PJH

ourpresidents:

“It’ll be a bombshell like nobody’s business.”

On May 16, 1973, President Richard Nixon met with Texas politician John Connally. In the course of their discussion, Nixon revealed his plans for the forthcoming US-Soviet Summit, including the closely guarded Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War.  

Find out more from the newly released Nixon White House Tapes

-from the Nixon Library

— 7 months ago with 48 notes
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: “The Iron Lady”
Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest serving prime minister of the 20th century, died on April 8, 2013 at the age of 87. Mrs. Thatcher was also the first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister in the country’s history.
During her eleven years at 10 Downing Street (1979-1990) Mrs. Thatcher would earn international praise for her handling of foreign affairs, especially working with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev as the Soviet Union began to crumble. 
Mrs. Thatcher who grew up the daughter of a grocer would attend Oxford University and study chemistry. While at Oxford she was elected the president of the university’s Conservative Association.
She ran for office for the first time in 1950, and again in 1951, losing in a strong Labour (liberal) district. She was only 25 at the time. (During this time she was also working as a chemist, studying law, and passing the bar exam.)
In 1959 she was elected to Parliament from Finchley (northern London) and was seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party. She would continue to climb the political ladder. Appointed to her first national post under Prime Minister Edward Heath as Education Minister, who lost the general election in 1974 after only one term, Mrs. Thatcher came through relatively unscathed. (Though in her first year she was called “Thatcher, the milk snatcher” by the Labour party for eliminating the school free milk program.)
The following year Margaret Thatcher was the first woman selected as leader of any British political party and under the term of PM James Callaghan she was the “leader of the Opposition.” Only two years earlier Mrs. Thatcher said, “I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.” She was wrong.
Swept into office by economic concerns Mrs. Thatcher would spent much of her first two terms working to bring about a recovery. (It did not happen quickly as unemployment did not fall until well into her second term. In addition, although a staunchly anti-tax conservative, Mrs. Thatcher allowed for certain tax increases to control inflation.)
But Mrs. Thatcher earned her greatest recognition for her foreign and military policy. In April 1982 Argentina invaded the disputed Falkland Islands and the British responded with force taking back the islands in only two months. It led to an increase in her popularity and a landslide victory for Conservatives in the next general election.
Conflict with Northern Ireland was a pressing, and violent,  issue while Mrs. Thatcher was in office, She would deal with the 1981 IRA hunger strike. In public Mrs. Thatcher refused to negotiate with IRA prisoners who had demanded reforms in the prisons. Beginning in March 1981 and lasting until October 3 ten IRA members died. It hurt Mrs. Thatcher’s reputation in Northern Ireland and led to increased support for the IRA political arm - Sinn Fein. (Ironically, Mrs. Thatcher’s administration did try to negotiate an end to the strikes in return for concessions but her refusal to make that public tarnished her reputation forever amongst many Irish Catholics.) In 1984 she narrowly avoided a bombing at a Brighton hotel set to kill her.
Her work with President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev during the Cold War truly built her international reputation. Mrs. Thatcher was strongly anti-Soviet from the moment she became leader of the Conservative party. (it was the Soviets who nicknamed her “the Iron Lady” for a strongly worded speech she delivered in 1976.) President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher would strengthen the resolve of both the U.S. and the U.K. to speak out against the U.S.S.R. and build up militarily while simultaneously negotiatiing with Secretary Gorbachev.
When Secretary Gorbachev visited the prime minister in 1984 she began a Cold War thaw by stating that she liked Mr. Gorbachev and telling an interviewer, “we can do business together.” (Mr. Gorbachev signalled his interest in a new U.S.S.R. with the introduction of glasnost, which called for increased transparency and accountability in the Soviet government and perestroika a restructuring of the political and economic systems in the country.) 
The Soviet Union would not officially fall until 1991 but most historians srecognize that Mrs. Thatcher played an important role in ending the Cold War.
Margaret Thatcher resigned from party leadership in November 1990. During her retirement she wrote two memoirs The Downing Street Years and The Path to Power, Her health began to deteriorate in 2002 when she suffered a series of small strokes. A party was held for her 80th birthday and Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance.
In 1995 she was awarded the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest order of chivalry. President George H.W. Bush, President Reagan’s Vice-President, awarded Mrs. Thatcher the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. And January 10 is celebrated as Margaret Thatcher Day in the Falkland Islands.
Sources: Margaret Thatcher Foundation, Biography.com, Huffington Post UK, and Wikipedia
(Image of Margaret Thatcher, 1993, copyright Helmut Newton and courtesy of margaretthatcher.org)

