Dwight D. Eisenhower at Whitehall Terminal, October 30, 1952. Eisenhower was in the final days of his presidential campaign at the time.
“The hand of God is laid upon the nations.” - Woodrow Wilson, Fifth Annual Message, December 4, 1917
Things got a little rowdy last night.
I won’t bore you with the details of supply-side economics or trickle-down economics here (because I have no idea what they are), but this 1982 novelty dart board satirizing President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies is pretty rad, from the jelly beans to the ten-gallon hat to the highest score marker right on the Gipper’s backside.
The “R.I.F.” stands for “Reduction in Force,” which means “You don’t have a job anymore,” something many federal employees were hearing at the time. Score 240 points on the board and you win a “Presidential R.I.F.” and Ronnie packs his bags and looks for a new job.
For the under-40 set: “Bonzonomics” is a play on the 1951 comedy Bedtime for Bonzo, starring then-actor Ronald Reagan and a chimpanzee, and President Reagan’s economic policies, referred to as "Reaganomics" … Of course, “Reaganomics” is itself a portmanteau of “Reagan” and “economics” … HOW DEEP DOES THE RABBIT HOLE GO?
It’s 1962, and President John Kennedy is mad. Really mad. He thought he’d negotiated an agreement between unions and steel companies to keep prices from rising. At the time, the price of steel was climbing so fast that Kennedy’s advisers believed it could trigger a rise in inflation. But days later, many of the biggest steel companies announced a price increase. Kennedy’s response ranged from a harsh speech to unleashing his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who - let’s just say, “vigorously” - investigated allegations of illegal price fixing among the steel companies.
It worked … basically. The steel companies relented and we averted a potential crisis. But the business press was brutal. Kennedy was depicted as dictatorial, fascist and [insert anything the GOP calls Barack Obama here]. It was President Kennedy versus Big Business. It didn’t help at all when media reported that Kennedy said: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons-of-bitches, but I never believed it till now.”
Angry businessmen responded by rebranding “S.O.B.” - they were the “Sons of Business” now, proud members of the same anti-Kennedy club.
A giant cake from Hersheys that turns out to be plywood and papier mâché is like a nightmare I would have had as a kid.
On October 13, 1953, one day before President Eisenhower’s 63rd birthday, Hershey hosted a birthday party for him. The party was intended as a fund raiser for the Republican Party. Pictured above are Mamie and Ike in the Hershey Sports Arena next to the giant (9 feet wide, 6 feet high) birthday cake made of plywood and papier mâché, topped by 63 electric candles. The two of them got a piece from a small portion of real cake inserted in the second layer.
Creepiest Business Card Ever
This card, advertising the engraving and printing services of one A.G. Gedney of Washington, D.C., contains about twenty hairs from the head of President Abraham Lincoln and that’s not actually the creepiest part:
Hair side reads:
Cut from the head of Abraham Lincoln by Dr. Brown the Embalmer and given by him to Mr. Gedney of Washington; Cut from the vicinity of the wound.
Ew. Non-hair side reads:
A.G. Gedney, Copper, Steel & Lithographic Engraving & Printing. Washington. 466 Penna. Avenue.
So, questions: why was Dr. Brown the Embalmer handing out locks of Lincoln’s hair? Did Gedney buy it? Was hair “cut from the vicinity of the wound” more expensive that non-wound-related hair? Did Gedney think Presidential Hair Business Cards (did he have more than one?) would get him more engraving business?
These are questions which demand answers!
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Rare Books Dept. Prints and Ephemera. Judd Stewart collection