Tag: Secret service
Today’s post comes from Eric Rhodes, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
Assassins’ bullets have claimed the lives of four United States Presidents, and several other Presidents survived attempts on their lives.
It is not widely known, but Harry Truman was the target of such a conspiracy.
Thirteen years before the Kennedy assassination, on November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to take the President’s life. And President Truman’s Missouri-bred “Show Me” instinct might have gotten him killed. The buck certainly would have stopped there.
The day before the attempt, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola boarded a train to Washington from the Bronx in New York. They carried with them two pistols and the goal of bringing national attention to the cause of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party (PRNP).
Founded in 1922, the PRNP had lobbied for Puerto Rican independence from the United States with both the pen and the sword. By 1950, the party’s charismatic president, the Harvard-educated Pedro Albizu Campos, had come to favor the latter. Campos orchestrated a series of armed uprisings against U.S. military attachés on October 30, 1950, in six Puerto Rican towns.
The nationalist assault culminated with the attempted assassination of Harry Truman by Collazo and Torresola, both activists in the New York chapter of … [ Read all ]
Today’s blog post was written by Sam Rushay, a supervisory archivist at the Truman Presidential Library.
In the late summer of 1945, Frances Sarah Curtis of Mt. Rainier, MD, applied for a White House pass. Curtis, a Treasury Department employee in the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD), had worked in the White House File Room for 10 days in June before returning to the Treasury Department.
Perhaps hoping for a permanent White House job, Curtis applied for a pass.
The U.S. Secret Service conducted a standard background investigation of Curtis. She did not receive a White House pass. Two reasons were given. The first reason was because she owed $100 in unpaid tuition to the Wilcox College of Commerce in Cleveland, OH, where she had taken secretarial courses from 1937 to 1939.
The second, more damaging, reason was the presence of her name on the mailing lists of the American Peace Mobilization (APM) and the Current Events Club, formerly the Council Education Alliance. The investigators note in the report that these “groups are considered Communistic in nature.” She had also contributed money to the APM. And while there was no evidence that she had ever attended any meetings, there also was “nothing to indicate … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on February 12, 2013, under Uncategorized.
Tags: background check, Communists, Frances Curtis, George Drescher, guest blogger, investigation, Secret service, Truman, White House
Today’s post comes from Christopher Abraham at the Eisenhower Presidential Library.
“I am a newspaper reporter and I would like to know if anything unusual happened during either of President Eisenhower’s inaugural ceremonies.” —Anonymous
Have you ever seen a U.S. President lassoed by a cowboy? It likely qualifies as “unusual!” General Eisenhower related this incident while describing the 1953 inaugural parade in his 1963 memoir, Mandate for Change: “A California cowboy, riding a highly trained horse, got clearance from the Secret Service, stopped in front of me, and threw a lasso around my shoulders.”
The “California cowboy” was none other than Montie Montana, motion picture star and rodeo rider. No one can say for sure what exactly was going through Eisenhower’s mind at the moment the lasso fell over his shoulders, but it might have been a severe bout of regret that the inaugural parade committee did not take up Mr. Montana’s earlier suggestion of simply presenting him and Vice President Nixon with their very own ten-gallon cowboy hats right there on the reviewing stand.
Hats for the inaugural ceremony, were, as it turns out, a topic of some consideration. Eisenhower favored a Homburg but was told that tradition dictated a silk … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 18, 2013, under - Presidents, Pennsylvania Avenue, Unusual documents.
Tags: cowboy hats, cowboys, guest blogger, inaugural parade, Inauguration, lasso, Nixon, rodeo, Secret service
The Roosevelts had planned for a “more homey” lighting of the National Christmas tree on December 24 in 1941. FDR had directed that the tree be moved from the Ellipse to the White House grounds, just next to the South Lawn Fountain. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, there was some doubt that the ceremony would take place at all. With firm backing from the President, the tree-lighting went forward, and thousands came to the White House to share a bright moment of hope during dark and uncertain times.
Plans for this “more homey” event had been set in motion the previous December. A few days before the ceremony, the Roosevelts had an idea. At the 1940 tree-lighting ceremony, FDR raised the issue to the crowds gathered on the Ellipse, “Next year the celebration must take place on the South End of the White House, where all can see the tree,” and “all you good people” would be invited to the gardens of the Executive Mansion to hear the President deliver his message.
A few months later, FDR wrote a memo to Col. Edward Starling, the head of the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 6, 2012, under - Presidents, - World War II, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: Christmas, Christmas tree, Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR, guest post, ornaments, Secret service, White House, World War II, WWII