Did you know that Mr. Truman met Pablo Picasso?
During his 1958 trip to Europe, Mr. Truman met with Mr. Picasso outside his ceramics studio in Vallauris, France. Just because they met each other did not mean that they liked each other. Mr. Truman hated modern art, what he called “ham and eggs art,” and later referred to Picasso as a “French Communist caricaturist.”
-from the Truman Library
President George W. Bush and President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China, view Chinese troops during the welcome ceremonies for the President and Mrs. Bush at the Great Hall of People in Beijing November 20th, 2005.
-from the George W. Bush Library
Condolence letter to Jacqueline Kennedy from Myrlie Evers Williams, widow of the assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
Mrs. Kennedy received over 1.5 million letters of condolence from around the world. Among them were messages from Duke Ellington, Indira Gandhi, Cary Grant, Nikita Khrushchev, General Douglas MacArthur, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ezra Pound, and Marie Tippit (widow of police officer JD Tippit, who was also killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963).
The Riderless Horse
On November 25, 1963, during President Kennedy’s funeral procession, a magnificent black gelding, with an empty saddle, saber, and boots reversed in the stirrups, followed the caisson bearing the President’s coffin. The riderless horse is one of the highest military honors bestowed upon the fallen. Black Jack, the horse used during JFK’s funeral procession, was from the Army’s oldest active infantry unit, the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard. He alone defied the strict military discipline of the day with his rowdy behavior: prancing, throwing his head, and dancing around his walker.
After the funeral, Mrs. Kennedy, an avid horsewoman, expressed an interest in Black Jack. Within hours, the horse’s saddle and blanket, and the boots and saber were delivered to her at the White House.
-from the JFK Library
Marine One taxiing in front of the U.S. Capitol. 11/21/85.
Walk the Line with Johnny Cash and June Carter
Johnny and June dropped by the Oval Office for a visit with President Ford on November 21, 1975.
Cash had been scheduled to appear at the White House the previous month during a state dinner for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat who was a fan of country western music. An illness prevented him from performing at the last minute, however.
Johnny Cash had also been among the thousands of Americans who wrote to President Ford after he pardoned Richard Nixon in September 1974. “June and I support you and your decisions concerning pardons and Amnesty,” he wrote. “We are much pleased to see that you are praying for guidance and wisdom, for that is our daily prayer for you.”
-from the Ford Library
"Again my thanks, my pledge and my passionate hope that your words may become history. And I believe they will!"
— John Steinbeck to JFK
A letter from author John Steinbeck to President Kennedy, thanking him for his dedication to the arts.
(From the White House Central Subject Files, Box 711, Folder: PP 6-1 Entertainers)
At the urging of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, John F. Kennedy made intellectual disabilities a priority for his new administration. Before his inauguration, he created a transition task force and once in office, he followed its recommendation to establish the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Still in existence today, the institute was charged with conducting and supporting research on intellectual disabilities as well as all aspects of maternal and child health and human development.
Read more about JFK and People with Intellectual Disabilities on the Kennedy Library website.
Image: 24 October 1963 Bill Signing, H. R. 7544, Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments of 1963. President Kennedy hands signing pen to Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
International Economic Summit
On November 15-17, 1975, President Ford attended the International Economic Summit hosted by French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing in Rambouillet, France. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of Germany, Prime Minister Harold Wilson of Great Britain, Prime Minister Takeo Miki of Japan, and Prime Minister Aldo Moro of Italy also participated in the meeting, a precursor to the G8 summits.
“The summit is intended to permit an intimate and serious discussion by the leaders of industrialized democracies of common problems; it should convey to the peoples of the industrialized democracies that their leaders are working together with good will and common purpose,” President Ford’s foreign policy and economic advisers wrote in their briefing memo.
In addition to the summit’s group sessions, President Ford also met individually with each leader for bilateral talks. Economic recovery and coordination served as the overall focus for the summit. The more specific issues discussed included trade, energy, monetary policy, and developing countries.
-from the Ford Library