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Archive for the month “May, 2011”

DE GAULLE WELCOMES KENNEDYS TO PARIS

May 31, 1961


DE GAULLE WELCOMES KENNEDYS TO PARIS


President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy were welcomed to Paris today by French President Charles de Gaulle.


Air Force One touched down at Orly Airport at 10:30 a.m. Paris time.


After brief remarks, JFK & the 1st Lady were driven to Quaid d ‘Orsay for a luncheon & diplomatic reception.



             Embassy of the United States
                       Paris, France


JFK also attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.


In the evening, the President & Mrs. Kennedy were the honored dinner guests at the Elysee Palace.


In his remarks at the airport, JFK said:


“I come from America ‘the daughter of Europe’ to pay tribute to France, our oldest friend.  Your land has been…the well-spring of western philosophy & ideas–so much so that Benjamin Franklin could say ‘every man has two countries: France & his own.'”


Later at the dinner speech, JFK said:


“Although I have visited France many times, my preparation for the Presidency did not include acquisition of 1st hand knowledge of France through diplomacy.  I acquired it through marriage instead.*


*Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was of French descent.





         Charles de Gaulle & JFK in Paris
                    JFK Library Photo


May 31, 1962


“MOBILIZATION FOR YOUTH” PROGRAM ANNOUNCED


The President’s Commission on Juvenile Delinquency & Youth Crime presented its 1st report to JFK today.


The commission announced the 1st project of the Juvenile Delinquency & Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961:  Mobilization for Youth.


The project will provide $12.6 million of educational & employment opportunities for young people. 


May 31, 1962


ADOLF EICHMANN HANGED IN ISRAEL


Nazi SS officer & condemned war criminal Adolf Eichmann was hanged today near Tel Aviv, Israel.


Eichmann was the architect of Hitler’s “final solution” that resulted in the deaths of more than 6 million European Jews.


He was born in Solingen, Germany in 1906 & joined the SS in 1932.  Ten years later he was part of a conference which took place near Berlin for the purpose of planning the “Holocaust”.*


*Eichmann’s body will be cremated & the ashes thrown into the sea.



                  Holocaust Museum
                    Washington, D.C.
             Photo by John White (2003)


May 31, 1963


ADMIRAL FELT’S REPORT EVALUATED BY JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF


Admiral Harry Donald Felt, Commander-in-chief of US Pacific Forces, has prepared a report that is being evaluated today by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


In the report, Felt is skeptical that Vietnam will be stable enough by the end of the year 1965 for a proposed withdrawal of US forces.


Admiral Felt created the United States Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) in February 1962.*


*Felt was personally opposed to the introduction of US combat forces in Vietnam.



             Admiral Harry Donald Felt
                Commander-in-Chief
                   US Pacific Forces


May 31, 1988


PRESIDENT REAGAN SPEAKS TO SOVIET STUDENTS


President Ronald Reagan addressed today the students & faculty of Moscow State University.


He said:


“The world (is) looking expectantly to signs of change & steps toward greater freedom in the Soviet Union.  We do not know what the conclusion will be of this journey, but we’re hopeful the promise of reform will be fulfilled.”



          President Reagan Speaks 
          Moscow State University
  Reagan Presidential Library Photo


May 31, 1859


“BIG BEN” TOLLS IN LONDON


The tower clock located at the top of St. Stephen’s Tower in London, England rang out for the 1st time today.


Weighing more than 13 tons, the bell was transported by a team of 16 horses.  The clock was completed last year by the E.J. Dent Company.*



                     “Big Ben” of London


*During WWI & WWII, the clock faces were covered at night.





MEMORIAL DAY 2011

May 30, 2011


US HONORS THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE 


In his inaugural address of January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy called upon his fellow Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”


While there are many ways Americans can serve their country, there can be no greater service than the sacrificing of one’s life in the process.


Today, we honor the dead of all American wars.  


This day was proclaimed a Federal holiday in 1971 to be held on the last Monday in May.


The day actually originated as “Decoration Day”, a day to decorate the graves of those who died in the Civil War. 


During the 1st celebration, President James A. Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery.


In 1966, LBJ proclaimed the town of Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day.  Waterloo held its 1st celebration in 1866 & it became an annual event.


*We pay honor to all those Americans who gave their lives to keep us free.  May we be worthy of your sacrifice.



            Arlington National Cemetery
                    Arlington, Virginia
                        Memorial Day


May 30, 1963


JFK ATTENDS MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY AT ARLINGTON


President John F. Kennedy, accompanied by his young son, John-John, attended a Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery today.


JFK laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers & paid his respects at the grave of the 1st Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers include graves of Americans who died in WWI, WWII & Korea.


The main tomb has the following inscription:


“Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”





            Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
            Arlington National Cemetery


May 30, 1963


LESLEY GORE SINGS ON AMERICAN BANDSTAND


17 year old Lesley Gore appeared on the television show “American Bandstand” today & sang her new song “Its My Party”.*


*Lesley Gore was signed by Mercury Records’ Quincy Jones who saw her perform in a Manhattan night club.  Just 6 weeks later, “Its My Party” was recorded. 


