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July 31, 1961


Washington, D.C (JFK+50) Anthony J. Celebrezze, former mayor of the city of Cleveland, Ohio, was sworn in to office today as JFK’s new Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare.

Secretary Celebrezze, who was born in Anzi, Italy & moved to the United States with his family at the age of 2, succeeds Abraham Ribicoff.

This is the 1st member of JFK’s original cabinet appointees to be replaced.*

*Celebrezze continued at HEW under LBJ but on August 17, 1965 he resigned & 2 days later was appointed to the US Court of Appeals where he served until his death in 1998.

                 Anthony J. Celebrezze

July 31, 1962


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Kennedy has concluded 4 days of talks with Prime Minister Souvanna Phouma of Laos.

In a joint statement issued from the White House, JFK confirms “the determination of the United States” that Laos remain independent & neutral.

The Prime Minister also confirmed his commitment to peace in his nation & in Southeast Asia.  His commitment follows the recent official declaration of neutrality by Laos.

Mr. Phouma also expressed thanks to United States for its contribution in the peace settlement.*

*JFK also met today with Brazilian ambassador Roberto De Oliveira Campus & a group of students from Brazil.

July 31, 1975


Detroit, Michigan (JFK+50) The head of the Teamsters Union, James Riddle Hoffa, disappeared today after last being seen in his car in the parking lot of a restaurant in a Detroit suburb.

Jimmy Hoffa became president of the Teamsters Union in 1957 but was the target of government investigations during the 1960s for his associations with organized crime.

In 1967, Hoffa was convicted of bribery & sentenced to 15 years in prison.

President Nixon made possible his release, however, in 1971 on the condition Hoffa would not participate in union activities for a period of 10 years.

Hoffa was last seen around 2:45 this afternoon in his car which was in the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield, a Detroit suburb.

When he did not return home, Hoffa’s wife made a call to police to report him missing.*

*Jimmy Hoffa reportedly said when he was informed that JFK had been assassinated: “Well, Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now.”  

Hoffa was declared legally dead on July 30, 1982.

                RFK & Jimmy Hoffa
      Congressional Investigation
                September 17, 1958

July 31, 1953


New York City (JFK+50) Senator Robert A. Taft (R-Ohio) died of cancer at New York Hospital today at the age of 63.

Senator Taft, the son of former President William Howard Taft, a conservative Republican, was a critic of FDR’s New Deal when he first went to the Senate in 1938.

Taft also was an opponent of Truman’s policy of the containment of communism.  He also opposed US membership in NATO.

Senator Taft will be laid to rest at Indian Hill Episcopal Church Cemetery in Cincinatti, Ohio.*

*JFK named Bob Taft as one of the 5 greatest US senators in 1957.

             Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio

July 31, 1875


Elizabethton, Tennessee (JFK+50) The 17th President of the United States & the 1st US president to be impeached, Andrew Johnson, died here today while visiting his daughter.

Andrew Johnson was born in North Carolina but moved to Greeneville, Tennessee where he was elected mayor in 1834.  The following year he became a state legislator & in 1843 became a United States senator.

In 1864, President Lincoln chose him as his running mate to unify the Republican party & the nation.

On April 15, 1865, Andrew Johnson became President of the United States upon Lincoln’s death.

While Johnson’s presidency was troubled, he escaped conviction on impeachment charges by a single vote & was able to complete his term.

Andrew Johnson will be buried in Greeneville, Tennessee.

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