It’s National #HispanicHeritageMonth!
A portrait of revolutionary Latin American leader Simón Bolívar over the mantle in Harry S. Truman’s Oval Office, ca 1946. (via ourpresidents)
Photograph of the fireplace in the Oval Office of the White House, with a portrait of Simon Bolivar hanging over the mantelpiece, flanked by portraits of Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington., 11/05/1946
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Find more Hispanic Heritage Month resources at the http://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/ web portal →
The “March on Washington” Leaders Visit the White House
On this day in 1963, civil rights leaders speak to members of the press following a meeting with President John F. Kennedy regarding “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” that was held earlier that day.
Left to right: President of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), Reverend Eugene Carson Blake; unidentified (back to camera); President of the National Urban League, Whitney M. Young, Jr.; President of the Negro American Labor Council (NALC), A. Philip Randolph; unidentified man (in back); Executive Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Roy Wilkins (speaking at microphones); President of United Auto Workers (UAW), Walter P. Reuther; President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; President of the American Jewish Congress, Rabbi Joachim Prinz; several unidentified reporters. White House, Washington, D.C. 8/28/63.
President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson meet with organizers of “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” in the Oval Office. 8/28/63.
"We have a cancer… close to the Presidency, that’s growing. It’s growing daily…"
On July 16, 1973, during his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee, Deputy Assistant to the President Alexander Butterfield shocked the world by revealing the existence of a White House taping system.
This revelation proved particularly explosive as the taping system could and would corroborate John Dean’s June 1973 testimony that he had detailed for President Richard Nixon White House-led cover-up efforts of the Watergate break-in in a March 1973 conversation. Dean testified that he had even warned the President of a lethal “cancer growing on the Presidency,” due to the continued perjury and pay-offs required to maintain the cover-up.
The conversation between President Nixon and White House Counsel John Dean had occurred on March 21, 1973 and was captured by recording devices in the Oval Office of the White House.
In this conversation segment, Dean warns President Nixon that the Watergate cover-up is a growing “cancer… close to the Presidency.” Listen here.
More Watergate-Related Conversations from the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.
The Nixon White House Tapes Record the Soviet Summit
This week in 1973, Leonid Brezhnev visited Richard Nixon in the White House as part of a summit meeting between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Oval Office conversation between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and President Nixon is the only summit meeting ever recorded on an American Presidential taping system.
The recording of their meeting is part of the final installment of Nixon White House Tapes that were released. The tapes contain discussions of foreign policy issues including: implementation of the Vietnam peace settlement and the return of Prisoners of War (POWs); tensions over Most Favored Nation tariff status for the Soviet Union; and the historic 1972 “Soviet Summit” between the United States and the USSR.
Domestic conversations include presidential appointments and personnel management, energy policy, wage and price controls, campaign finance reform, Wounded Knee, and Watergate.
-from the Nixon Library
Today in history, President Kennedy signed the 1963 Equal Pay Act, which aimed to reduce income disparity between the sexes. 6/10/63.
Photo: President John F. Kennedy delivers remarks after signing the Equal Pay Act in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, D.C. Standing (L-R): Representative Elizabeth Kee (West Virginia); Representative Edith Green (Oregon); Representative Edna Kelly (New York); Representative Catherine May (Washington); Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson; Director of United Automobile Workers (UAW) Women’s Department, Caroline Davis; Senator Maurine Neuberger of Oregon (in back); President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NFBPWC), Dr. Minnie Miles; Director of the Department of Legislation for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Andrew Biemiller (in back); Representative Leonor K. Sullivan (Missouri); Executive Director of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), Margaret Mealey; Representative Martha W. Griffiths (Michigan); Representative Julia Butler Hansen (Washington); Secretary of Labor, Willard Wirtz.
-from the JFK Library
"Press Button — Opening Golden Gate Bridge"
The Golden Gate Bridge opened on this day, May 27, 1937.
On the first day only pedestrian traffic was allowed to cross. On the second day, May 28th, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ceremonially opened the bridge to vehicular traffic.
FDR pushed a golden telegraph button from the Oval Office of the White House that was transmitted across the coast to the festivities in San Francisco.
Here is the White House Stenographer’s Diary entry for May 27th, 1937, recording FDR’s Golden Gate telegraph appointment. FDR telegraphed at three o’clock Eastern Standard Time so the California procession could begin promptly at noon.
-from the FDR Library
Can anyone figure out what’s going on here?
President John F. Kennedy laughs during a visit with actor and comedian, Bob Hope (at right, facing White House Police officer, Private Robert Suggs, Jr.), in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, D.C. Mr. Hope visited the White House to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, presented by President Kennedy in recognition of his services to the country as an entertainer during World War II.
-from the JFK Library
The Resolute Desk
The resolute desk was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Hayes in 1879, and was made from the timbers of the British arctic exploration ship, HMS RESOLUTE. Many presidents since Hayes have used the desk at various locations in the White House, but it was Jacqueline Kennedy who first brought the desk into the Oval Office in 1961 for President Kennedy. Since then, a number of modern presidents have used the desk, including President Obama. A sister desk, also made from the HMS Resolute, sits in Windsor Castle and is used by the Queen.
Pictured: Caroline Kennedy and Cousin Kerry Kennedy sit under the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
-from the JFK Library