One week after her appearance on Bandstand, “Its My Party” climbed to #1 on the pop charts.



                           Lesley Gore


May 30, 1961


JFK MEETS WITH ISRAEL PM 


President John F. Kennedy met with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Israel today.  They discussed world & Middle Eastern issues.


Later, JFK attended a dinner hosted by the American Cancer Society.


Other guest speakers at the dinner included James Roosevelt, Bob Hope & Mayor Robert Wagner of New York.


After the dinner, President & Ms. Kennedy departed on Air Force I for France.


May 30, 1961


TRUJILLO IS ASSASSINATED IN THE DOMINCAN


Rafael Trujillo, known as “El Jefe” or “The Chief, was shot dead today on Avenida George Washington in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


Trujillo, who has ruled as dictator of the Caribbean nation since 1930, was the victim of an ambush.*


He is to be buried in his hometown of San Cristobal.


*There has been some discussion that the American C.I.A. was involved.



                     Rafael Trujillo
          latinamericanstudies.org


May 30, 1951


JFK SPEAKS ON MEMORIAL DAY


Congressman John F. Kennedy of the 11th District of Massachusetts spoke today at Memorial Day observances.


In both addresses, the Congressman called on the United States to “rebuild its strength” while UN forces fight in Korea.


JFK spoke at the Boston Lodge of Elks in Dorchester & at the American Legion Post in Mattapan.


May 30, 1806


ANDREW JACKSON KILLS CHARLES DICKINSON


Former Tennessee representative & senator, Andrew Jackson, killed lawyer Charles Dickinson in a duel today.


The challenge was made by Jackson who took offense to charges made by Dickinson that Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was already married when she married Jackson.


Dickinson said that Rachel Donelson Jackson was a “bigamist” or “adulteress”.*


*Rachel incorrectly assumed a divorce from her 1st husband, Lewis Robards, had been granted.  When the Jacksons found out it had not, another divorce was filed, granted & a 2nd wedding ceremony conducted.  


Since dueling is illegal in the state of Tennessee, the duel was fought across the state line in Logan County, Kentucky.


The two adversaries stood 24 feet apart (by rule) & Dickinson took the 1st shot which hit Jackson in the chest.


Mr. Jackson did not fall, however, & again by rule Dickinson had to stand & wait for Jackson’s return volley.


Taking careful aim, Andrew Jackson shot & killed Mr. Dickinson.**


**The bullet which hit Jackson was lodged near the heart.  Doctors did not attempt to remove it & Jackson carried it in his body the rest of his life.  It caused him considerable pain & the “spitting up” of blood.



                    A Duel in Kentucky









94th ANNIVERSARY OF JFK’S BIRTH

May 29, 2011


94th ANNIVERSARY OF JFK’S BIRTH


Today JFK+50 honors the 94th anniversary of the birth of the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.


In a break with the normal format, on this special day we will devote the entire posting to JFK.*


*Personal Note:


We received word last night that my 1st cousin, Jim White, has been admitted to the hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee with a heart condition.  Word came this morning that they have unblocked an artery & he is doing much better.  Jim is author of “Tennessee Grandaddy” & he has been such a great help to me with my blog.  


May 29, 1917


JOHN F. KENNEDY BORN IN BROOKLINE


Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. announced today the birth of their 2nd child, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.


JFK was born at the family home at 83 Beals Street in the Brookline section of Boston, Massachusetts.


The child is the namesake of his grandfather, John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, the former mayor of Boston.*


*The Fitzgeralds are on a much higher political & social status than the Kennedys in 1917.


The baby boy, however, will be called “Jack”.



            Jack Kennedy at 6 months
        Photo hangs in master bedroom
          JFK Birthplace Historic Site


Jack has an older brother, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. who is known as “Joe Jr”.



       Brothers Jack & Joe Junior
        At home at 83 Beals Street
         Brookline, Massachusetts


The birth came at 3 in the afternoon in the 2nd floor master bedroom.  The twin bed nearest the window was chosen to give the best light.


Dr. Frederick Good is the family obstetrician who delivered Jack.


The proud father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., is the 28 year old president of Columbia Trust Bank in East Boston.  He is a graduate of Harvard.


Joe Sr.’s dad, Patrick J. Kennedy, was a ward boss & Irish-American community leader in Boston.


All the Boston Kennedys emigrated to America in the 1840s to escape the Irish potato famine.


MAY 29, 1917


THE HOUSE WHERE JFK WAS BORN


John F. Kennedy was born at the family home at 83 Beals Street in Brookline.



JFK Birthplace National Historic Site
                 83 Beals Street
        Brookline, Massachusetts


Joseph & Rose Kennedy have lived in the home since their marriage in 1914.  Mr. Kennedy paid $6500 for the house which was built in 1909.


Mrs. Kennedy says she loves the “space & air” of the community but it does require a 15 minute walk to reach the trolley line.*


*The house at 83 Beals Street will be JFK’s home for his 1st 4 years of life. In 1921, the Kennedys move to a larger house in the same neighborhood. 


