Saturday, January 25, 2014

First Lady Lou Hoover


Louhenryhoover.jpg
First Lady Lou Henry Hoover

Birth:


29 March 1874
Waterloo, Iowa

First Lady:

54 years old

4 March 1929 – 4 March 1933


Lou Henry Hoover earned a teaching degree before continuing her education at Stanford University in California where she got her B.A. in geology. She was introduced to her future husband at this time. He earned his degree in mining. He went to Australia to work for British Mining, and sent her a proposal letter.


Lou loved the great outdoors. She enjoyed anything physical such as baseball, basketball, fishing, skating, horseback riding, etc. Anything that kept her outdoors, which deepened her interest in canyons, wild flowers, nuts, etc. Physical exertion was good for you, and she believed that everyone needed a good work out.


When President Wilson appointed her husband as head of the Food and Drug Administration, she urged people to grow their own food, and to be self-sufficient. This was coined as ‘Hoovering’. Eventually, Mr. Hoover was named Director General of Post War Relief and Rehabilitation. He also worked as Commerce Secretary to President Harding.


When living in England, she learned about the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. Later, she founded the Girl Scouts, working closely with them to build character, physically and mentally. She founded two Girl Scout chapters, one in Palo Alto, CA and the other in Washington, D.C. Both places, she called home. The oldest Girl Scout house in the country was designed by her still in use, located in Palo Alto’s Rinconada Park, CA.


She loved languages and learned Mandarin while they lived in China where he worked as the Director General of the Department of Mines of the Chinese Government. During their White House years, if they needed to speak privately, this is the language used. They toured the country by bicycle.


As First Lady, she did away with the old-fashioned custom of leaving calling cards on social visits. She single-handedly brought the custom of socializing into the 20th century by doing this. She also engaged speakers from all over the world, and from living in so many countries plus visitors to her home, she became interested in the arts. She also was named the only woman on the board of the National Amateur Athletic Association. She took on the Olympics and it’s policy of allowing women to participate in shooting competitions plus more women coaches for equality issues.


I guess she must’ve been a believer in the ERA-which still isn’t passed.


As First Lady, she used the radio to give speeches. She used her role as First Lady seriously and was more subdued. She began the movement of turning the White House back to it’s beginnings by initially gathering Lincoln furniture and turning it into a ‘study’—now it’s the Lincoln bedroom—thanks to the Truman’s. Mrs. Hoover sought Monroe items, known as the ‘Monroe Room’, which now is the ‘Treaty Room’ or President’s Study’. She also paired the full-length portrait’s of Mr. and Mrs. Washington together in the East Room. Out of her own pocket, she paid for a comprehensive list of all WH objects plus the cataloguing of the items.


Lou Hoover purchased land and designed a cabin for them to rest in, which is located in Rapidan River, Virginia. It’s known as Camp Rapidan.


Lou Hoover believed in equality, and mind-full of others. She refused to sign documents upon the purchase of a new home, that it wouldn’t be sold to African-Americans or to a Jew.


During the stockmarket crash, which later led to her husband’s demise, she unwittingly served expensive food in the White House. But, when there was the encampment on the WH lawn, she issued blankets, sandwiches and coffee.


The unrelenting Depression and attacks on her husband left her bitter and depressed after the second bid for the presidency. They were quite rich, and it is believed that she had trouble understanding that not everyone could go to college or amass a fortune. She continued her work with the Scouts and 4-H until her death.

Death:

69 years old

7 January 1944

New York, New York

Burial:

Alta Mesa Cemetery, Palo Alto, California

Re-interred in 1964 at Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

West Branch, Iowa





Sunday, December 8, 2013

THE WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS TREE (displayed inside)




The White House Christmas tree is a tradition that dates back to 1889. The very first Christmas tree in the White House was when Benjamin Harrison lived there. It was displayed in the Oval Room on the second floor. The Harrison White House Christmas tree was decorated with lit candles. This very first simple Christmas tree displayed in the White House has transformed into a treasured, national tradition.




The national Christmas tradition didn't take off right away, however. Not all of the presidential families displayed Christmas trees during the holidays. The event became official with the 1929 White House Christmas tree. First Lady Lou Henry Hoover was in charge of the decorations for the Christmas tree in the White House. Since then, decorating the White House Christmas tree has become an honor bestowed upon the First Ladies.



The first White House Christmas tree to display electric lights instead of candles was in 1895. First Lady Frances Cleveland decided to bring the Christmas tree in the White House up to modern standards by decorating it with the popular electric Christmas tree lights.



First Lady Jackie Kennedy started the White House Christmas tree tradition of decorating with a specific theme in mind. There have been many White House Christmas tree themes over the years. Jackie Kennedy's selected theme was inspired by the popular Christmas ballet, "Nutcracker Suite". She decorated the 1961 Christmas tree with candy canes, toy ornaments, and tiny gift packages. The ornaments were made by American craftsmen that were disabled or senior citizens.