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: “The Iron Lady”

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest serving prime minister of the 20th century, died on April 8, 2013 at the age of 87. Mrs. Thatcher was also the first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister in the country’s history.

During her eleven years at 10 Downing Street (1979-1990) Mrs. Thatcher would earn international praise for her handling of foreign affairs, especially working with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev as the Soviet Union began to crumble. 

Mrs. Thatcher who grew up the daughter of a grocer would attend Oxford University and study chemistry. While at Oxford she was elected the president of the university’s Conservative Association.

She ran for office for the first time in 1950, and again in 1951, losing in a strong Labour (liberal) district. She was only 25 at the time. (During this time she was also working as a chemist, studying law, and passing the bar exam.)

In 1959 she was elected to Parliament from Finchley (northern London) and was seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party. She would continue to climb the political ladder. Appointed to her first national post under Prime Minister Edward Heath as Education Minister, who lost the general election in 1974 after only one term, Mrs. Thatcher came through relatively unscathed. (Though in her first year she was called “Thatcher, the milk snatcher” by the Labour party for eliminating the school free milk program.)

The following year Margaret Thatcher was the first woman selected as leader of any British political party and under the term of PM James Callaghan she was the “leader of the Opposition.” Only two years earlier Mrs. Thatcher said, “I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.” She was wrong.

Swept into office by economic concerns Mrs. Thatcher would spent much of her first two terms working to bring about a recovery. (It did not happen quickly as unemployment did not fall until well into her second term. In addition, although a staunchly anti-tax conservative, Mrs. Thatcher allowed for certain tax increases to control inflation.)

But Mrs. Thatcher earned her greatest recognition for her foreign and military policy. In April 1982 Argentina invaded the disputed Falkland Islands and the British responded with force taking back the islands in only two months. It led to an increase in her popularity and a landslide victory for Conservatives in the next general election.

Conflict with Northern Ireland was a pressing, and violent,  issue while Mrs. Thatcher was in office, She would deal with the 1981 IRA hunger strike. In public Mrs. Thatcher refused to negotiate with IRA prisoners who had demanded reforms in the prisons. Beginning in March 1981 and lasting until October 3 ten IRA members died. It hurt Mrs. Thatcher’s reputation in Northern Ireland and led to increased support for the IRA political arm - Sinn Fein. (Ironically, Mrs. Thatcher’s administration did try to negotiate an end to the strikes in return for concessions but her refusal to make that public tarnished her reputation forever amongst many Irish Catholics.) In 1984 she narrowly avoided a bombing at a Brighton hotel set to kill her.

Her work with President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev during the Cold War truly built her international reputation. Mrs. Thatcher was strongly anti-Soviet from the moment she became leader of the Conservative party. (it was the Soviets who nicknamed her “the Iron Lady” for a strongly worded speech she delivered in 1976.) President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher would strengthen the resolve of both the U.S. and the U.K. to speak out against the U.S.S.R. and build up militarily while simultaneously negotiatiing with Secretary Gorbachev.

When Secretary Gorbachev visited the prime minister in 1984 she began a Cold War thaw by stating that she liked Mr. Gorbachev and telling an interviewer, “we can do business together.” (Mr. Gorbachev signalled his interest in a new U.S.S.R. with the introduction of glasnost, which called for increased transparency and accountability in the Soviet government and perestroika a restructuring of the political and economic systems in the country.) 