JFK is christened on June 19, 1917 at nearby St. Aidan’s Catholic Church where Joe Jr. & Jack will be altar boys.


JFK attends the Edward Devotion School, Noble & Greenough Lower School & the Dexter School.


The Kennedys move to Riverdale, New York in 1927.



       National Park Service Program


“THE KENNEDYS OF BEALS STREET”


“Intimately modest & furnished in original Kennedy family heirlooms & period reproductions, the home (at 83 Beals Street in Brookline) conveys a sense of familiarity.



“Old fashioned phone in the hallway”


The beds are covered with Irish linen bedspreads embroidered with thistles, shamrocks & other Irish symbols.


Mrs. Rose Kennedy (who conducts visitors through the home by way of a recorded tape) says:


‘We were happy here, & although we did not know about the days ahead, we were enthusiastic & optimistic about the future.'”


The house (sold to a family friend in 1927) was repurchased by the Kennedys in 1966.  It has been restored to the original 1917 appearance with the supervision of Rose Kennedy. 


In 1967, the house was donated to the people of the United States.”*


*Text from an article by Tony Fusco by the same title which appeared in the November/December 1983 issue of “Collectibles Illustrated”.



        Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy 
Speaks at JFK Birthplace Dedication 
National Park Service Photo (1969)


May 29, 2011


NPS OFFERS ON-LINE VIRTUAL TOUR OF JFK BIRTHPLACE


When we visited the JFK Birthplace for the 1st time in July 1986, the admission fee was 50 cents & there was only a single National Park Service ranger there to greet you.


I had my new JVC color camcorder with me & asked if I would be able to use it in the home.  The ranger said it would be fine.  This is no longer true today as there is a restriction on the use of cameras.


The JVC used a 20 minute VHS tape.  I still have it today.  I was able to get all of the rooms on the tape while the voice of Ms. Rose Kennedy is in the background.


If you do not have opportunity to visit the historic site, you can go to the National Park Service website & take an “on-line virtual tour” (for free).  


Amazingly, it is the exact same audio that I recorded on my JVC in 1986.*


*The link is www.nps.gov/jofi/index.htm.



     National Park Service Photo (1974)


July 21, 1999


VISITORS PAY TRIBUTE TO JFK, JR. AT JFK BIRTHPLACE 


 “A gentle rain fell…as mourners found their way to the green-shingled house on a quiet Brookline street.


They felt compelled to come….to the birthplace & 1st home of America’s forever-young president…to mourn the loss of John F. Kennedy, Jr.”*


*From Sun-Sentinel.com



JFK & JFK Jr. at The White House
            October 10, 1963
    Photo by Cecil Stoughton


May 29, 1961


JFK CELEBRATES 44th BIRTHDAY


President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 44th birthday today at a dinner in his honor at the Commonwealth Armory in Boston, Massachusetts.


JFK’s guests included his priest, Richard Cardinal Cushing & the obstetrician who delivered him 44 years ago, Dr. Frederick Good.*


*Dr. Good actually delivered all 9 of the Kennedy children.


Poet Robert Frost, who spoke at JFK’s inaugural in January, was also present.


In his speech at the armory, the President talked of his upcoming trip to France.  He said:


“(a) close relationship must exist between France & the United States if the cause of freedom in the Atlantic community is to be preserved.”*


*please check “JFK’s Daily Wit” for another quote from his speech.



       JFK, De Gaulle & 1st Lady
       Elysee Palace, Paris (1961)
            JFK Library Photo


May 29, 1962


JFK CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY AT GLEN ORA


President John F. Kennedy is celebrating his 45th birthday today at the presidential retreat, Glen Ora near Middleburg, Virginia.


Arriving by helicopter with the President were Robert & Ethel Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith & Sargent & Eunice Shriver.


May 29, 1963


JFK CELEBRATES 46th BIRTHDAY


President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 46th birthday today at the White House.


JFK was honored with a birthday cake at a party in the White House Navy Mess Hall.


In the evening, the President, along with 20 close friends & associates, continued the birthday celebration aboard the presidential yacht Sequoia.











.  

















JFK SAYS IKE MUST MAKE DECISION ON INDOCHINA

May 28, 1954


JFK SAYS IKE MUST MAKE DECISION ON INDOCHINA


Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, in Chicago to make a speech to the Executives’ Club, told reporters today that President Eisenhower will have to make a decision on whether or not to ask Congress to support sending US forces to Indochina within the next few weeks.


Senator Kennedy said that the US is now paying more than 80% of the costs of the French-directed war effort there.



May 28, 1957


JFK RECEIVES B’NAI BRITH AWARD


Senator John F. Kennedy was presented the B’Nai Brith Sports Lodge Football Award today.


JFK was recognized because of his efforts to help arrange a game between Boston College & the United States Naval Academy on the opening day of BC’s new Alumni Stadium at Chestnut Hill.


The award was presented to Mr. Kennedy at the Sheraton-Plaza Hotel.*


*I attended the game between the BC Eagles & the Tennessee Volunteers at Chestnut Hill in October 1987.  The Vols were favored, but BC won. 


