Fourth of July with the Presidents
Some Presidents preferred to relax away from the White House – Lyndon B. Johnson traditionally spent the holiday at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas. Others have traced the history of the holiday with visits to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Read more
To celebrate the Fourth here’s a gallery of Presidential Independence Day celebrations from the White House Blog.
This photo is from the fireworks display over Washington D.C. during the Eisenhower administration. 7/4/54.
“Liberty is a living flame to be fed, not dead ashes to be revered, even in a Bicentennial year.”
-Gerald R. Ford
President Ford stands at attention while Marines present the flag prior to delivering his remarks on American Independence at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1976.
-from the Gerald R. Ford Library
The Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence
This is one of the copies produced by John Dunlap, the official printer of the Continental Congress, and the first version of the Declaration to be printed and distributed. It was inserted into the “rough journal” of the Continental Congress within the July 4 entry.
The handwritten version of the Declaration (aka the “Engrossed” version), later signed by members of the Continental Congress, is on permanent display in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. Starting at 10am today, you can hear it read — four of the readers are descendants of the original signers.
Ever been to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence in person? Ever heard it read?
"If I don’t improve, I’m going to pass a law that no one can ask me my golf score." — Dwight D. Eisenhower
The May 26, 1860, edition of Harper’s Weekly, with a story on the new Republican Party presidential nominee, Abraham Lincoln.
The national convention had opened on May 16 in Chicago, a plus for the Illinois-raised Lincoln, but the frontrunner was William Seward of New York. Seward, however, had weakened his chances among moderate Republicans with his former antislavery radicalism. Lincoln’s less-adamant position—opposing only the extension of slavery into the territories—was viewed as giving him strength in the “battleground” states of the lower North, which the Republicans had lost in the 1856 election. There were 465 delegates packed into the Chicago convention hall. Seward won on the first two ballots, with Lincoln coming in second. On the third ballot, four Ohioans switched their votes to Lincoln, followed by a wild stampede of delegates for the “rail splitter.”Via the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
"The bear" in this iconic campaign ad from Ronald Reagan’s 1984 bid for presidential re-election represents perceived threats to national security - particularly those that might come from the Soviet Union. Without referencing his opponent, Walter Mondale, or anything specific at all, it sought to convey the idea that America under Reagan’s leadership would be better prepared for what might come.
It’s a classic in American political history; the 2004 George W. Bush ad, “Wolves” was based on “The Bear in the woods.”