OurPresidents:

The 1st Televised Kennedy/Nixon Debate
On September 26, 1960 Democratic candidate Senator John F.  Kennedy and  Republican candidate Vice President Richard Nixon  participated in the first of  four televised debates.  Americans for the  first time could tune in and watch presidential debates on  television, or listen on the  radio.
About 70 million people tuned in for the Kennedy/Nixon debates.  When  they turned on their television sets, they were actually able to see Richard Nixon and John Kennedy.   Nixon had refused makeup for the cameras, and hadn’t gained back his  natural weight after a serious knee injury  and two weeks in the  hospital. Kennedy, on the other hand, had been  campaigning in southern  California and appeared on camera with a healthy  tan.
The story has it that those Americans who tuned in over the radio   believed the two candidates were evenly matched, but tended to think   Nixon had won the debates. But those 70 million who watched the   candidates on the television believed Kennedy was the clear victor.
While there aren’t any qualified statistics to back up this claim, what is certain is that Kennedy took a leap in the polls after the debate. Appearances, it seemed, suddenly mattered in Presidential races, far more than   they ever had before. Kennedy himself said after the election that “it   was TV more than anything else that turned the tide” toward his  victory.
It’s curious to think who might have been elected if modern   technology had been  around throughout U.S. history. Washington wore   dentures. Lincoln had a high-pitched voice. William Howard Taft weighed   over 300 pounds. James Madison was 5′ 4″.
-from The National Archives’ Prologue: Pieces of History 
What pre-television President would you most like to see speak?

OurPresidents:

The 1st Televised Kennedy/Nixon Debate

On September 26, 1960 Democratic candidate Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican candidate Vice President Richard Nixon participated in the first of four televised debates.  Americans for the first time could tune in and watch presidential debates on television, or listen on the radio.

About 70 million people tuned in for the Kennedy/Nixon debates. When they turned on their television sets, they were actually able to see Richard Nixon and John Kennedy. Nixon had refused makeup for the cameras, and hadn’t gained back his natural weight after a serious knee injury and two weeks in the hospital. Kennedy, on the other hand, had been campaigning in southern California and appeared on camera with a healthy tan.

The story has it that those Americans who tuned in over the radio believed the two candidates were evenly matched, but tended to think Nixon had won the debates. But those 70 million who watched the candidates on the television believed Kennedy was the clear victor.

While there aren’t any qualified statistics to back up this claim, what is certain is that Kennedy took a leap in the polls after the debate. Appearances, it seemed, suddenly mattered in Presidential races, far more than they ever had before. Kennedy himself said after the election that “it was TV more than anything else that turned the tide” toward his victory.

It’s curious to think who might have been elected if modern technology had been around throughout U.S. history. Washington wore dentures. Lincoln had a high-pitched voice. William Howard Taft weighed over 300 pounds. James Madison was 5′ 4″.

-from The National Archives’ Prologue: Pieces of History

What pre-television President would you most like to see speak?

Cite Arrow reblogged from todaysdocument
theatlantic:

The Death of Troy Davis

In a perfect world, the execution of Troy Davis Wednesday night in Georgia would herald a new era in America’s grim history with the death penalty. It would shake the criminal justice system out of its self-satisfied torpor and force government and the governed both to face the ugly truth about capital punishment in the United States in the twenty-first century. It would propel this question to the forefront both of the nation’s political debate and the Supreme Court’s docket: How many exceptions to the rule must we allow or tolerate, how many legitimate questions must linger beyond the death chamber, before we either fix the system or end the experiment?
When the state kills those whose guilt is in serious doubt, or when the state kills those to whom it has not given fair justice, it doesn’t just perform an injustice upon the individual, the rule of law, and the Constitution. It also undermines the very legitimacy of the death penalty itself, for its continuing use as a sentencing option derives its civic and moral strength mostly from the fiction that it can be, and is, credibly and reliably imposed. Once our confidence in that credibility is shattered, as it should be now that Davis is gone, all that’s left of the death penalty is state-sponsored retribution and the hangman’s noose.

Andrew Cohen parses the significance of the Georgia execution in the history of American capital punishment. Read more at The Atlantic

theatlantic:

The Death of Troy Davis

In a perfect world, the execution of Troy Davis Wednesday night in Georgia would herald a new era in America’s grim history with the death penalty. It would shake the criminal justice system out of its self-satisfied torpor and force government and the governed both to face the ugly truth about capital punishment in the United States in the twenty-first century. It would propel this question to the forefront both of the nation’s political debate and the Supreme Court’s docket: How many exceptions to the rule must we allow or tolerate, how many legitimate questions must linger beyond the death chamber, before we either fix the system or end the experiment?

