Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pardoning of the turkey!

                         Thanksgiving tradition in the White House: the pardoning of the Turkey!

           Throughout history, 22 have been pardoned at the White House, and today, President Obama will pardon one more.

           Rumors and mythmakers thrust the clemency onto Harry S. Truman, but it’s true. The pardoning of Tom Turkey can be traced to Abraham Lincoln, believe or not! In 1865, Tad pleaded on behalf of a holiday turkey and his father granted clemency. The moment was reported by White House dispatcher Noah Brooks.

                                                            Harry S. Truman

            Turkeys were donated from a Rhode Island poultry dealer, Horace Vose. The tradition began in 1870, and held until his death. In 1921, Harding Girls Club in Chicago outfitted the turkey as a flying ace, complete with in 1925.

             First Lady Grace Coolidge accepted a turkey from a Vermont Girl Scout.

             Harry Truman was the first president to receive a turkey from the poultry and egg board. There was some kind of ‘thing’ going on from September to November 1947, about ‘poultryless Thursday’, and the White House was flooded with chickens. ‘Hens for Harry’. Truman then decided to promote the industry, and he got two turkeys in December 1948. He said, ‘They’d come in handy’. 

             President Kennedy said, “Let’s keep him going.” The pardoning didn’t jell until 1989 when President George H. W. Bush.

             Now you know the rest of the story-!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt and the Maltese Cabin

This was Theodore Roosevelt's first cabin in the Dakota Territory. It was used by Roosevelt from 1883-1884, before he became President. After his wife and mother died in 1884, only hours apart, Roosevelt became depressed. He then left the cabin and went further north up the Little Missouri River, where he constructed his new Elkhorn Ranch cabin, where he spent most of his time.
In 1901, at the dawn of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt became the nation's 26th President and ultimately one of its greatest conservationists. He later said, "I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota."
It was here in the North Dakota badlands in 1883 that Theodore Roosevelt first arrived to hunt a buffalo. Before he left, he had acquired primary interests in the Maltese Cross Ranch (also called the Chimney Butte Ranch). Roosevelt thrived on the vigorous outdoor lifestyle, and, at the Maltese Cross, actively participated in the life of a working cowboy.
The Maltese Cross Ranch cabin was originally located about seven miles south of Medora in the wooded bottom-lands of the Little Missouri River. At Roosevelt's request, ranch managers Sylvane Ferris and Bill Merrifield built a  112-story cabin complete with a shingled roof and root cellar. Constructed of durable ponderosa pine logs, the cabin was considered somewhat of a "mansion" in its day, with wooden floors and three separate rooms (kitchen, living room and Roosevelt's bedroom). The steeply pitched roof, an oddity on the northern plains, created an upstairs sleeping loft for the ranch hands.
Several items present in the cabin today did belong to Theodore Roosevelt, but the majority of the furnishings are period pieces representing a typical cabin of the time (see Furnishing Plan). The white hutch in the main room is original to the cabin and was used as a bookcase and writing desk. The classically styled desk is from the Elkhorn Ranch cabin. Roosevelt spent many hours at his desk, recording his experiences and memoirs of badlands life.
The common rocking chair is believed to have been Roosevelt's, or may have come from an upstairs room in the Ferris Store where Roosevelt stayed on occasion. Rocking chairs were his favorite piece of furniture; all of his homes had rocking chairs, and Roosevelt once wrote, "What true American does not enjoy a rocking-chair?"
Roosevelt's traveling trunk sits in the bedroom and is inscribed with his initials. The large leather trunk traveled back and forth with him on the train from his home in New York City to the stop in Medora and would have held clothing and personal items.
Roosevelt actively ranched in the badlands only until early 1887, but maintained ranching interests in the area until 1898. Later, as president, he developed a conservation program that deeply reflected his many experiences in the West. It was through these experiences that he became keenly aware of the need to conserve and protect natural resources.
During Roosevelt's presidency, the Maltese Cross cabin was exhibited at the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri and at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon in 1905. In 1910, it was moved again, this time, to the state fairgrounds in West Fargo, North Dakota and then eventually on the state capitol grounds in Bismarck where it remained until 1959 before the cabin was relocated to its present site and renovated. The most recent preservation work occurred in 2000.
Roosevelt's second ranch, the Elkhorn, was built in 1884 and was located about 35 miles north of Medora on the Little Missouri River. After its construction, Roosevelt considered the Elkhorn his "home ranch" and spent most of his time there whenever he was in residence in the Dakotas.
The Maltese Cross Cabin was later abandoned for a time, but is now preserved and maintained properly by the National Park Service. Today, it is located within Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and designated as a historic landmark. Some personal effects of Theodore Roosevelt remain on display in the cabin. Tours of the cabin are held from mid June-Labor Day. The rest of the year, the cabin is self-guided.
The original location of this cabin was several miles away. Because of its smaller size the cabin was able to be moved around the state on a public tour, but was relocated to the current site after restoration. Nothing remains of his subsequent cabin, located in a much more remote area at the Elkhorn Ranch, except some cornerstones, foundation blocks, and a well which is covered for safety. "I do not believe there ever was any life more attractive to a vigorous young fellow than life on a cattle ranch in those days. It was a fine, healthy life, too; it taught a man self-reliance, hardihood, and the value of instant decision...I enjoyed the life to the full."