 I sent a letter to Dave Powers & asked if he would like to go. 


Mr. Power’s replied that after working all week at the JFK Library, he was “not up to attending weekend sporting events anymore” but when he watched the game on TV he would “cheer for Tennessee & pray for BC”.*


*Mr. Powers was paraphrasing JFK’s remarks made during his visit to Ireland in June 1963:


“After being awarded honorary degrees from Trinity College, Dublin & the National University of Ireland, JFK quipped: 

“I now feel equally part of both, & if they ever have a game of Gaelic football or hurling, I shall cheer for Trinity & pray for National.”




                    Alumni Stadium
                    Boston College 
                     Chestnut Hill
        Photo by Todd Custadio (2006)


May 28, 1962


STOCKS TAKE NOSEDIVE


The New York Stock Exchange suffered the biggest single day loss since the “Great Crash” of 1929 today.


In heavy trading, NYSE equities lost more than $20 billion in value.



           New York Stock Exchange
           Photo by Arnoldius (2008)


May 28, 1963


JFK SIGNS OUTDOOR RECREATION BILL


President John F. Kennedy, whose family has a history of the love of the outdoors, signed into law today the Outdoor Recreation Bill.


The legislation will promote the co-ordination & development of “effective” outdoor recreation programs.



    The Kennedys Love Touch Football
               JFK Library Photo


May 28, 1968


RFK UPSET BY GENE McCARTHY IN OREGON


New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign for the 1968 Democratic nomination for President of the United States took a hit today when Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota defeated him in the Oregon primary.


McCarthy, whose surprise showing in the New Hampshire primary earlier led LBJ to drop out of contention, polled 163,990 to RFK’s 141,631.


This outcome makes the upcoming primary in California even more important for RFK.



              Senator Eugene McCarthy


May 28, 1937


VOLKSWAGEN FOUNDED IN WOLFSBURG


Adolf Hitler promised the German people “a car for the broad masses….to answer their transportation needs” but added “it is intended to give them joy.”


That promise resulted in the founding today of the new state-owned automobile company, Volkswagen, in  Wolfsburg.*


*The beginning of WWII in 1939 shut down production of “The People’s Car” but 20 years later VW’s “Beetle” became the #1 import car in the USA.



                               1949 VW


May 28, 1918


US WINS 1ST VICTORY AT CANTIGNY


More than a year after the US entered the world war, the American Expeditionary Force under General John J. Pershing has won its 1st victory.


After a 2 hour artillery barrage, American forces launched an attack at Cantigny on the Western Front.


Multi-German counterattacks resulted in more than a thousand American casualties.



         General John J. Pershing
          AEF Commander WWI
              October 19, 1918
       Photo by 2nd Lt. L.J. Rode

THE BISMARCK IS SUNK

May 27, 1941


THE BISMARCK IS SUNK


The German battleship Bismarck was sunk today by the British Navy in the North Atlantic.


After having sunk the British cruiser Hood, the Bismarck, leaking fuel, fled for Nazi occupied France.


The German ship was sighted & crippled by the RAF & then sent to the bottom of the ocean by 3 British warships.


“The fog was gone the seventh day and they saw the morning sun
Ten hours away from homeland the Bismarck made its run
The Admiral of the British fleet said turn those bows around
We found that German battleship and we’re gonna cut her down.”



“Sink the Bismarck” by Johnny Horton



         The Bismarck Goes Down


May 27, 1937


GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE OPENS


The Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic today in San Francisco, California.


200,000 people came out to take a stroll across the beautiful orange colored suspension bridge.


The Golden Gate’s elegant design is the result of collaboration between engineers Joseph Strauss & Leon Moisseiff as well as architect Irving Morrow.


Construction began on January 5, 1933.


It is 4200 feet in length making it the longest bridge in the world.*


*On the following day, FDR pushed a button at the White House which signaled the start of vehicular traffic on the bridge.



             The Golden Gate Bridge
           San Francisco, California
Photo by Rich Niewiroski, Jr. (2007)


May 27, 1963


BOB DYLAN RELEASES “FREE WHEELIN”


Singer/musician/song writer Bob Dylan released his 2nd album today.


Released on Columbia Records, Dylan’s new album is titled: “Free Wheelin”.*


*In the summer of 1963, Peter, Paul & Mary will turn the 1st cut from Dylan’s 2nd album, “Blowin in the Wind”, into an international hit.  From that point forward, Bob Dylan became a household name.


*John Lennon said that when the Beatles 1st heard “Free Wheelin” in Paris, they couldn’t stop playing it.



                       Bob Dylan
            Azkena Rock Festival
Photo by Alberto Cabello (2010)


May 27, 1972


SALT AGREEMENT SIGNED IN MOSCOW


Soviet President Leonoid Brezhnev & US President Richard Nixon signed the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks Treaty today in Moscow.



Brezhnev & Nixon Toast (1972)
Photo from http://www.mbc.edu


The SALT Treaty limits the number of anti-ballistic missile sites each country may have to 2.  It also freezes the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles each country may have.