                                                                                   
The official White House website shows a photograph of a popular White House Christmas tree. It was the early American themed Christmas tree chosen by Lady Bird Johnson. The Christmas tree was decorated with traditional Christmas tree decorations such as gingerbread cookies, popcorn, fruit, and a paper mache angel was perched at the top. The White House Christmas tree was displayed in the blue Oval Room.



One of the Reagan White House Christmas trees had a Mother Goose theme. The base of the tree featured scenes from Mother Goose nursery rhymes. 100 miniature geese decorated the Christmas tree, as well as gingerbread men and ornaments made out of Christmas cards.



The White House Christmas tree tradition has evolved somewhat over the years. Today, the First Lady selects a theme for the White House Christmas tree. Then American artists think up ways to decorate the Christmas tree for the White House. Each year, the National Christmas Tree Association presents the official White House Christmas tree that is displayed in the Blue Room. This has been a tradition since 1966.



The 2007 White House Christmas tree is a Fraser fir that is so large that the chandelier had to be removed to display it in the Blue Room. The 2007 White House Christmas tree theme is America's national historic sites. Ornaments designed by American artisans adorn the tree. Each handmade ornament represents a nationally recognized site in the United States. There are over 300 White House Christmas tree ornaments that represent American historic sites, monuments, national parks, memorials, and seashores.








A White House Christmas: The Blue Room Christmas Tree, seen from the Cross Hall of the White House (left), features cards written by children of U.S. military members and medals, badges and patches from all branches of the U.S. military

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween at the White House

I figure that since it’s nearing Halloween, we need to learn about some of the spooks and ghosts still rambling and roaming around in the White House. I’ll save the best for last and begin with who supposedly have seen which apparitions that float around the floors of our Executive Mansion.

Eire-Attic-Room
Attic in the White House

President Lincoln’s footman, Jerry Smith, believed that he saw the presidential spirits of Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, and a few first ladies. I don’t know which ones, but I question if Dolley Madison doesn’t attend balls wearing her empire waist, red ball gown. Eleanor Roosevelt’s secretary became very frightened at seeing President Lincoln’s ghost sitting on the bed. I think he’s probably wondering how he fit his long legs in and under the sheets. Did he keep his stovepipe hat beside him at night so he could riffle through all the pages he’d stuck inside of it? The same person also had encounters with Andrew Jackson. He’s probably wondering if he’s still considered, Old Hickory, or not? She also spoke of experiences with President Truman, but not his wife. He’s probably practicing the piano so he can play better than President Nixon. All of the above apparitions have been sighted in the grand staircase.



Mary Lincoln held séances and tried to seek her deceased children and husband. However, Abraham did sit in on one, and was surprised at the strange movements around the room. Carl Sandberg quoted the Boston Gazette,that ‘tables were moved, a picture of Henry Clay swayed more than a foot, and two candelabras were twice nearly raised’. The events took place in the Red Room.



In 1884, Grover Cleveland was the first president to have grown up carving pumpkins. He was one of the first Americans to go ‘trick or treating’. While in school, he used to play pranks like ringing the school bell at midnight and removing garden gates.


And, they say that Abigail Adams' spirit still haunts the East room where she used to hang the wash to dry.

Abigail hanging the family wash.
http://www.whitehouse.org/whha_history/whitehouse_tour-east-room.html

Now the Obama’s pass out candy, cookies and other treats at the orange lit White House.


White House HalloweenHalloween at the White House - PhotosHalloween at the White House - Photos
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/31/white-house-trickortreate_n_341235

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First Lady Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge

First Lady: August 2, 1923—March 4, 1929


This gal knew what she was doing. This day in age, she’d be highly regarded for her contribution to special education. She was innately shy, but very much the social butterfly. People loved her. She went on to be a wonderful White House hostess.

She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1902, and was the founding member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Later she became a faculty member of the School for the Deaf in North Hampton, Massachusetts as a lip reading instructor. She was ahead of her time!


The first time she met Calvin Coolidge, she broke out laughing. She’d been watering flowers, looked toward an open window where she saw the future President in only his underwear. Later, they were formally introduced and found that they were attracted to each other.

Grace’s mother wasn’t especially pleased with her future son-in-law and mostly because of his reserved manner. She figured that her daughter was the force behind the Coolidge’s political success.


On October 4, 1905, she was 26 and Coolidge, 33, when they married. They had two sons. Mrs. Coolidge was very well liked and as First Lady, she kept the social life just as her husband wanted: unpretentious but dignified.