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Edith Roosevelt

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt was the second wife and First Lady of her childhood companion and the 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909).
Edith Kermit Carow knew Theodore Roosevelt from infancy; as a toddler she became a playmate of his younger sister Corinne. Born in Connecticut in 1861, daughter of Charles and Gertrude Tyler Carow, she grew up in an old New York brownstone on Union Square -- an environment of comfort and tradition. Throughout childhood she and "Teedie" were in and out of each other's houses.
Attending Miss Comstock's school, she acquired the proper finishing touch for a young lady of that era. A quiet girl who loved books, she was often Theodore's companion for summer outings at Oyster Bay, Long Island; but this ended when he entered Harvard. Although she attended his wedding to Alice Hathaway Lee in 1880, their lives ran separately until 1885, when he was a young widower with an infant daughter, Alice.
Putting tragedy behind him, he and Edith were married in London in December 1886. They settled down in a house on Sagamore Hill, at Oyster Bay, headquarters for a family that added five children in ten years: Theodore, Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin. Throughout Roosevelt's intensely active career, family life remained close and entirely delightful. A small son remarked one day, "When Mother was a little girl, she must have been a boy!"

Public tragedy brought them into the White House, eleven days after President McKinley succumbed to an assassin's bullet. Assuming her new duties with characteristic dignity, Mrs. Roosevelt meant to guard the privacy of a family that attracted everyone's interest, and she tried to keep reporters outside her domain. The public, in consequence, heard little of the vigor of her character, her sound judgment, her efficient household management.
But in this administration the White House was unmistakably the social center of the land. Beyond the formal occasions, smaller parties brought together distinguished men and women from varied walks of life. Two family events were highlights: the wedding of "Princess Alice" to Nicholas Longworth, and Ethel's debut. A perceptive aide described the First Lady as "always the gentle, high-bred hostess; smiling often at what went on about her, yet never critical of the ignorant and tolerant always of the little insincerities of political life."

T.R. once wrote to Ted Jr. that "if Mother had been a mere unhealthy Patient Griselda I might have grown set in selfish and inconsiderate ways." She continued, with keen humor and unfailing dignity, to balance her husband's exuberance after they retired in 1909.
After his death in 1919, she traveled abroad but always returned to Sagamore Hill as her home. Alone much of the time, she never appeared lonely, being still an avid reader -- "not only cultured but scholarly," as T.R. had said. She kept till the end her interest in the Needlework Guild, a charity which provided garments for the poor, and in the work of Christ Church at Oyster Bay. She died on September 30, 1948, at the age of 87.
During her time as FL, she was instrumental in changing the private residence. Security was lax and people would wander into the private residence so she removed the presidential staff from the second floor. She was also involved with the 1902 renovation and addition of the West Wing which gave it the classical look, and on the ground floor, the gallery of the First Ladies collection.
The biographies of the First Ladies on are from “The First Ladies of the United States of America,” by Allida Black. Copyright 2009 by the White House Historical Association.

Alice Roosevelt