May 27, 1831


MOUNTAINMAN JEDEDIAH SMITH KILLED


Trapper/explorer/mountainman Jedediah Smith was killed today while riding alone on the Santa Fe Trail  by a party of Commanches.


It is reported Smith was weakened by shortage of water but still managed to kill one of the Commanches.





     From http://www.sandiegohistory.org









LODGE CHARGES SOVIETS WITH ESPIONAGE

May 26, 1960


LODGE CHARGES SOVIETS WITH ESPIONAGE


Less than a month after an American U2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet air space, UN Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. today charged the Soviets with placing “bugging” devices at the US Embassy in Moscow.


Ambassador Lodge held a wooden reproduction of the Great Seal of the United States in which he claims was found a hidden microphone transmitter.


Lodge went on to say that more than 100 such devices were found at the embassy.*


*JFK defeated Lodge in the 1952 Massachusetts Senate race & then as President appointed him US Ambassador to South Vietnam.



Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
  Cabinet Room, The White House
       LBJ Library Photo (1968)


May 26, 1965


AUSSIE TROOPS ON THE WAY TO VIETNAM


The United States & South Vietnamese armies received some good news today.


800 additional Australian troops are on their way to South Vietnam to lend assistance in the fight against the communists.


The Aussies 1st arrived in South Vietnam in 1964 with a small aviation detachment & an engineering civic action team.*


*By 1969 there will be 8000 Australian & 1000 New Zealand forces in South Vietnam.



             Australian Army emblem
               photo by Ruob (2010)


May 26, 1967


JFK BIRTHPLACE BECOMES NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE


The house at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, where the late President John F. Kennedy was born, was proclaimed a “National Historic Site” today by the National Park Service.


Previously, the house was a “National Historic Landmark”.*


*The JFK Birthplace will be opened to the public on the 52nd anniversary of JFK’s birth, May 29, 1969.


*My wife & I had the pleasure of visiting in July 1986. 


 As we looked in each room there was an audio recording of Rose Kennedy talking about the activities that took place there. 


 I was particularly interested in the nursery which had the copy of the “Billy Whiskers” children’s book that JFK read as a child.



   JFK Birthplace, 83 Beals Street
        Brookline, Massachusetts
  National Park Foundation Photo


May 26, 1924


COOLIDGE SIGNS IMMIGRATION ACT


President Calvin Coolidge signed into law today the Comprehensive Immigration Act.


This act puts into place the most strict guidelines for immigration into the United States in the history of this nation.


A quota of 2% of any given nation’s number of residents living in the US in 1890 will be established by the act.


This virtually eliminates all immigration from Japan.  


In response, the Japanese government has declared today “National Humiliation Day” in their country.*


*The Immigration Act of 1924 reflects the “anti-foreign” attitude of the majority of Americans in the post-WWI period.



Coolidge Signing the Immigration Act


May 26, 1868


ANDREW JOHNSON SAVED BY ONE VOTE


After 2 months of trial, the United States Senate today failed to remove Andrew Johnson from the office of President of the United States by a single vote.


The vote was on the 2nd of 2 impeachment charges brought against Johnson.  The 1st charge had the same result as today’s.


The final vote was 35 Guilty, 19 Not Guilty. 


 The US Constitution requires a 2/3 majority for conviction.  36 guilty votes were required for removal.


President Johnson will finish out the term that he & Abraham Lincoln were elected to in 1864.*


*It has been a long-standing historical view that the “deciding” vote was cast by Edmund G. Ross Republican of Kansas who in opposing his party’s view would lose his bid to be re-elected.


JFK’s 1956 book, “Profiles In Courage”, includes a chapter on Edmund G. Ross.


According to JFK (& previous biographers of Ross), the Senator showed moral courage by voting against his party to “preserve constitutional principles”.


In Senator Ross’s own 1896 autobiography (from which JFK takes this quote), he says:


“I almost literally looked down into my open grave.  Friendships, position, fortune….were about to be swept away….”


In 1999, David Greenberg, posting on “Slate”, wrote that JFK’s view of Ross, supported by previous biographers, is wrong. 


While Greenberg admits that Ross “cast the deciding vote”, he claims the Kansas senator “was no profile in courage”.  


The tile of his article, by the way, is “Andrew Johnson: Saved By A Scoundrel”.



               Edmund G. Ross of Kansas
               Photo by Matthew Brady & 
                   Levin Corbin Handy

JFK SAYS US WILL PUT A MAN ON THE MOON "IN THIS DECADE"

May 25, 1961


JFK SAYS US WILL PUT A MAN ON THE MOON IN THIS DECADE


President John F. Kennedy told Congress today that the United States will put a man on the moon “before this decade is out”.


JFK said:


“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon & returning him safely to Earth.
No single space project will be more impressive to mankind….”


In what he dubbed as his “2nd State of the Union” message, JFK asked Congress to fund the massive cost of an accelerated space program.


The President estimates the cost of achieving this goal of putting a man on the moon to be between 7 & 9 billion dollars over a 5 year time span.*


*While JFK did not live to see it, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin were the 1st men from the planet Earth to walk on the Moon, July 20, 1969.


