President Wilson’s Message to Congress in booklet form, delivered on April 2, 1917:
“It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the Congress, which I have performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.”
The American public was not too keen on entering a war that was thousands of miles away, which is why Wilson held his position of neutrality for as long as he could. In due time, Wilson would be recognized as the author of the “Fourteen Points” and ardent proponent of the principle of self-determination.
What broke his position of neutrality?
Events like the sinking of the Lusitania, wherein there were a number of American civilian casualties, and Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare convinced Wilson that neutrality was no longer a tenable position.
(Source: Southampton Historical Museum)
Probably a lovely, lovely man, but …
Barkers for Britain Tag
Before America entered World War II, Fala served as president of Barkers for Britain, a nationwide effort by American dog lovers to support nonmilitary aid to Britain. Membership in the club helped support Bundles for Britain, an organization that collected cash contributions and donations of clothing, blankets, and other basic necessities for the British people. The organization presented membership tags like this one to dog owners who contributed to British war relief.
As president of Barkers for Britain, Fala received letters from around the nation, including this note (with photograph) from “Cire Noir Butler,” head of the group’s Austin, Texas, branch.
-from the Roosevelt Library
Which one would you lend money to? Which one of the three candidates as young men would you want your daughter to marry? Ears and all.
Garfield paraphernalia: his house & accompanying museum displays, and his tomb (bottom two photos, from an earlier date)
I didn’t know if you could take photos inside his house, but it was interesting, and he had a lot of books, and I spent a lot of time being a nerd and reading their spines from behind the velvet ropes.
idk if he was a free trader but he had a whole shelf of Cobden-related books. Lots of Dickens, Origin of Species, lots of books on previous presidents, the complete writings of Charles Sumner, decent number of foreign lang. volumes, some J.S. Mill, Endymion, book of Poe’s poems, religious texts, all manner of odds and ends. I was a nerd and asked the park volunteer if Garfield annotated his books, but apparently he didn’t.
"Lawnfield" apparently wasn’t the name the Garfields themselves called the house; it was a press appellation. It was more or less a big family farm with which they kept themselves busy, but it was conveniently located near a railway line, so James could get a train back to Washington D.C. as needed, and people could also easily stop off at his house to hear campaign speeches from the front porch.
A lot of the wacky old political cartoons on display at the site were from Puck, which I need to look into more, because I’m getting a bit burned out by Punch at the moment.
"A dampener to their celebration", from the Omaha [NB] “Daily Bee”, 7/2/1914 [p.1]. President Wilson is depicted as throwing a bucket of water, labeled “State Rights”, on the firecracker of National Suffrage. In 1914, Wilson still upheld the Democrat party platform that voting rights for women was a state issue, rather than something that should be legislated at the national level. Its remarkable how many civil arguments in American history come down to this issue of state rights versus the “intrusion” of the federal government. Also remarkable: how many times state rights actually triumphs, viz. not that often.
First Lady Flags
After noticing the national flags flying on diplomats’ cars as they arrived at the White House as well as the American and Presidential flags displayed on the President’s car, Betty Ford had a question: “If the President gets flags, why shouldn’t the First Lady?”
In answer Dick Hartwig, then the head of Mrs. Ford’s Secret Service detail, and Rick Sardo, the White House Marine Corps aide, presented her with this specially designed flag on June 24, 1975. Sarah Brinkerhoff, a friend of Hartwig, handmade the pennant for the First Lady’s limousine.
Made of blue satin and trimmed in white lace with blue and red stars, the flag features a pair of red and white bloomers in the center as a play on Mrs. Ford’s maiden name, Bloomer. White text above the bloomers reads, “Don’t Tread on Me.” The letters “E.R.A.” below stand for the Equal Rights Amendment, an indication of Mrs. Ford’s strong support for the proposed amendment that would have given women equality under law through the United States Constitution.
Although it had been designed for her car Mrs. Ford kept the flag on display on her desk in the East Wing.
-from the Ford Library