January 1963- President Kennedy's Schedule - History

January 1963- President Kennedy's Schedule - History

1The President and the First Lady attended church at St Mary's. In the afternoon President Kennedy attends the University of Alabama - University of Oklahoma football game. Miami, Florida.
2President and Mrs. Kennedy cruise aboard the Honey Fitz and have lunch at the Vanderbilt estate. Lantana, Florida.
3Meeting with Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman. Palm Beach, Florida.
4President Kennedy attends the funeral of Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.
5Meeting with Secretary of State Rusk and Ambassador to NATO Thomas K. Finletter, Palm Beach, Florida. The President and the First Lady spent the evening at the home of Ambassador Earl Smith.
6President and Mrs. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, and guests cruise aboard the Honey Fitz, Palm Beach, Florida.
7President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson and party go for cruise. Palm Beach, Florida.
8In the morning the President took one last cruise on the Honey Fitz. In the afternoon he returned to Washington. His first meeting was with LBJ, Douglas Dillon, Henry Fowler, Lawrence O'Brien and Theodore Sorensen. He then met with Dillon, Gordon and Sorensen. He followed that meeting with one with Rusk, McNamara and McCone. He next met with a Bipartisan Group of Congressman and Senators. The President and the First Lady had dinner at the French Embassy at then at 10:00 PM went to the National Gallery of Art for the unveiling of painting the Mona Lisa.
9The President began his day with a breakfast with Legislative Leaders. He then participated in the swearing in ceremony of Kathryn Granahan to be the Treasurer of the US. The President next met with Eugerie Anderson the US Ambassador to Bulgaria. The President then met with Congressman Herbert Bonner, and then with Congressman Wirtz. The President presented the Distinguished Service Medal to General Laure Norsted. After lunch the President met with Raymond Hare the US Ambassador to Turkey. He then met with Llewellyn Thompson and McGeorge Bundy. The President next met with Meeting with Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vasiliy Kuznetsov and Ambassador of the Soviet Union Anatoly Dobrynin. Later in the evening the President met with Robert Kennedy.
10The President began his day with a meeting with Senator and Mrs Daniel Inouye. President Kennedy next hosted a Cabinet meeting. The President next had a meeting with President-Elect Juan Bosch of the Dominican Republic. After lunch the President met with David Lawrence. He then met with Governor Terry Sanford. The President next met with Chester Bowles. The President had dinner with Joseph Alsop and Arthur Schlesinger.
11The President began his day with a meeting with Douglas Mac Arthur II the US Ambassador to Belgium. The President had a meeting with George Meany together with Willard Wirtz. The President then had a meeting on Foreign agricultural relations. The President met with Amjad Ali the head of Pakistan's Investment Promotion Board. The President next met with Jack Bell of Associated Press.
12The President began his day with a meeting on Cuba. The meeting was attended by LBJ,Rusk, McNamara, Taylor, McCone, Nitze, Tyler, Kitcher, McNaughton, and Bundy. The same people then stayed for a meeting on NASA. Following that the President had a meeting with Rusk, Foster, Fisher, Wiesner and Bundy on Nuclear testing . The President traveled to Glen Ora late in the day.
13President and Mrs. Kennedy attend Mass at the Middleburg, Virginia, Community Center.
14The President returned to the White House and met with his advisors. The President and Mrs Kennedy departed the White House at 12:10 and headed to the Capital. At 12:33 the President delivered the State of the Union Address. The President met with Jo Grimond the leader to British Liberal Party. In the evening the President attended a dinner at the Mayflower Hotel in honor of General Norstad who was retiring as the commander of NATO.
15The President began his day with a breakfast with Legislative Leaders. The President met with August R Lindt the Ambassador of Switzerland. After lunch the President met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The President next met with Anthony Celebrezze, Francis Keppel, Wilubr Cohen, Lawrence O'Brien and Theodore Sorensen. Next the President had a meeting with Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, and McGeorge Bundy to discuss Vietnam, Cuba, NATO, and the multilateral force. The President ended his official day after a meeting that ended at 7:45 with Walter Heller.
16President Kennedy began his day with a meeting with Dr Robert Cohen the President of Princeton University. He then met with McGeorge Bundy. The President next had a meeting with Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani of Italy. The President then hosted a luncheon for the Italian Prime Minister. In the afternoon the President met with Chrissian Herter. He then met with John Tuthill the US Representative to the European Community. The President met with George Kennan. The President then met with David Bell and Bundy. Kennedy also met with Rusk , McNamara, and Bundy. The President ended his official day at 7:10 after a meeting with McGeorge Bundy.
