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December 14, 2011


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) One of my lifelong dreams is to one day sit at the desk of the President of the United States in the oval office.

Unfortunately, that dream has not been realized. 

Today, however, I had the opportunity to sit at a replica of the famous “RESOLUTE” desk which is on display here in Knoxville at a local antique store.

        John White at the Resolute Desk
             Dutch Valley Antique Mall
                   Knoxville, Tennessee
                      December 14, 2011

The Dutch Valley Antique Mall at 2401 Dutch Valley Drive in Knoxville, Tennessee has secured a replica “Resolute” desk & has it on display in their store.

Dutch Valley, which I have visited for years, is offering this particular replica on their store site on EBAY for a “Buy It Now” price of $5975.00 with free shipping within 500 miles of the city.

             The Resolute Replica Desk
             Dutch Valley Antique Mall
                  Photo by John White

According to Dutch Valley Antiques, this replica desk is made of solid mahogany & is complete with the Presidential Seal.  One just like this one is in the oval office display at the Ronald Reagan Library in California.*

*Other replica desks are at the Carter, Clinton, JFK & Nixon Presidential Libraries.

Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy brought the desk out of “mothballs” & had it placed in the Oval Office for her husband.

The desk was a gift from Queen Victoria of Great Britain to President Rutherford B. Hayes on November 23, 1880.

It was built from the timbers of the British Arctic Exploration ship “Resolute”.

The Queen had a twin desk made for herself.

A brass plate on one side of the desk reads:

“H.M.S. RESOLUTE forming part of the expedition sent in search of SIR JOHN FRANKLIN in 1852, was abandoned in latitude 74 degrees 41 minutes N longitude 101 degrees 22 minutes W on 15th May 1854. She was discovered & extricated in September 1855 in latitude 67 degrees N by Captain Buddington of the United States Whaler GEORGE HENRY.

The ship was purchased, fitted out & sent to England as a gift to HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA by the PRESIDENT & PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES as a token of goodwill & friendship.  This table was made from her timbers when she was broken up, & is presented by the QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES as a memorial of the courtesy & loving kindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the RESOLUTE.”


JFK & Caroline at the RESOLUTE DESK

     Mr. Obama at the RESOLUTE DESK
             Photo by Pete Souza (2009)

December 14, 1961


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10980 today at the White House.

The E.O. will establish the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

This commission will be composed of 26 members: 15 women & 11 men.

Former 1st Lady Eleanor Roosevelt will head the commission.

            Mrs. Roosevelt & Mr. Sinatra
                       Girl’s Town Ball
                        March 12, 1960
                           NARA Photo

Some of the tasks of the Presidential commission include to review progress & make recommendations in:

–Employment policies & practices under Federal contracts
–Federal social insurance & tax laws as they impact women’s income
–Federal & State labor laws dealing with hours, night work & wages
–Differences in legal treatment of men & women

Upon signing the order, JFK said:

“Women should not be considered a marginal group to be employed periodically only to be denied opportunities to satisfy their needs & aspirations.”

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