When the state kills those whose guilt is in serious doubt, or when the state kills those to whom it has not given fair justice, it doesn’t just perform an injustice upon the individual, the rule of law, and the Constitution. It also undermines the very legitimacy of the death penalty itself, for its continuing use as a sentencing option derives its civic and moral strength mostly from the fiction that it can be, and is, credibly and reliably imposed. Once our confidence in that credibility is shattered, as it should be now that Davis is gone, all that’s left of the death penalty is state-sponsored retribution and the hangman’s noose.

Andrew Cohen parses the significance of the Georgia execution in the history of American capital punishment. Read more at The Atlantic

Cite Arrow reblogged from theatlantic
OurPresidents:

 
Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat together - the historic handshake between the Israeli Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) took place after the signing of the Middle East Peace Agreement on September 13, 1993. The ceremony was held on the South Lawn of the White House.  -from the Clinton Library

OurPresidents:

Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, and Yasser Arafat together - the historic handshake between the Israeli Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) took place after the signing of the Middle East Peace Agreement on September 13, 1993. 
The ceremony was held on the South Lawn of the White House.

-from the Clinton Library
Cite Arrow reblogged from todaysdocument
todaysdocument:

Introducing the latest Tumblr Blog from the National Archives - Congress in the Archives:
CongressArchives:

Welcome to Congress in the Archives! This blog has been designed to give you an inside look at the Center for Legislative Archives and the historical records of Congress that we hold. We will feature documents on significant events in history as well as some of the unexpected treasures in our holdings, suggest lesson ideas for teachers, share our researchers’ experiences, and introduce our staff. We hope that you let us know what you like, and what else you would enjoy seeing featured here. We look forward to hearing from you!
“Congress Comes to Order,” by Clifford Berryman, Washington Evening Star, December 2, 1912, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 306178)

todaysdocument:

Introducing the latest Tumblr Blog from the National Archives - Congress in the Archives:

CongressArchives:

Welcome to Congress in the Archives! This blog has been designed to give you an inside look at the Center for Legislative Archives and the historical records of Congress that we hold. We will feature documents on significant events in history as well as some of the unexpected treasures in our holdings, suggest lesson ideas for teachers, share our researchers’ experiences, and introduce our staff. We hope that you let us know what you like, and what else you would enjoy seeing featured here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Congress Comes to Order,” by Clifford Berryman, Washington Evening Star, December 2, 1912, U.S. Senate Collection (ARC 306178)

Cite Arrow reblogged from todaysdocument
todaysdocument:

August 31, 2005 - A statue is partially submerged in flood waters as a result of Hurricane Katrina. 
New Orleans, Louisiana.  Photo by Jocelyn Augustino of FEMA.  

todaysdocument:

August 31, 2005 - A statue is partially submerged in flood waters as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans, Louisiana.  Photo by Jocelyn Augustino of FEMA.  

Cite Arrow reblogged from todaysdocument
3rdofmay:

The art: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Questions), 1991. (The work is photographic silkscreen on vinyl, 66 3/16 by 92 5/8 by 2 1/2 inches.)
The news: “Getting Away With Torture: Dick Cheney’s memoir shows the importance of the law, not torture,” by Dalia Lithwick for Slate. 
The source: Collection of the Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. This work will be included in the MoMA PS1 exhibition “September 11,” curated by Peter Eleey. The show opens on Sept. 11. 

3rdofmay:

The art: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Questions), 1991. (The work is photographic silkscreen on vinyl, 66 3/16 by 92 5/8 by 2 1/2 inches.)

The news: “Getting Away With Torture: Dick Cheney’s memoir shows the importance of the law, not torture,” by Dalia Lithwick for Slate. 

The source: Collection of the Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. This work will be included in the MoMA PS1 exhibition “September 11,” curated by Peter Eleey. The show opens on Sept. 11. 

Cite Arrow reblogged from 3rdofmay
todaysdocument:

Because you probably don’t know what a “teletype” machine looks like…     
ourpresidents:

The White House to Kremlin “Hotline” 
On August 30, 1963, The Kennedy White House announced the creation of a teletype “Hotline” between the Kremlin and the White House.  The Hotline was established in the aftermath to the Cuban Missile Crisis -  to be used only in an emergency to ensure clear communication between the President and the Soviet Premier.
The White House Hotline teletype machine was used for the first time for communication between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin during the Six Day War in the Middle East. 
These days, the Hotline machine is on exhibit at the LBJ Library & Museum. 

todaysdocument:

Because you probably don’t know what a “teletype” machine looks like…     

ourpresidents:

The White House to Kremlin “Hotline”

On August 30, 1963, The Kennedy White House announced the creation of a teletype “Hotline” between the Kremlin and the White House.  The Hotline was established in the aftermath to the Cuban Missile Crisis -  to be used only in an emergency to ensure clear communication between the President and the Soviet Premier.

The White House Hotline teletype machine was used for the first time for communication between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin during the Six Day War in the Middle East.

These days, the Hotline machine is on exhibit at the LBJ Library & Museum

Cite Arrow reblogged from todaysdocument