Mrs. Coolidge was very popular. Her husband was in office when Charles Lindbergh made his famous transatlantic flight in 1927. She never was privy to anything political and didn’t even know that her husband wasn’t seeking re-election until he announced it to the press. She received a gold medal from the National Institute of Social Science. In 1931 she was voted one of America’s twelve greatest living women.

After the White House, Coolidge summed up his marriage to Grace in his autobiography: “For almost a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces.” After Calvin’s death, she continued her work for the deaf and during WWWII, she worked on behalf of the Red Cross.


She died July 8, 1957 at 78. She is buried beside her husband in Plymouth, Vermont.
Thanks to Wikipedia http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Coolidge

Grace Coolidge and her pet raccoon
Grace Coolidge and her pet raccoon, Rebecca. Taken between 1921 and 1923


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Labor Day

HOW LABOR DAY CAME ABOUT; WHAT IT MEANS


Labor_day : happy labor day - illustration

"Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."


Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.


The First Labor Day


The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, l883.


In l884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in l885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.



Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 2l, l887. During the year four more states -- Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York -- created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday
Labor_day : illustration of colorful balloon with American flag for Independence Day Stock Photo

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday -- a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.


The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television.


The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership -- the American worker.

[Source: United States Department of Labor]


A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday -- a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership -- the American worker.

[Source: United States Department of Labor]

http://usgovinfo.com/bllabor.html








Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FOURTH OF JULY

July 2, 1776 is when John Adams proclaimed: I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sprts, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. He wrote this to his beloved wife, Abigail. The revised Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776, which is why it's celebrated on the Fourth.


Ever since 1777, Americans have celebrated the Day of Independence with fireworks, parades, picnics, family gatherings, etc. The first celebration had a firing of the canon, militia march and the reading of the Declaration of Independence with much 'HUZZA!' across the land. Ever since, there's not much changed. It seems that American's like a good party and it was passed with zeal as a proven National Holiday plus a few years later, adding the fifth as another day in which everyone will also get paid. There was a bit of snag with DC, since it's not a state, but the folks who live there, did finally obtain the same rights as everyone else.

Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who had finally made up and resumed their friendship after many years, died fifty years after the signing of the document. Two of our glorious Founding Fathers died together. It seems to be more of Divine intervention than a coincidence to me, that this should happen.

During the time of the Civil War, President Lincoln found it to be not a time of rejoicing but a time of sorrow, for he saw his Union slipping from further away plus all the dead haunted him. But with the Union victory in Vicksburg, they celebrated on July 7, 1863. In 1865, it's the first time that Freedmen could celebrate, reading the Emanicipation Proclamation in honor of the now assassinated President Lincoln. Tattered flags were flown and there was celebration all across the land, even at Gettysburg.

An added note, in 1868 President Johnson had the Declaration of Independence read not only in English but also in Spanish. 1883 it was read in Swedish in Moorhead, MN. God Bless those Swedes! 1907 Mark Twain gave a Fourth July speech in London. 1918, New York City gave a pageant parade with forty different nationalites. For the 150 year celebration, President Coolidge planted a willow tree similar to one that had been growing at Mount Vernon during President Washington's life. There were also speeches, ceremonies aplenty at Monticello and all across the land plus overseas. In 1919, one of the peaks in the Black Hills is renamed Mt. Theodore Roosevelt. In 1942, fireworks were cancelled because of 'blackout' during the war. 1960 gave us our 50th star, Hawaii. 1976, our nation's 200 anniversary, at 2:00 when the Declaration was approved, bells rang thirteen times simultaneously across our land commemorating our first thirteen colonies.

The Freedman speeches still ring across our land. The Declaration is still read. In spite of all of our differences and squabbles over politics, Americans still love our land and celebrate it with zest and honor.

So to EVERYONE who has served, will serve, knows someone who has or will, THANK YOU! GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND GOD BLESS AMERICA!


American Flag Series                 Brightly colorful fireworks  in the night sky               Declaration & Flag


















Monday, May 6, 2013

MEMORIAL DAY



From what I’ve learned, it’s apparent that the need for honoring our vets came from the women. Those who survived. It also began during and after the American Civil War. Both sides had a need to honor their dead. The women would mourn over the death of their husbands and lovers, sons and brothers, fathers and daughters. They’d decorate the graves. This is why it was first called: Decoration Day. Leave it to the women to start something to honor their heroes who’d stolen their hearts.Memorial Day Home Page

     A hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.


    The spontaneous gatherings of the women morphed into Memorial Day, and it was used as a means to unite the country, and was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

    It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).
    In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

 In Flanders Fields Sheet Music – Key of C


We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.

    Ms. Michael was the first to wear one, selling poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women.

    This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
 http://www.usmemorialday.org/popup/moina1.jpg
    The moral of this story: Behind every great man is an even greater woman!