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Archive for March, 2011

Facial Hair Friday: Happy Birthday, Grover Cleveland!

President Grover Cleveland (ARC 518139)

President Grover Cleveland (ARC 518139)

If Grover Cleveland were alive today, he would need to blow out 174 candles. And of course, he would need to be careful not to set his mustache alight as he bent toward the mighty blaze of his birthday cake.

Grover Cleveland’s election marked a turning point in Presidential facial hair. The beard was going out of fashion, and the mustache was rising to upper-lip prominence.

In fact, Lincoln was the first President to sport a beard (though Martin Van Buren was stiffly bewhiskered by sideburns). But after Lincoln’s death in 1865, his sucessor Andrew Johnson was clean shaven.  Grant, Hayes, and Garfield made their turn through the highest office with fine beards, but the tide turned with the appearance of Chester A. Arthur’s mustache and meager sideburns.

President Cleveland had embraced the look of the clean-shaved face when he entered office the first time in 1885, but he maintained a mustache. When he returned for a second term in 1893, he still had the mustache.

Cleveland is the only President to be elected to two non-consective terms. For his second term, he defeated the incumbent President Harrison, who was the last President to date to have a beard. Did this electoral defeat signal the end of a hirsute era?

Cleveland was also the only President to be married in the White House. … [ Read all ]

Thursday’s Caption Contest

Your caption here!

"Having learned lessons on motivation from the British Royal Navy, the U.S. Department of Education experimented with dispensing rum rations to bolster test scores."

Congratulations to Dave M! Our guest judge Lynn Bassanese of the Roosevelt Presidential Library chose your caption, as FDR “was a real Navy man and enjoyed an occasional cocktail so we think he would approve of our choice.”

It’s unlikely President Roosevelt would have enjoyed the wartime cocktail being ladled out, though. The original caption declares: “Saturday’s a holiday for most of the nation’s small fry, but to these youngsters of Roanoke, Va., it’s fat-collection day” (NLR-PHOCO-A-65701 [31]).

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, some of our readers may have plans for a green beer tonight. This week’s caption is about drinking, too—use your gift o’gab and give us your best caption!

541905-cat

Your caption here, my laddie!

[ Read all ]

View from the top: Women in academic leadership 2011

Donne Kampel will moderate a panel on Women in Leadership at the National Archives on March 24.

Donne Kampel will moderate a panel on Women in Leadership at the National Archives on March 24.

Today’s post about women is from guest blogger Donne Kampel, who will be speaking at our Fourth Annual Forum on Women in Leadership.  Kampel recently published Learning Leadership: Women Presidents of Colleges and Universities. Enjoy!

***************

My book’s first life was as a dissertation. Women and leadership was my primary research interest but a focus for the book eluded me. There were (and still are) so many aspects of the subject that narrowing it down felt mind-numbing. Then my instinct kicked in and I said to myself, “Who best to consult on this subject than women leaders themselves?”

Fortunately, I am an academic administrator and had friends and colleagues up and down in what is so fittingly called “the academic pipeline.” I decided to start near the top, with an academic dean. It turned out to be a very good decision.

I spoke with the female dean of a womens college. She described her early schooling and her college experience. She discussed role models and mentors. Then, off the top of my head, I asked, “You run a very large school and have many presidential responsibilities including fund-raising, budget development, and faculty management. Why aren’t you a college president?”

Her response was open and honest. First, she admitted being content [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday—Edward Bates

Edward Bates, Attorney General in the Lincoln administration. (ARC 528314; 111-B-4168)

Edward Bates, Attorney General in the Lincoln administration. (ARC 528314; 111-B-4168)

Edward Bates was living quietly and comfortably in 1860. He had been out of public life for two decades but now was being courted by backers for the highest office in the land. The new Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States was wide open, and a number of contenders were vying for the prize.

Those who urged Bates to put his hat in the ring considered his standing as an elder statesman of Missouri (he’d arrived in St. Louis in 1814 and been a delegate to the state constitution convention) and his previous public service (state legislator, U.S. Representative, judge). Perhaps they were also swayed by his impressive whiskers, which give him a patriarchal air.

Bates did not win the nomination—a beardless lawyer from Illinois won the party’s backing and the Presidency. When the newly be-whiskered Abraham Lincoln was filling his Cabinet, though, he called on Bates to be his Attorney General. Bates was part of the unlikely “team of rivals” brought together by Lincoln. Two other former Presidential candidates, William Seward and Salmon P. Chase, were brought into the Cabinet as Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury. (Another member of the Cabinet, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton has been a Facial Hair Friday honoree.)

President Lincoln himself remarked on Edward … [ Read all ]

Thursday Caption Contest

A radiological technician at the United States Air Force (USAF) School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, demonstrating the master slave remote handling device used to handle radioactive substances used in the Bionucleonics Laboratory. (Kennedy Library)

Edward Scissorhands' mother is revealed!

Because this contest’s photograph came from John F. Kennedy Library, we asked their curator, Stacey Bredhoff, to be our guest judge. So Joyce, say “thank you” to Stacey for picking your caption as the winner. We can’t arrange a meeting with Johnny Depp, but we can send you a 15% discount to the National Archives eStore.

The original caption for this photo with the sci-fi feel is “A radiological technician at the United States Air Force (USAF) School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, demonstrating the master slave remote handling device used to handle radioactive substances used in the Bionucleonics Laboratory.”

Our photo caption candidate this week is of a decidedly less high-tech occurrence (but much sunnier). What is going on here? Put your best caption in the comments section below, and you can win bragging rights for the week as well as a 15% discount to use on anything you choose in the National Archives eStore.

Your caption here!

Your caption here!

[ Read all ]