Neil Armstrong said as he stepped off the lunar lander:


“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”


Sargent Shriver said in a documentary that there is no way you can really understand how “visionary” & “incredible” JFK’s statement, about landing a man on the moon, was on May 25, 1961.  


Shriver said, “After all the moon has been up there a long time & we had been down here & no one ever thought about it ever being possible for a man to walk on the moon.”



             JFK Speaking to Congress
VP Johnson & House Speaker Rayburn
                        May 25, 1961
                 NASA Photograph


In yesterday’s “NY Times” there was a fine essay by John Noble Wilford titled “Race to Space, Through the Lens of Time”.


Wilford writes that JFK was so frustrated in 1961 that the US was behind in the space race, at one point he said:


“If somebody can, just tell me how to catch up.  Let’s find somebody–anybody.  I don’t care if it’s the janitor over there.”


If you want more detailed information on “Space”, may I recommend Amy Teitel’s “Vintage Space”.  While she has not personally walked on the moon, she probably knows more about space than many of those who have.  I have a link to her site on this blog.


May 25, 1962


JFK HOSTS CONSERVATION CONFERENCE


There have not been that many conferences held at the White House on the topic of conservation of our natural resources.  Today, President Kennedy hosted the 1st since Theodore Roosevelt was President.


In speaking to the participants, JFK said:


“The issue involves not only all the people of this nation but in a very real sense all the people of the world.”


The President went on to say that he would like his administration to be identified with the cause of conservation.




May 25, 1946


JOSEPH GARGAN DIES


Rose Kennedy’s brother-in-law, the widower of Rose’s sister, Mary Agnes Fitzgerald Gargan, died today.


Mary Agnes Gargan died in 1936.


Joseph Gargan  is survived by 3 children:  Joseph , Mary Jo & Ann.*


*Ann Gargan served Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. as his chauffeur, was with him at the golf course on the day in December 1961 when he suffered a stroke & cared for him until his death.



Behind Joe Kennedy, Sr. are
Frank Saunders* &  Ann Gargin


*Saunders was Rose Kennedy’s chauffeur


May 25, 1941


JOE KENNEDY SPEAKS AT OGLETHORPE COMMENCEMENT


Former Ambassador to Great Britain under FDR, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., spoke today at the commencement exercises of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.


Kennedy told the graduates that the United States should not enter the war in Europe but should “give every aid to Great Britain”.


Mr. Kennedy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.



May 25, 1935


BABE RUTH HITS 714th CAREER HOME RUN


George Herman “Babe” Ruth hit his 714th career home run today.


Ruth had a very good day at the plate.  He went 4 for 4 hitting 3 home runs & had 6 RBIs.*


*This will be Babe Ruth’s last home run.  His mark of 714 will stand for 39 years.  It was broken on April 8, 1974 by Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron.



      George Herman “Babe” Ruth


May 25, 1787


CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION MEETS 


A meeting to either revise or replace the ineffectual “Articles of Confederation” convened today in Philadelphia.


On hand were 55 delegates representing 12 of the 13 colonies.  Only Rhode Island did not send a delegation.


Attending the convention include George Washington & James Madison of Virginia, & Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.


The meetings will be held at the Pennsylvania State House.*


*The delegates decide very early on to replace the “Articles”.  They create a federal system of government with 3 branches: executive, legislative & judicial.  The branches will be co-equal in power with a system of “checks & balances” put in place.


The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 & then sent to state conventions for ratification.



      Assembly Room at the State House 
           Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
            Photo by Dan Smith (2005)

BROOKLYN BRIDGE ACROSS EAST RIVER IS OPENED

May 24, 1883


BROOKLYN BRIDGE ACROSS EAST RIVER IS OPENED


The longest suspension bridge in the world opened today connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan across the East River in New York.


The bridge is 1595.5 feet long.


The Brooklyn Bridge was dedicated today by President Chester A. Arthur & New York Governor Grover Cleveland.


The Brooklyn Bridge, which took 14 years to complete, was the brainchild of the late John A. Roebling who died as a result of an injury during construction.


The architect’s son, Washington Roebling, took over for his father only to suffer compression sickness in the process of directing continued construction of the bridge.


At today’s ceremony, Roebling’s wife, Emily, carried a rooster across the bridge as a symbol of victory.





                    Brooklyn Bridge
       photo by Jim Henderson (2009)
 
May 24, 1844


1ST TELEGRAPH MESSAGE SENT ACROSS THE WIRES


American inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse sent the 1st telegraph message today from Baltimore, Maryland to Washington, D.C.

     
           Samuel F.B. Morse
      Inventor of the Telegraph
 Photo by Matthew Brady (1866)


The text of the message, a quote from the book of Numbers in the Holy Bible, was suggested to Morse by Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of the commissioner of patents.


The message is:  


          “What hath God wrought?”



       Morse Plaque in Washington, D.C.
                Photo by DB King


In sending this 1st message, Morse has effectively established the world’s 1st telegraph line.*


*A couple of things relating to JFK come to mind in regard to the telegraph.  