The Soviet Union would not officially fall until 1991 but most historians srecognize that Mrs. Thatcher played an important role in ending the Cold War.

Margaret Thatcher resigned from party leadership in November 1990. During her retirement she wrote two memoirs The Downing Street Years and The Path to PowerHer health began to deteriorate in 2002 when she suffered a series of small strokes. A party was held for her 80th birthday and Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance.

In 1995 she was awarded the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest order of chivalry. President George H.W. Bush, President Reagan’s Vice-President, awarded Mrs. Thatcher the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. And January 10 is celebrated as Margaret Thatcher Day in the Falkland Islands.

Sources: Margaret Thatcher Foundation, Biography.com, Huffington Post UK, and Wikipedia

(Image of Margaret Thatcher, 1993, copyright Helmut Newton and courtesy of margaretthatcher.org)

— 1 year ago with 514 notes
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Fallout Man
In 1961 the threat of nuclear war was real. So real, in fact, that President John F. Kennedy made it an administration priority to build fallout shelters so that every U.S. citizen would have a place to survive the inevitable blast and the radioactive fallout that would result.
He appointed Steuart Pittman, the assistant secretary of defense of civil defense, to implement the program. Mr. Pittman took to role with vigor. Unfortunately he did not meet with the same level of enthusiasm that he had. 
It would cost $6 billion dollars to fully implement the fallout shelter program. Both Congress and local governments, who would share the costs, balked at the price tag. Even more disappointing to Mr. Pittman was the fact that most individuals were so depressed by the idea of living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that they would rather die in the nuclear blast.
Steuart Pittman would resign three years after he took the job. Following his resignation he decided to build a shelter of his own with his wife: “We started it, anyway. But after half a day’s digging we gave it up.” 
Note: There are estimates that families built approximately 200,000 shelters by 1965. And thousands of schools, hospitals, and other large buildings were designated as shelters for public use. 
He died on February 10, 2013 at the age of 93.
Source: Full NY Times obituary
(Image of a fallout shelter designed by Mr. Pittman’s Office of Civil Defense in 1961. For $280 you could built it yourself. From Popular Mechanics via Invisiblethemepark.com)

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Fallout Man

In 1961 the threat of nuclear war was real. So real, in fact, that President John F. Kennedy made it an administration priority to build fallout shelters so that every U.S. citizen would have a place to survive the inevitable blast and the radioactive fallout that would result.

He appointed Steuart Pittman, the assistant secretary of defense of civil defense, to implement the program. Mr. Pittman took to role with vigor. Unfortunately he did not meet with the same level of enthusiasm that he had. 

It would cost $6 billion dollars to fully implement the fallout shelter program. Both Congress and local governments, who would share the costs, balked at the price tag. Even more disappointing to Mr. Pittman was the fact that most individuals were so depressed by the idea of living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that they would rather die in the nuclear blast.

Steuart Pittman would resign three years after he took the job. Following his resignation he decided to build a shelter of his own with his wife: “We started it, anyway. But after half a day’s digging we gave it up.” 

Note: There are estimates that families built approximately 200,000 shelters by 1965. And thousands of schools, hospitals, and other large buildings were designated as shelters for public use. 

He died on February 10, 2013 at the age of 93.

Source: Full NY Times obituary

(Image of a fallout shelter designed by Mr. Pittman’s Office of Civil Defense in 1961. For $280 you could built it yourself. From Popular Mechanics via Invisiblethemepark.com)

— 1 year ago with 152 notes
todaysdocument:


President Gerald R. Ford Walking away from the Lincoln Sculpture after Laying a Wreath at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony, 02/12/1975

The cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid on February 12, 1914, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday.  A little more than eight years later it was completed and dedicated on May 30, 1922 with Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln attending the ceremony.

todaysdocument:

President Gerald R. Ford Walking away from the Lincoln Sculpture after Laying a Wreath at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony, 02/12/1975

The cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid on February 12, 1914, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday.  A little more than eight years later it was completed and dedicated on May 30, 1922 with Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln attending the ceremony.

