the kennedy administration

Jane Engelhard with masks and sculpture, Vogue, 1949. Photograph by Horst P. Horst.

Jane Engelhard was a patron of numerous causes and institutions, including the New Jersey Symphony. She served on the Boards the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library. She also was a member of the Fine Arts Committee of the White House, organized during the Kennedy administration; the decoration of the Small State Dining Room is among her reported contributions to the restoration of the White House.

I’m going to get Kennedy’s tax cut out of the Senate Finance Committee, and we’re going to get this economy humming again. Then I’m going to pass Kennedy’s civil rights bill, which has been hung up too long in the Congress. And I’m going to pass it without changing a single comma or a word. After that we’ll pass legislation that allows everyone in this country to vote, with all the barriers down. And that’s not all. We’re going to get a law that says every boy and girl in this country, no matter how poor, or the color of their skin, or the region they come from, is going to be able to get all the education they can take by loan, scholarship, or grant, right from the federal government. And I aim to pass Harry Truman’s medical insurance bill that got nowhere before.
—  Lyndon B. Johnson, to aides Jack Valenti, Bill Moyers, and Cliff Carter, as they sat with him in his bedroom before he went to sleep at 4:00 AM on November 23, 1963 – just hours after being sworn in as President following John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“So, the epitaph of the Kennedy administration became Camelot. A magic moment in American history when gallant men danced with beautiful woman, when great deeds were done, when artists, writers and poet’s met at the White House and the barbarian’s beyond the walls were held back.”

APUSH cramming got me like
  • Friend: hey, are you okay?
  • Me: In 1620, under the Kennedy Administration, the Supreme Court oversaw Plessey v Wade and ruled New Deal commercial exchange with Guam constitutional, even going so far as to place such rights to trade in the Bill of Rights.
  • Friend: i really doubt that any part of that is tr-
  • Me: -but, unfortunately, in order for such an amendment to the Articles of Confederation be ratified, all 13 colonies had to be in unanimous agreement. This was thwarted by Georgia not showing up to the convention.
  • Friend: ....
  • Me: ....
  • Friend: ...........
  • Me: I want to die
Coretta Scott King

Married to one of the most influential civil rights leaders of our era, but a legend in her own right. She continued MLK Jr.’s legacy by founding the King Center, and was also the leader of a successful campaign in making her husband’s birthday a national holiday. Not only was she involved in civil rights for minorities, but human rights all around; this included LGBT and women’s rights. What’s her story?

Keep reading

The Berlin Wall divided families, East and West, communism and capitalism, tyranny and democracy. People died trying to climb over it, and others labored to carve tunnels beneath it.

In fact, in the early 1960s, two groups of diggers built tunnels that were filmed and financed by U.S. television networks. Those networks wanted to turn acts of daring into primetime specials. But when the U.S. government discovered those projects, the Kennedy administration moved to suppress them.

Greg Mitchell writes about that time in his new book, The Tunnels.

A Harrowing Tale Of Cold War Escape And Suppression In ‘The Tunnels’

*The missing class conflict*

Almost entirely missing from Hamilton’s rendition of the dispute was the heavy class implications of Hamilton’s plan. His scheme, though extraordinarily successful at its main goals of achieving financial stability, also included a hefty dose of reverse Robin Hood — taxing the poor to give to the rich.

Hamilton, an unapologetic elitist, didn’t mind this, and neither did Washington. At the time, voting rights were generally restricted to the more prosperous citizens (specific rules varied by state), and Washington was overwhelmingly popular (see Miranda’s “Washington On Your Side”), so his viewpoint prevailed despite the ugly distributive implications. But as the franchise expanded, the association of Hamilton’s emerging Federalist Party with this kind of upward wealth redistribution proved deadly, and Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans swiftly emerged as the dominant force of the early 19th century.

To a contemporary observer, both sides of the argument over Hamilton’s plan are advancing some good ideas.

Hamilton’s long-term vision of a United States with sound credit and a functioning financial system looks compelling, but his opponents’ critique of the practical economic consequences also seems persuasive. Hamilton was missing two critical elements of the modern policy toolkit — progressive taxes and the welfare state. By our lights, he should have sought out a tax base that would have fallen more heavily on those with the most means (perhaps a wealth tax that would have hit the owners of slave plantations), and he should have created some form of useful social services that could have bound all classes to the new federal government.

