"Things are going very, very well. I am in Berlin. There were one million people here last night at the very spot where the Wall used to stand -"
-Chancellor Kohl of Germany on the German Reunification Process
On October 3, 1990, East and West Germany were reunified, one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This memo transcribes the brief conversation which occurred between President George Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, describing the reunification celebration.
September 8 - Letter to President Gerald Ford from Anthony Ferreira, a Third Grader at Henry B. Milnes School
On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford stunned the nation by announcing ”a full, free, and absolute pardon” for former President Richard Nixon.
This letter, from third grader Anthony Ferreira, encapsulated the country’s deep division over Ford’s controversial decision, stating simply: ”I think you are half Right and half wrong.”
George H. W. Bush is shot down during World War II
This paragraph is from the Navy Action Report describing the future President’s plane being hit by Japanese fire on September 2, 1944. Lt. Bush would fly several miles from the island of Chichijimi before bailing out of his aircraft. Both of his crewmen were killed as a result of the battle.
Celebrating V-J Day
The surrender of Japan during World War II was announced on August 14, 1945, effectively ending the war, although the official Instrument of Surrender would not be signed until September 2, 1945. Germany had surrendered 3 months earlier on May 7, 1945.
- “American servicemen and women gather in front of ’Rainbow Corner’ Red Cross club in Paris to celebrate the unconditional surrender of the Japanese.” August 15, 1945, McNulty, Photographer, (111-SC-210241)
- “Enlisted men aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga (CV-14) hear the news of Japan’s surrender.”, 08/14/1945
- New York City celebrating the surrender of Japan. They threw anything and kissed anybody in Times Square., 08/14/1945
- V-J Day in New York City. Crowds gather in Times Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan., 08/15/1945
- GI’s at the Rainbow Corner Red Cross Club in Paris, France, whoop it up after buying the special edition of the Paris Post, which carried the banner headline, “JAPS QUIT.”
Name Today’s Document
Location Washington, D.C.
The US National Archives are responsible for preserving government and historical records, and their blog makes it even easier for the public to access those documents. Today’s Document highlights noteworthy items from the National Archives, both well-known and obscure. Here you’ll find records about extravehicular activity on the moon, the reel-to-reel tape recorder used by President Nixon, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and more.
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Government Exhibit Number 60: Uher 5000 Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder
This tape recorder was operated by President Richard Nixon’s White House secretary Rosemary Wood as part of the Nixon White House taping system. Wood used this recorder to create the tape of June 20, 1970, containing the infamous “18 1/2 minute gap.”
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created the Office of Archivist of the United States, the Archivist to be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Act of June 19, 1934 (“National Archives Act”), Public Law 73-432, 48 STAT 1122, “to create a National Archives of the United States Government and for other purposes.”
Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934, this act established the National Archives to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States as its chief administrator.
June 6 - D-Day Statement to Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force
This order was issued by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to encourage Allied soldiers taking part in the D-day invasion of June 6, 1944.
Almost immediately after France fell to the Nazis in 1940, the Allies planned a cross-Channel assault on the German occupying forces, ultimately code-named Operation Overlord. By May 1944, 2,876,000 Allied troops were amassed in southern England. The largest armada in history, made up of more than 4,000 American, British, and Canadian ships, lay in wait, and more that 1,200 planes stood ready. Against a tense backdrop of uncertain weather forecasts, disagreements in strategy, and related timing dilemmas, Eisenhower decided before dawn on June 5 to proceed with Overlord. Later that same afternoon, he scribbled a note intended for release, accepting responsibility for the decision to launch the invasion and full blame should the effort to create a beachhead on the Normandy coast fail. Much more polished is his printed Order of the Day for June 6, 1944, which Eisenhower began drafting in February. The order was distributed to the 175,000-member expeditionary force on the eve of the invasion.
The force and fury of the air attack was beyond anything known or expected, and as we had no airfields which could be held within fighter range the enemy’s air power could work virtually unrestricted, both against the ships holding off seaborne attacks and against our troops and anti-aircraft guns ashore.
Winston Churchill to Franklin D. Roosevelt, May 31, 1941.
On June 1, 1941, the island of Crete falls to the German forces.