(via ourpresidents)

— 1 year ago with 205 notes
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: We Push His Buttons
Look at your phone. The buttons will most likely begin with “1” at the top left and end with the “#” on the bottom right. It’s a standard developed by Bell Labs in the 1950s and designed not only for its looks but its functionality. And the influencer of this design was an industrial psychologist, John Karlin, who did studies to understand that square buttons in this layout were the best for making phone quickly and efficiently.
Prior to this phones used rotary dials. You would put your finger in the appropriately numbered hole and spin the dial and wait for it to spin back. It was time consuming and if you made an error, frustrating.
Random note: Because of the time it took to dial rotary phones, when area codes were introduced in 1947 cities with the highest call volumes were given the lowest numbers, i.e. New York City, 212; Chicago, 312; Los Angeles, 213 and 323.
Karlin figured out that unlike the numbering on calculators where the number “1” is on the bottom, it was easier to dial phone numbers starting from the top.This design was first advertised in the late 1950s, introduced at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and sold to the public in 1963.
Mr. Karlin’s influence was felt beyond the keypad. He determined the length of phone handset cords by using a experiment where office workers secretly had their three-foot cords shortened by one inch on a nightly basis. They did not notice until the cord was a foot shorter.
Mr. Karlin passed away on January 28, 2013 at the age of 94.
Sources: NY Times (read the full obit), Engineering Pathway, Area-Codes.com, and Wikipedia
(Image of a Bell Labs 1959 ad introducing the touch tone phone is courtesy  of telephonecollectors.org)

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: We Push His Buttons

Look at your phone. The buttons will most likely begin with “1” at the top left and end with the “#” on the bottom right. It’s a standard developed by Bell Labs in the 1950s and designed not only for its looks but its functionality. And the influencer of this design was an industrial psychologist, John Karlin, who did studies to understand that square buttons in this layout were the best for making phone quickly and efficiently.

Prior to this phones used rotary dials. You would put your finger in the appropriately numbered hole and spin the dial and wait for it to spin back. It was time consuming and if you made an error, frustrating.

Random note: Because of the time it took to dial rotary phones, when area codes were introduced in 1947 cities with the highest call volumes were given the lowest numbers, i.e. New York City, 212; Chicago, 312; Los Angeles, 213 and 323.

Karlin figured out that unlike the numbering on calculators where the number “1” is on the bottom, it was easier to dial phone numbers starting from the top.This design was first advertised in the late 1950s, introduced at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and sold to the public in 1963.

Mr. Karlin’s influence was felt beyond the keypad. He determined the length of phone handset cords by using a experiment where office workers secretly had their three-foot cords shortened by one inch on a nightly basis. They did not notice until the cord was a foot shorter.

Mr. Karlin passed away on January 28, 2013 at the age of 94.

Sources: NY Times (read the full obit), Engineering Pathway, Area-Codes.com, and Wikipedia

(Image of a Bell Labs 1959 ad introducing the touch tone phone is courtesy  of telephonecollectors.org)

— 1 year ago with 44 notes
mobylosangelesarchitecture:

architecture pictures to follow soon this week, i promise.
in the meantime, a map of l.a that shows, pretty clearly, the gigantic-ness (which is a real word, according to me) of los angeles.
http://archinect.com/news/article/18228916/comparison-of-other-major-cities-that-can-fit-inside-la
it perhaps helps to understand l.a in terms of it’s sprawl and it’s size. in some ways l.a would make more sense to the world (and, well, to me) if it were considered more of a county, containing about 100 or 200 smaller cities and towns, than a city proper. but as a city proper it’s fascinating and baffling and odd and utopian and dystopian all in equal measure. which is a big part of why i live here.
moby

mobylosangelesarchitecture:

architecture pictures to follow soon this week, i promise.

