aboard Air Force Two. In addition to information about a flight from Austin, Texas to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, there are notes handwritten by Vice President George H. W. Bush during the flight. These notes record the Vice President’s thoughts after being notified that there had been an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
For the first time in 12 years, no American military forces are in Vietnam.
President Richard Nixon
March 29, 1973, Address to the Nation on the final withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Vietnam.