President Nixon

On July 27, 1956, Vice President Richard Nixon received this letter from Walt Disney requesting an interview on the “Mickey Mouse Club” television show. Disney prompted Nixon to answer the question “When I grow up, Mr. Nixon, why should I be a republican?” in “three sentences or less.”

Disney wanted to film Nixon’s response while he was in San Francisco for the 1956 Republican National Convention. Unfortunately, as the handwritten note on this letter suggests, Nixon was unable to accept Disney’s invitation due to scheduling conflicts. However, in 1958, Nixon managed to squeeze in a visit to the Mousketeers.

Image: “Letter from Walt Disney to Richard Nixon,” 7/25/1956.


This portrait of General Robert E. Lee a week after surrendering to General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War - April 16, 1865


These Armed troops blocking off a road near an explosion at an oil factory near Texas City, Texas on April 17, 1947


“Cab Stand” in Madison Square Park, New York circa 1900


Elvis Presley meets secretly with President Nixon in 1970


“An Oasis in the Badlands”, Red Hawk of the Oglala Sioux on horseback, circa 1905


Women painting World War II propaganda posters in Port Washington, New York, on July 8, 1942


See all of the 25 stunning colorized photos here. 


Elvis Presley Owned “TCB” Smith & Wesson .38 Caliber Pistol

Estimated Price: $25,000 - $30,000


The offered 1969 Smith & Wesson Model 36 .38 caliber pistol with custom “TCB” grip was owned by Elvis Presley. It was originally sold a number of years ago by the TWA captain to whom Elvis had given the gun. By the captain’s recollection as recounted in a previous auction, in late December 1970 he was working a flight from Baltimore to Kansas City when he was informed that a VIP passenger was on board with a firearm. Elvis was brought to the cockpit to meet the captain at which time he explained that he had just been in Washington, D.C. to meet with President Nixon. He related that as a result of that meeting he was now cleared to carry a concealed weapon on the flight. Elvis had just acquired his Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (forerunner to the DEA) badge during his now famous meeting with the President, and this is most likely what he showed the captain. The captain acquiesced to Elvis’ request, and even went so far as to smooth it over with the captain of Elvis’ connecting flight in Kansas City. As a gesture of thanks, Elvis presented the captain with the weapon here offered. One interesting point to consider is that since Elvis was returning from his meeting with President Nixon when he met the TWA captain, it is certainly possible that he was wearing this very weapon when he entered the White House that fateful day. Elvis had the .38 caliber nickel-plated gun’s custom black pearl grip emblazoned with his de facto personal “TCB” logo and the obligatory lightning bolt, which of course stands for “Taking Care of Business in a Flash!” It was a credo Elvis lived by and one he demanded those around him follow. The TWA captain certainly lived up to it — and was rewarded handsomely. The gun is believed to be in working order, and was fired at least once in the last 10 years. Before placing your bid, please refer to the auction terms and conditions for legal requirements to purchase firearms. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

Condition Report: The gun is in working condition and shows only slight signs of wear on the grip and several small areas of the nickle plated finish.

While this is part of The Auction At Graceland, it is not available to bid on at the eBay collection offerings; you’ll need to attend the event or use Invaluable to bid on the gun.

Note: Bolded text regarding the Nixon thing is my own hot idea ;)


January 9th 1913: Richard Nixon born

On this day in 1913, the future 37th President of the United States Richard Milhous Nixon was born. Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California and later represented his state in the House of Representatives and the Senate as a member of the Republican Party. He made a name for himself in Congress for his role in the anti-communist House Un-American Activities Committee, especially in the infamous Alger Hiss case, and this led to his becoming Vice-President from 1953 to 1961 under President Eisenhower. After a closely fought campaign, he lost the 1960 election to Democrat John F. Kennedy, but later won the presidency in 1968. As President, Nixon initially increased US involvement in the ongoing Vietnam war and extended the military operations into neighboring Cambodia, but he eventually ended American involvement in the war in 1973. Nixon also made history by visiting the communist nations of China and the Soviet Union, thus easing tensions between the Cold War camps. In domestic affairs Nixon is notable for his support of affirmative action policies for African-Americans and his establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. However, Nixon’s previous record in office has been overshadowed by the fact that in 1974 he became the first and only US President to resign from office. This occurred after revelations about the Watergate scandal, which refers to the illegal activities carried out his administration, including the wiretapping of political rivals, and a subsequent cover-up. He was formally pardoned by his successor Gerald Ford, and tried to rehabilitate his image until he died from a stroke in 1994 aged 81.

Can you imagine what this man could have been had somebody loved him? Had somebody in his life cared for him? I don’t think anybody ever did, not his parents, not his peers. He would have been a great, great man had somebody loved him.
—  Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, on Richard Nixon, in an interview with TIME’s Hugh Sidey

June 17th 1972: Watergate break-in

On this day in 1972, five White House operatives were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington DC. The men were aiming to wiretap the Democrats in preparation for the 1972 presidential election. The incident began the unraveling of the Nixon administration, as its illegal activities were gradually uncovered, due to the work of Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein, their informant known as ‘Deep Throat’ (later revealed to be Associate FBI Director Mark Felt) and Congressional investigations. It was soon discovered the burglars had received money that had been donated to Nixon’s re-election campaign in exchange for their silence. The administration supposedly tried to cover-up its involvement in the 1972 incident, with Nixon trying to fire the special prosecutor assigned to the case and the Attorney General. It was later discovered Nixon taped his conversations in the Oval Office and the Supreme Court ordered he hand the tapes over, which implicated the President in the cover-up and led to his resignation in 1974 to avoid impeachment. Watergate is considered one of the greatest political scandals in history, and its memory lives on today in the way scandals are often suffixed ’-gate’.

Carpet Bombings

After the Soviet invasion in 1979, Afgan rug makers strayed from the mostly geometric forms they had depicted for centuries, and began weaving figurative designs. These images were not traditional either—they were flags, helicopters, tanks, grenades, and other accoutrements of the soldiers they wanted as their customers. Initially the Western market ignored these creations, which did not fit with their concept of what “authentic” Afgan rugs should be.

But eventually dealers and scholars took notice, and now an exhibition featuring some spectacular examples of this hybrid genre has arrived at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. This rug, woven between 2001-2007, depicts President Najibullah, who led Afghanistan when the Soviet army withdrew in 1989, as a puppet managed by a hand with a hammer and sickle. The figures riding on camels across the bottom of the rug are refugees.

Curators stress they have not decoded much of the iconography on these carpets. The weavers, who came from ethnic regions with their own distinctive materials, iconography, and techniques, had shared styles in refugee camps and elsewhere, meaning that the old categories for sorting and interpreting their work are no longer useful. And these days, weavers are just as likely to be influenced by images from television or foreign magazines as they are by historical antecedents.

“People see these things and jump to the conclusion that it’s protest art,” says Penn Museum curator Brian Spooner. “I don’t think we have any evidence at all. I think it’s also that people try and please the international customer.”

The weavers the museum worked with offered the staff a carpet with an image of President Nixon as a gift, Spooner recounts. “That didn’t go down very well here,” he says. “So we compromised, and they wove us a small carpet with the museum logo on it.”

Photo © Textile Museum of Canada.