in the meantime, a map of l.a that shows, pretty clearly, the gigantic-ness (which is a real word, according to me) of los angeles.

http://archinect.com/news/article/18228916/comparison-of-other-major-cities-that-can-fit-inside-la

it perhaps helps to understand l.a in terms of it’s sprawl and it’s size. in some ways l.a would make more sense to the world (and, well, to me) if it were considered more of a county, containing about 100 or 200 smaller cities and towns, than a city proper. but as a city proper it’s fascinating and baffling and odd and utopian and dystopian all in equal measure. which is a big part of why i live here.

moby

— 1 year ago with 313 notes
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch
Andre Cassagnes wasn’t a toy designer. He was an electrician in Paris. One day while installing a light plate, he removed a decal on the item. He wrote himself a note on the decal and realized that as he did so his note appeared on the other side as well. From this a toy idea was born.
Mr. Cassagnes designed the L’Ecran Magique (The Magic Screen) that was made using glass, aluminum powder, a stylus, and a joystick. He was able to connect with Henry Simon Winzeler at the International Toy Fair in Nuremburg, Germany.
Mr. Winzeler owned the Ohio Art Company, which sold picture frames, engravings, and lithographs. What it did not sell was toys. But Mr. Winzeler was so taken with Mr. Cassagnes idea that he licensed the toy for $25,000 and sent Mr. Cassagnes to Ohio to perfect the design with Ohio Art’s engineers.
The first Etch-a-Sketch was manufactured in July 1960. By Christmas 1960 it was the number one selling toy in the United States. In 1998, the Etch-a-Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in the first class along with LEGO, Play-Doh, and Barbie.
Mr. Cassagnes, who would become a full-time toy designer and was considered the premiere kite-maker in France, died on January 16, 2013 at the age of 86.
Sources: MSN News, The Ohio Art Company, The National Toy Hall of Fame , How Stuff Works 
(Image of a 1960 ad for Etch-a-Sketch is courtesy of The Invisible Agent)
h/t to waterman12053
Originally posted on Saturday, February 1, 2013.

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch

Andre Cassagnes wasn’t a toy designer. He was an electrician in Paris. One day while installing a light plate, he removed a decal on the item. He wrote himself a note on the decal and realized that as he did so his note appeared on the other side as well. From this a toy idea was born.

Mr. Cassagnes designed the L’Ecran Magique (The Magic Screen) that was made using glass, aluminum powder, a stylus, and a joystick. He was able to connect with Henry Simon Winzeler at the International Toy Fair in Nuremburg, Germany.

Mr. Winzeler owned the Ohio Art Company, which sold picture frames, engravings, and lithographs. What it did not sell was toys. But Mr. Winzeler was so taken with Mr. Cassagnes idea that he licensed the toy for $25,000 and sent Mr. Cassagnes to Ohio to perfect the design with Ohio Art’s engineers.

The first Etch-a-Sketch was manufactured in July 1960. By Christmas 1960 it was the number one selling toy in the United States. In 1998, the Etch-a-Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in the first class along with LEGO, Play-Doh, and Barbie.

Mr. Cassagnes, who would become a full-time toy designer and was considered the premiere kite-maker in France, died on January 16, 2013 at the age of 86.

Sources: MSN News, The Ohio Art Company, The National Toy Hall of Fame , How Stuff Works 

(Image of a 1960 ad for Etch-a-Sketch is courtesy of The Invisible Agent)

h/t to waterman12053

Originally posted on Saturday, February 1, 2013.

