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.
It’s the Birthday of LBJ!
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, in central Texas, not far from Johnson City, which his family had helped settle.
In 1937 he campaigned successfully for the House of Representatives on a New Deal platform, effectively aided by his wife, the former Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor, whom he had married after a whirlwind courtship in 1934.
During World War II, Lyndon Johnson served briefly in the Navy as a lieutenant commander, receiving a Silver Star in the South Pacific. After six terms in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 1948. In 1953, he became the youngest Minority Leader in Senate history, and the following year, when the Democrats won control, Majority Leader. With rare legislative skill he obtained passage of a number of measures during the Eisenhower Administration. He became, by many accounts, the most powerful Majority Leader of the twentieth century.
LBJ’s “Great Society” program included aid to education, Medicare, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, control and prevention of crime and delinquency and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Read More
Studio portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson at 18 months old, ca. 1910.
Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office. December, 1963.
-from the LBJ Library
Little League Baseball celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
President Ford welcomed the final eight teams from the 1974 Little League World Series to the White House on August 26, 1974.
The teams represented Red Bluff, California; New Haven, Connecticut; Tallmadge, Ohio; Jackson, Tennessee; Victoria, British Colombia, Canada; Maracaibo, Venezuela; the Republic of China (Taiwan); and Athens, Greece, which included the children of American military and Embassy staff in Europe.
Image: President Ford with the Little League baseball team from Red Bluff, California (White House photograph A0364-23)
Happy 75 to Little League Baseball!
Happy Birthday President Clinton!
Here’s a list of Bill Clinton’s favorite books, in alphabetical order by author:
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou.
- The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker.
- Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, Taylor Branch.
- Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
- Lincoln, David Herbert Donald.
- Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot.
- Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison.
- The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilizations to the Eve of the Twenty-First Century, David Fromkin.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez.
- The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, Seamus Heaney.
- King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed,Terror,and Heroism in Colonial Africa,Adam Hochschild.
- The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis.
- Meditations, Marcus Aurelius.
- Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics, Reinhold Niebuhr.
- Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell.
- The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis, Carroll Quigley.
- The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron.
- Politics as a Vocation, Max Weber.
- You Can’t Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe.
- Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Robert Wright.
- The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats, William Butler Yeats.
Photo: President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore view the Constitution of the United States in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom at the National Archives. Washington, DC. 7/19/95.
-from the Clinton Library
Life after the White House
Upon returning to private life President Ford and Betty split their time between Rancho Mirage, California, and Beaver Creek, Colorado.
President Ford reflected on his public service in his memoir “A Time to Heal,” published in 1979. Although he was considered as a potential Vice Presidential nominee for Ronald Reagan during the 1980 election and even thought about another bid for the Presidency that year he declined to run for either position. Ford continued to actively participate in the political process and to speak out on important political issues.
In 1981, the Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were dedicated. President Ford participated in conferences at either site dealing with such subjects as the Congress, the presidency and foreign policy; Soviet-American relations; and humor and the presidency.
Over the years Ford lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities on topics including Congressional-White House relations, federal budget policies, and domestic and foreign policy issues. He attended the annual Public Policy Week Conferences of the American Enterprise Institute, and in 1982 established the AEI World Forum. He hosted this international gathering of former and current world leaders and business executives to discuss political and business policies impacting current issues for many years in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.
The former President received numerous awards and honors as well as many honorary Doctor of Law degrees. Two are of particular note. In 1999 President Clinton presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and observed that “President Ford represents what is best in public service and what is best about America.” The following year the John F. Kennedy Foundation presented him with the Profiles in Courage Award for putting the nation’s interest above his own political future with the pardon of Richard Nixon.
Pictured: President Clinton awards former President Ford the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony on August 11, 1999.
-from the Ford Library
August 10: First Cabinet Meeting of the Ford Administration
President Ford held the first Cabinet meeting of his administration on August 10, 1974, the day after his swearing in. His staff prepared a memo outlining the main points for him to cover with a focus on continuing an orderly transition. “Continuity and stability – that is what the people want and the country needs,” President Ford stated in his opening comments at the meeting.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave a pledge of support on behalf of himself and his fellow Cabinet members:
Mr. President, for all of my colleagues, I want to say that we think you performed a great national service. For the previous administration, we are proud of what we did. You can count on our total loyalty and full support. Anything the Cabinet can do will be done with our full capability and in your spirit as you outlined in your very moving speech.
Shortly before noon Gerald and Betty Ford made their way from the Vice President’s office in the Executive Office Building to the White House, where they joined Chief Justice Warren Burger in the Red Room. They then walked down the hall to the East Room where Gerald R. Ford would be sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. This memo is Mrs. Ford’s copy of the sequence of events for the ceremony.
Photographs of the Final Days of the Nixon Administration
View from Marine One of the departure.
Richard and Pat Nixon on the way to the helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House for his final departure. 8/9/74.
Crowds outside the White House fence. 8/9/74.
President Nixon giving his farewell remarks to the White House staff as family members look on. 8/9/74.