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Archive for the category “Library of Congress”


October 4, 2011


                   Library of Congress
          Photo by John White (2011)

Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Our recent trip to Washington included a visit to the Library of Congress.  We accessed the “Thomas Jefferson Building” via the underground tunnel from the Capitol.  

This passageway, built in 2008, enables visitors to the Capitol to directly access the Library without having to go through security a 2nd time.

The Library of Congress, which has the largest amount of shelf space & # of books of any library in the world, was established in 1800.

The original Library was housed in the Capitol until 1814 when it was put to the torch by the British during the War of 1812.

Former President Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement & Congress accepted his 6,487 books in 1815.

                       Jennifer White 
     Tours the Library of Congress
       Photo by John White (2011)

The Library of Congress website says:

“The Jefferson concept of universality, the belief that all subjects are important to the library & the American legislature, is the philosophy & rationale behind the comprehensive collection policies of today’s L of C.”

The cornerstone of the Thomas Jefferson (Library of Congress) Building was laid in 1890 & the last stone of the structure was put in place on July 7, 1894.

The Library opened to the public on November 1, 1897*

*The Library of Congress today includes a collection of 33 million books & print materials.

                    Library of Congress
           Photo by John White (2011)

October 4, 1957


              “Dawn of the Space Age”
                   by Gregory R. Todd
                       October 4, 2007

Moscow, USSR (JFK+50) The Soviet Union announced today that they have launched Sputnik (which means “traveler” in English) the 1st artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.

Sputnik traveled at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour with each orbit taking 96.2 minutes to complete.

The designers, engineers & technicians of the satellite informed Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev 90 minutes after lift-off because they wanted to be certain of the success of the mission.

Soviet news agency TASS reported:

“As a result of great, intense work of scientific institutes & design bureaus, the 1st artificial satellite has been built.”*

*President Eisenhower was not surprised by the announcement of Sputnik but later he was surprised by the reaction of “shock” by the American people that the Soviets were so far ahead of us in the “space race.”

Sputnik completed 1,440 orbits before its service ended on Jan. 4, 1958.

October 4,1961


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy appointed today a bipartisan 9 member commission to address presidential election reforms.

JFK wants the commission to recommend ways for presidential candidates to be less dependent on private campaign contributions.

The President said:

“I have long thought that we must either provide a federal share in campaign costs, or reduce the cost of campaign services, or both.”

October 4, 1962


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Kennedy’s Foreign Trade Bill, which gives the President the power to negotiate tariff reductions, was passed by Congress today.

The legislation will enable the President to negotiate reductions in tariff rates up to 50%.

JFK believes the Foreign Trade Bill will improve the nation’s trade abroad as well as give a much needed boost to the economy at home.

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