When JFK addressed the nation after being elected President, he said he had received a “wire” from Richard Nixon & proceeded to read the telegraph message.


 Also, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, was at the Western Union Telegraph Office just down the street from the Dallas Police Station “wiring” money to one of his employees minutes before he shot Oswald.


May 24, 1941


HMS HOOD SUNK BY GERMAN BATTLESHIP


The “Pride of the British Fleet”, the HMS Hood, was sunk today by the German battleship Bismarck.


The sinking took place off the Northeast coast of Ireland in the North Atlantic.


We are saddened to report the deaths of 1500 British sailors.  There were only 3 survivors.



 HMS Hood in Sydney Harbor (1924)


May 24, 1959


FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE DULLES IS DEAD


The man who served as Secretary of State for most of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 2 terms, John Foster Dulles, died today after a 3 year battle with cancer.


Dulles is considered to be the main architect of Eisenhower’s foreign policy during the “cold war”.


He initiated the idea of “massive retaliation” & “brinksmanship”.  That is, threatening the Soviets with the use of nuclear weapons.



             JFK, Eisenhower & 
Najeebe Halaby,  FAA administrator
At the dedication of Dulles Airport 
                     (1962)


May 24, 1962


SCOTT CARPENTER OVERSHOOTS LANDING TARGET


US Astronaut Scott Carpenter, after 3 successful earth orbits, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean today 250 miles away from his scheduled landing point.


Carpenter had to wait 3 hours for navy personnel to get in a position to retrieve him.


Scott Carpenter is now the 2nd American to orbit the earth following the earlier flight of John Glenn.


Carpenter spent 4 hours & 56 minutes in space.



         Scott Carpenter Awaits Rescue

EUNICE KENNEDY MARRIES SARGENT SHRIVER

May 23, 1953


EUNICE KENNEDY MARRIES SARGENT SHRIVER


Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. & sister of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy was married to Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. today at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.


Eunice Kennedy is 31 years old while her husband is 37.


Francis Cardinal Spellman officiated the nuptial mass.  


The bride wore a white Christian Dior gown with a fitted bodice.*


*Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder of the Special Olympics.  She died at the age of 88 on August 11, 2009.  


The Shriver family issued a statement which read:


“She was a living prayer, a living advocate, a living center of power.  She set out to change the world & to change us & she did that & more.”


President Obama said:


“She was an extraordinary woman who taught our nation & our world that no physical or mental barrier can restrain the power of the human spirit.”



Governor Frank Clement, Rose Kennedy
                Eunice & Sargent Shriver
             Founding of the JFK Center
                         May 29, 1965
                http://www.kc.vanderbilt.edu


May 23, 1955


JACK KENNEDY RETURNS TO THE SENATE


After recuperation of several months at the home of his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts resumed his Senate duties today.


Senator Kennedy was recovering from back surgery. He arrived in Washington, D.C. by plane with his wife, Jacqueline, & his sister, Jean.


When Mr. Kennedy arrived at his office, he found on his desk a card which read:


 “Welcome home!”  It was signed: “Dick Nixon”.



JFK at the 1956 Democratic Convention


May 23, 1960


NAZI WAR CRIMINAL CAPTURED


Israel’s Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, announced today that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured.


Ben-Guiron also said that Eichmann will stand trial in Israel.


Eichmann was the “SS” officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” which meant death for 6 million Jews & other “undesirables” in the Nazi state.


Adolf Eichmann coordinated the identification, assembly & transport of millions of Jews to the Nazi death camps.


He had been in hiding in Buenos Aires, Argentina using the alias Ricardo Klement.*


*Eichmann was found guilty on all counts & was hanged on May 31, 1962.



Adolf Eichmann in a protective box


May 23, 1963


JFK HELPS DEDICATE MONUMENT TO SAILORS MISSING AT SEA SINCE 1943


President John F. Kennedy spoke today at the dedication of the East Coast Memorial to the Missing at Sea.  


The monument, located in New York’s Battery Park,  pays tribute to 4500 American servicemen who were lost in action in the Western Atlantic Ocean during WWII.


In a brief address, JFK said:


“Every generation of Americans must be expected to do their part to maintain freedom for their country.”


The President also talked about a prayer inscribed on plaques given to new submarine captains by Admiral Hyman Rickover. 


The Admiral had given one of the plaques to the President who kept it on his Oval Office desk.


The inscription reads:


“O God, Thy Sea Is So Great & My Boat Is So Small.”



May 23, 1934


BONNIE & CLYDE ARE KILLED IN AMBUSH


Notorious criminals Clyde Barrow & Bonnie Parker died today in a hail of bullets near Sailes, Louisiana.


The leaders of the Barrow Gang committed robberies & murders in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico & Louisiana.


Captain Frank Hamer had been appointed as special investigator to track down the two outlaws.


Hamer & a group of police officers from Louisiana & Texas hid in the bushes along an old country road & when Parker & Barrow’s stolen car appeared they opened fire.


Both Barrow & Parker died instantly.*


*Their story was told in the 1967 film “Bonnie & Clyde: starring Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty.