— 1 year ago with 130 notes
obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Creator of Yoda
For The Empire Strikes Back, makeup artist Stuart Freeborn had to create the wizened Jedi mentor, Yoda. Using a puppet rather than a human actor to create the diminutive character, Freeborn had to decide how Yoda would look after nearly 700 fictional years. So he combined the facial characteristics of two people into the puppet’s final design: Albert Einstein and his own. (You can see clearly, above, the close relationship between Mr. Freeborn and his creation.)
Stuart Freeborn began his career in films nearly 80 years ago at England’s Denham Studios. He was looking for a way to get out from under the his father’s ambition for young Stuart to become an insurance broker. He found it in the makeup chair.
Going uncredited for the first several years of his career, Mr. Freeborn first gained notice for his work when he transformed Alec Guinness into Fagin for the 1948 film Oliver Twist. One reason for the notice was based on criticism that Mr. Freeman made Fagin into a Jewish stereotype with a prominently hooked nose.
Mr. Freeman would work on a total of 76 films during his career that spanned seven decades. He would become a favorite of director Stanley Kubrick who had Mr. Freeman create three distinct characters for Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove and the very human apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the mid-1970s, Mr. Freeman was approached by George Lucas who introduced himself and said, “I’ve written a script for a film called Star Wars.” Mr. Freeman thought that the young director was so genuine that he would offer to help.
He helped by creating Chewbacca. And Jabba the Hutt. And Greedo. And tauntauns. And the Ewoks. And myriad other characters in a galaxy far, far away.
Stuart Freeborn died on February 6, 2013 at the age of 98.
Sources: BBC, The Guardian, StarWars.com, IMDB.com
(Image of Stuart Freeborn and Yoda is courtesy of thefullwiki.org)
Other related posts on Obit of the Day:
Carlo Rambaldi, the creator of E.T.
Grant McCune, designer of the TIE fighter and Millennium Falcon
Maurice Murphy, trumpet soloist for the Star Wars main theme
Bob Anderson, stunt swordsman who “actually” cut off Luke’s hand

obitoftheday:

Obit of the Day: Creator of Yoda

For The Empire Strikes Back, makeup artist Stuart Freeborn had to create the wizened Jedi mentor, Yoda. Using a puppet rather than a human actor to create the diminutive character, Freeborn had to decide how Yoda would look after nearly 700 fictional years. So he combined the facial characteristics of two people into the puppet’s final design: Albert Einstein and his own. (You can see clearly, above, the close relationship between Mr. Freeborn and his creation.)

Stuart Freeborn began his career in films nearly 80 years ago at England’s Denham Studios. He was looking for a way to get out from under the his father’s ambition for young Stuart to become an insurance broker. He found it in the makeup chair.

Going uncredited for the first several years of his career, Mr. Freeborn first gained notice for his work when he transformed Alec Guinness into Fagin for the 1948 film Oliver Twist. One reason for the notice was based on criticism that Mr. Freeman made Fagin into a Jewish stereotype with a prominently hooked nose.

Mr. Freeman would work on a total of 76 films during his career that spanned seven decades. He would become a favorite of director Stanley Kubrick who had Mr. Freeman create three distinct characters for Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove and the very human apes in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In the mid-1970s, Mr. Freeman was approached by George Lucas who introduced himself and said, “I’ve written a script for a film called Star Wars.” Mr. Freeman thought that the young director was so genuine that he would offer to help.

He helped by creating Chewbacca. And Jabba the Hutt. And Greedo. And tauntauns. And the Ewoks. And myriad other characters in a galaxy far, far away.

Stuart Freeborn died on February 6, 2013 at the age of 98.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian, StarWars.com, IMDB.com

(Image of Stuart Freeborn and Yoda is courtesy of thefullwiki.org)

Other related posts on Obit of the Day:

Carlo Rambaldi, the creator of E.T.

Grant McCune, designer of the TIE fighter and Millennium Falcon

Maurice Murphy, trumpet soloist for the Star Wars main theme

Bob Anderson, stunt swordsman who “actually” cut off Luke’s hand

— 1 year ago with 399 notes