Jacqueline Kennedy was born on this day in 1929, in Southhampton, New York. She was named Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Her father, John, was a stockbroker on Wall Street whose family had come from France in the early 1800s. Her mother, Janet, had ancestors from Ireland and England.
As a child, Jackie loved to read. Before she started school, she had read all the children’s books on her bookshelves. Her heroes were Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Little Lord Fauntleroy’s grandfather, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind, and the poet Byron.
Photo: Jacqueline Bouvier, 1935. Photograph by David Berne in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Day 61: FDR’s Childhood Trips to Germany
FDR made a number of trips to Europe with his parents during his childhood, including numerous trips to Germany. The Roosevelts often traveled to Germany to visit several ancient springs in hope that they would help Mr. James’ health.
Roosevelt historian Geoff Ward recounts a story of one of these German trips in his book Before the Trumpet. During a trip in 1896 FDR and his tutor Mr. Dumper “found themselves under arrest four times in one busy day of bicycling – for picking cherries along the roadside, for wheeling their bicycles into a railroad depot, for riding into Strasbourg after dusk…and finally, for inadvertent slaughter of a panicky goose that had thrust its long neck between the spokes of Mr. Dumper’s front wheel.” FDR managed to get them out of the first three violations without a fine, but in the end they did have to pay five marks to the owner of the goose. “Franklin always maintained the bird had really ‘committed suicide.’”
It’s the 90th Birthday of George Bush!
George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts.
On his 18th birthday, Bush graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts with World War II raging on two fronts. That same day, although he had been accepted at Yale University, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman second class. He received his wings on June 9, 1943, becoming the youngest pilot in the U.S. Navy at the time.
During World War II, Bush flew torpedo bombers, completing 58 missions. On a run over Chichi Jima in 1944, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Bush bailed out and was rescued by a Navy submarine.
For his service during WWII, Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.
Watch this space for more on the life of George Bush throughout today.
Happy Birthday President Bush!
George Bush in Kennebunkport, Maine, circa 1925; At age 12; At Phillips Academy, Andover, MA. circa 1940; U.S. Navy Portrait (1942-1945); U.S. Navy Pilot George Bush in the cockpit of an Avenger, (1942-45).
Our Presidential Throwback Thursday features a very small Harry S. Truman!
Truman was born on May 8, 1884, in Missouri. Truman’s early life was plagued with accidents, poor eyesight, and a nearly paralyzing disease. However, Truman grew up surrounded by loving, strong-willed, and doting parents, grandparents, and other relatives, including his grandfather, Solomon Young.
Truman had one younger brother, Vivian. Vivian had long curls that his mother refused to cut. The long curls bothered his grandfather Solomon so much that one day he had Harry help him haul Vivian—highchair and all—out onto the south porch where he quickly gave Vivian a short haircut.
A few days later, Harry decided to experiment with his own hair and comb it a different way. He pulled a big chair up close to a mirror in order to see the back of his head. He kept leaning in the chair until he fell over backwards, breaking his collarbone—his first, but not his last, broken bone.
Learn more about Truman’s childhood from the Truman Library.
White House Photographer Eric Draper at the Nixon Library This Thursday
Eric Draper, served as President George W. Bush’s chief photographer for the entire eight years of his presidency. Named Special Assistant to the President, Draper became the first White House photographer to be named a commissioned officer to the President.
Draper will be at the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California on Thursday, February 20 at 7:00 pm. to talk about his experiences capturing the American Presidency.
This event is cosponsored by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, the Richard Nixon Foundation and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. To reserve your seats for this free event, visit nixonfoundation.org.
Ronald Reagan was born on this day, Feburary 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois.
Ronald Reagan was first called “Dutch” as a baby by his father who affectionately said that he looked like “a fat little Dutchman.” As a toddler, the nickname lasted because of the “Dutch boy” haircut, once popular for little boys, that his mother gave him.
Photo: Ronald Reagan (with “Dutch” haircut), Neil Reagan, and parents Jack and Nelle Reagan. Circa 1916-1917.
Happy 103rd Birthday Anniversary for Ronald “Dutch” Reagan!
FDR’s Favorite Fruitcake
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cake of choice was none other than the Christmas favorite — fruitcake. The Roosevelt’s cook and housekeeper, Henrietta Nesbitt, wrote a cookbook filled with recipes the family enjoyed called, The Presidential Cookbook – Feeding the Roosevelts and Their Guests.
Here’s what the President ate:
Henrietta Nesbitt’s Fruitcake
1 ½ pounds brown sugar
1 ½ pounds butter
1 ½ pounds flour (6 cups)
1 ½ cups honey
2 lemon rinds, grated, and juice
1 ½ teaspoons mace
1 nutmeg, grated
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cloves
6 pounds dates
1 ½ pounds almonds cut lengthwise
2 ½ pounds mixed peel (1 ½ citron, ½ lemon, ½ orange)
¾ cup brandy, poured over fruit the night before
¾ cup sherry, poured over fruit the night before
1 cup of above flour sifted over fruit before adding to batter
Cream butter and sugar together. Beat whole eggs light, then add some of the creamed butter and beat very light; next the flour, and so on until all are mixed. Add the fruit last. Set cake forms in pans of water and bake in slow oven for 3 hours. All flour for cakes should be sifted twice before measuring. Bake in bread tins in pans of water in 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Yield, 3 pounds in bread pan. Yield, 8 loaves.
Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt with two of his grandchildren in front of the White House Christmas Tree. 12/25/39.
-from the FDR Library