         Death Car of Bonnie & Clyde


May 23, 2011


CAROLINE KENNEDY PRESENTS PROFILES IN COURAGE AWARD


JFK’s daughter & President of the JFK Library Foundation presented the annual “Profiles In Courage” Award to Elizabeth Redenbaugh & Wael Ghonim & the people of Egypt today at the JFK Library & Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.


The ceremony was presented live “on line” at the JFK Library website.


Mrs. Redenbaugh, a North Carolina school board member, stood up against racial segregation in school districting plans while Wael Ghonim & the people of Egypt in honor of standing up for democratic reforms in their country which inspired similar movements across the Middle East.



         The Profiles In Courage Award

JFK WELCOMES IVORY COAST PRESIDENT

May 22, 1962


JFK WELCOMES IVORY COAST PRESIDENT


President & Mrs. Kennedy welcomed Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of the Ivory Coast, & his wife, Marie-Theresa Houphouet-Boigny, to the White House today.


The Ivory Coast is a pro-Western African nation which receives a substantial amount of economic aid from France.*


*From the 1940s until his death in 1993, “Papa Houphouet” played a leading role in the decolonization of Africa as well as his nation’s government.  He was the “longest-serving leader in African history”.



President & Mrs. Houphouet-Boigny 
     with Mrs. Kennedy & JFK
     Photo by Robert Knudsen


May 22, 1961


JFK PROPOSES PEACE CORPS INITIATIVE


President John F. Kennedy, after a short meeting with former 1st Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, went to the Cabinet Room at the White House to announce a new Peace Corps initiative.


The President announced before the National Advisory Council that the Peace Corps will send 300 volunteers to serve as teaching assistants in the Philippine Islands.


May 22, 1963


JFK SAYS GUANTANAMO WILL NOT CLOSE


President Kennedy,  in response to charges from political opponents that he plans to withdraw from Cuba,  told reporters today he has no intention of abandoning our naval base at Guantanamo.


JFK said:


“Abandoning Guantanamo has never been considered.”


May 22, 1964


RUSK SAYS NORTH VIETNAMESE ARE AGGRESSORS


Secretary of State Dean Rusk, speaking today at the American Law Institute, said the North Vietnamese are the aggressors in South Vietnam.


The Secretary emphasized:


“There is a simple prescription for peace—leave your neighbors alone.”


May 22, 1972


NIXON ARRIVES IN MOSCOW FOR TALKS


President Richard M. Nixon arrived today in Moscow for talks with Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev.


While this is not Mr. Nixon’s first visit to the Soviet Union, it is his 1st as President of the United States.


The two leaders of the world’s superpowers will discuss many issues including a joint venture in space as well as nuclear arms control.



        Brezhnev & Nixon with interpreter


May 22, 1977


PRESIDENT CARTER SPEAKS AT NOTRE DAME


President Jimmy Carter, after just 4 months in office, gave a commencement address today at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.


The President noted recent successes in India, Greece & Spain in bringing about democratic governments.


President Carter said:


“We are now free of that inordinate fear of communism which led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in our fear.”


The President took the opportunity to speak about a new policy. 


 He said what is needed now…


“is a policy based on constant decency in its values & an optimism in our historic vision.”



     President Carter at Notre Dame
      photo from http://www.spectator.org


May 22, 1944


HONEY FITZ WITHDRAWS FROM SENATE RACE


Former mayor of Boston & Massachusetts congressman John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald has announced his withdrawal today from the race for nomination of the Democratic Party for US Senate.


Less than a dozen candidates remain in the race at this time.



“Honey Fitz” with Joe & Jack Kennedy
Library of Congress photo by Hy Peskin


May 22, 1856


CHARLES SUMNER BEATEN ON SENATE FLOOR


Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner,  just days after giving a speech attacking both the institution of slavery & South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, was severely beaten today as he sat at his desk on the floor of the senate.


During a break between sessions, Sumner was busy writing at his desk when Congressman Preston Brooks, a cousin of Senator Butler’s, came into the chamber carrying a wooden cane.


Brooks, with only a few bystanders looking on, proceeded to beat Sumner over the head & shoulders with the cane.


Sumner attempted to get up from his desk but could not do so because it was bolted to the floor.*



*Although Sumner would eventually recover, he was unable to return to the senate for 3 years.


Brooks became an instant Southern hero & received many new canes in the mail, one with the inscription “Hit Him Again!”


May 22, 1802


LADY WASHINGTON* DIES AT MOUNT VERNON


The wife of George Washington, Martha, died today at the age of 70 at her home at Mount Vernon, Virginia just 2 1/2 years after the passing of the 1st President of the United States.


George & Martha Washington were married in 1759.  He was a colonel in the Virginia militia & she was the wealthy widow of a socially prominent family.


*”First Lady” was not is use at the time as the term to identify the wife of the President. Martha was known as “Lady Washington”.



                     Martha Washington


As the wife of the President, Martha Washington believed her primary role was to take care of her husband.*


Martha will be buried next to her husband at Mount Vernon.


*Jacqueline Kennedy had much the same belief, but she added “to take care of my husband & children”.

















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