Ike in The Merchant of Venice
April 23 was the birthday of William Shakespeare. Dwight Eisenhower, like most of us, spent time with Shakespeare in high school and even played a role in Abilene High School’s 1909 adaptation of The Merchant in Venice.
A Quick History of Presidents and Presidential Library Dedications
It’s not often that all the living U.S. Presidents are together at one time, but on April 25, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated to the American public. Although many dignitaries from around the world will attend, all eyes will likely focus on the gathering of men who have called the White House home.
In addition to George W. Bush, guests of honor will include current Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, and former Presidents William J. Clinton, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter. Read More
-Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Richard Nixon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library dedication. 11/4/91.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower looks at a key to his Presidential Library at the dedication ceremony. 10/31/59.
-The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
Truman and Stalin, in Color
Another great color photo of President Truman with someone you might not expect – Joseph Stalin.
Truman and Stalin met while attending the Potsdam Conference in Germany in July of 1945, shortly after the end of World War II in Europe.
On Sept. 19, 1974, President Gerald Ford issued Presidential Proclamation 4315 — Johnny Horizon ‘76: Clean Up America Month, 1974.
In anticipation of the Bicentennial celebration, Ford signed Proclamation 4315 and joined Johnny Horizon - the vintage Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior symbol - in his promotion of environmental stewardship:
To date, thousands of schools; churches; youth groups; chambers of commerce; conservation, civic and commercial organizations and millions of private citizens have joined in partnership with Johnny Horizon ‘76 in a wide range of projects to create environmental awareness and to beautify America.
Our most precious environment is the area in which we live-our city streets and rural towns-and this is where each individual can effectively exercise his responsibility. This has been exemplified by the many action projects which have been undertaken thus far across our country.
A Presidential love letter to Libraries during National Library Week. Pictured here is President Ford’s 1976 message honoring libraries and librarians.
“In the finest American tradition, our public libraries offer all our citizens a chance to improve themselves and to broaden their horizons.”
Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. This decision would not only integrate baseball, but would help the country work to achieve equal rights for all. Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., once commented to baseball pitcher Don Newcombe, “Don, you and Jackie will never know how easy you made my job, through what you went through on the baseball field.”
Before becoming famous, Lt. Jack R. Robinson was court-martialed at Camp Hood, Texas, because he refused to move to the back of the bus after being told to do so by a bus driver and disobeying an order from a superior officer. Robinson was acquitted of all charges and received an honorable discharge, but this was not the only experience he would have in fighting discrimination.
After retiring from baseball, Robinson turned much of his attention to civil rights issues. He wrote to several Presidents about the cause, and even attended the March on Washington.
Many of these milestone events from Robinson’s life are documented in primary sources from the National Archives.
FDR’s Last Official Act as President: April 12, 1945
Each year around the anniversary of FDR’s death on April 12, 1945, the FDR Library is asked about the last official action taken by Roosevelt as President.
Because of President Roosevelt’s love of stamps and stamp collecting, he was always very involved in the design and issuance of new and commemorative postage stamps.
With the first United Nations Conference scheduled to begin on April 25 in San Francisco, Postmaster General Frank Walker sent a memo to FDR on April 9th asking him to select his preferred design for the UN Conference commemorative stamp. A typed notation made at the top of this memo shows that on April 11, the day before the President died, he selected Design No. 1 to be issued as a five cent stamp and printed in blue.
But this was not the last official act. FDR’s last official directive – given just a half hour before he was stricken – was to agree to the Postmaster’s request that the President purchase the first issue of the UN Conference commemorative. Read More
-from the FDR Library
The Death of FDR
On April 12, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, 63, President of the United States serving his fourth term, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in his cottage at the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation.
Vice President Harry S. Truman took the oath of office as President at 7:09 P.M., in the Cabinet Room in the White House. Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone of the Supreme Court administered the oath.
Shown here is the White House Stenographer’s Diary on the day of FDR’s death.
-from the FDR Library