*Miranda’s version of Hamilton is part of a historiographical revolution*

The net impact of Miranda’s rendition of the dispute is to render Hamilton as a more progressive-friendly figure and Jefferson as a more straightforwardly conservative one. Jefferson complains that Hamilton’s text is too long, echoing Republican criticisms of Barack Obama’s key legislative initiatives, and objects generically to taxes — again, sounding like a modern Republican — without raising the point that 18th-century taxes hit the poor more heavily than the rich.

This is part of a larger shift in the trajectory of how American history is understood.

Two generations ago, popular historiography was dominated by the thinking of Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a historian and Kennedy administration aide who produced admiring books titled The Age of Jackson and The Age of Roosevelt. This tradition aligned neatly with the imperatives of the Democratic Party, and emphasized the idea of a continuous tradition of standing up for the little guy, starting with Jefferson, continuing with Andrew Jackson, and moving onward into the administrations of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Kennedy. In this historiographical tradition, the little guy is, implicitly, white.

The Schlesingerian historiography also struggles with the fact that the two most celebrated American politicians of all time — George Washington and Abraham Lincoln — were both in opposition to the Jefferson-Jackson political tradition.

In the more recent generation, a new historiography has emerged that celebrates not only Washington and Lincoln but also the lesser-known Federalists, Whigs, and Radical Republicans who operated in the same tradition.


The common thread in all of this is to see the comfort with modernity and cultural pluralism that characterizes the Federalist/Whig vision as ultimately more significant than the anti-elitism and small-d democracy of the Jeffersonian one. Washington and Lincoln become this tradition’s great political heroes because they were its most politically successful members, but even those who didn’t manage to make it to the White House (Hamilton or Henry Clay) or who couldn’t get reelected (Adams or John Quincy Adams) made crucial contributions.

*Hamilton reveals what divides contemporary Democrats*

Miranda’s Hamilton so perfectly matches the sensibilities of mainstream Obama-era Democrats that the Democratic National Committee turned an early November Hamilton performance into a fundraiser.

And it reflects an ongoing, albeit somewhat subtle, split among contemporary Democrats. All factions of the current party are supportive of racial justice causes and immigration reform, and all factions are supportive of making rich people pay higher taxes to finance social spending.

But to someone like Bernie Sanders and his supporters, crushing the political power of the rich is the central political cause of our time — the key from which everything else follows. This worldview is incompatible with both the spirit of high-dollar, star-studded fundraising events (which, indeed, Sanders eschews) and with the idea of celebrating Hamilton and the Hamiltonian tradition in American politics.

Not coincidentally, it also has a somewhat strained relationship with some of the racial justice and immigrant rights causes (“the billionaires,” for example, are clearly not the primary impediment to the policing reforms sought by Black Lives Matter nor to obtaining a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants) that helped inspire the historiographical revisions that are the basis of Miranda’s Hamilton.

But Sanders’s perspective is currently a minority one in the Democratic Party, and the dominant faction that includes both Clintons and Barack Obama offers a distinctly Hamiltonian look for the original party of Jefferson. Yet while less invested in pure class conflict than the more populist wing, mainstream Democrats are still far too wedded to a redistributive agenda to straightforwardly address the full historical Hamilton. “Cabinet Battle #1” gives us a more Obama-friendly Hamilton than history does, nicely demonstrating the overarching significance of who tells your story to determining what stories get told.

We need your help to identify this man in uniform!

The JFK Library is using Flickr to identify unknown individuals in their photo collections. This photo was taken on June 6, 1961 en route to the Commencement Ceremony at the US Naval Academy. If you have any ideas of who this man is, please let us know here. 

You can help us ID even more unknown photos by visiting the JFK Library’s Flickr Collection.


I will follow this guy & this band to the ends of the earth. i’ve been a die hard phantom planet fan forever now. Alex Greenwald is my musical spirit animal.

Alex Greenwald & PHriends (members of Phantom Planet) perform “Balisong” one of Alex’s singles from his yet to be released solo album. Still impatiently waiting for that album to drop.

anonymous asked:

Your new glasses make you look like a member of the Kennedy Administration. Do not be surprised if people start referring to you as "McGeorge Bundy."

Thank you? I only hope I can one day side-eye people with the same level of sass that McGeorge Bundy did.

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