17The President began the day by signing the budgets. He then had another meeting with with Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani of Italy. The President then met with individuals who had been involved in the Mariner II program at NASA. After lunch the President met with Charles Canon, Robert Jackson, William Ruffing and Myer Feldman. The President then met with participants with Plans for Progress.
18The President began his day meeting Minnie Miles the President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. President Kennedy met with the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. The President next met with Senators Church, McGee, Muskie, Pastore and Talmadge. Next the President received the new Ambassador of Upper Volta. President Kennedy next met with the Executive Committee of the US Conference of Mayors. The President then hosted a luncheon at the White House. The President next met with John Steeves the US Ambassador to Afghanistan. The President next met with LB, Douglas Dillon, Henry Fowler, Lawrence O'Brien, Myer Feldman, Myer Feldman, Theodore Sorensen. The President and First Lady went to the International Inn for a Second Inaugural Salute Dinner. The President and Mrs Kennedy attended the Second Inaugural Salute to the President. After the Salute Party the President and First Lady went to the post Inaugural Anniversary Salute party at the home of Vice President and Mrs. Johnson, the party ended at 2:35 AM.
19The President hosted a brunch for Governors at the White House. He met with his advisors until he left for the pool at 1:20 PM.
20President Kennedy attends Mass at St. Stephen's Church.
21The President met with Edward McDermott. The President then met with the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. The President next met with Clark Clifford. The President next had a meeting on the Longshoreman strike. After lunch the President met Douglas Dillon. Fe then met with Dean Rusk William Foster and Jerome Wiesner. Next the President met with Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg. The President and First Lady gave a dinner in honor of the Vice President, The Speaker of the House and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
22The President began his day with a meeting of with the commander of the VFW. He then met with the Foreign Minster of Argentina. He then met with Elmer Brock and attended a Food for Peace Exhibit. In the afternoon the President met with Meeting on Haiti and Guatemala with Edwin Martin, John Crimmins, Lansing Collins, and Ralph Dungan.
23The President began his day with a meeting with the Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces. He then met with Dean Rusk. The President next met with Karl Heinrich Knappstein the Ambassador of Germany. The President then met Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea, Saidou Conte. The President then met with his economic team. After lunch the President met with John McCone and Richard Holmes of the CIA. The President ended the day with a meeting with Fletcher Knebel.
24President Kennedy had a breakfast meeting to prepare for his Press Conference. Both the Vice President and Rusk attended the breakfast. The President then met with the Committee to Strengthen the Free World, chaired by General Lucius Clay. The President then met with Dean Rusk, George Ball and McGeorge Bundy. President Kennedy then met with Walt Muller the Ambassador of Chile. The President held his Press Conference next. The President then met with Jock Whtner, Art Buchewald and Bob Donovan. The President and Mrs Kennedy had dinner at the home of Franklin D Roosevelt.
25The President met with McGeorge Bundy. The President then met for an hour with the United States Delegation to the Conference on Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of the Less Developed Area. The President then met with Roger Hilsman and Michael Forrestal. Next the President met with Wesley Jones the new Ambassador to Peru. After Lunch the President held a meeting with the EXCOMM to discuss Cuba, and European policy The President ended his official day with a meeting with Douglas Dillon.
26The President began his day with a meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman William McChesney Martin. He then met with Philip Kaiser the US Ambassador to Senegal. The President met with the Ambassador of Great Britain. The President then flew to Glen Ora, Middleburg Virginia.
27President and Mrs. Kennedy attend Mass at the Middleburg, Virginia, Community Center and return to Glen Ora.
28 The President returned to Washington. The President then met with The Presidents Advisory Commission on Narcotics and Drug Abuse. The President then met with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Congressman Edith Green and Congressman Carl Perkins. The President met with Anthony Celebrezze, Dr Frank Keppell. Commission of Education and others on Education. After lunch the President signed a bill for the Columbia River Basin. The President met with Senator Clinton Anderson. The President next met with the United States Advisory Commission on Information. The President then had a meeting on NASA with Rusk, McNamara, Acheson, Kitchen, General Taylor, Ball and Bundy. The President met with Rusk and then Wiesner before ending the say at going to the pool at 7:25.
29The President began the day with a Legislative Leaders Breakfast. He then had a meeting of Aviation with Najeeb Halaby, Frank Loy, George McGhee, Elmer Staats, Dan Martin and Myer Feldman. The President held a meeting on education legislation with Senate Democratic leaders. The President then had a meeting with Henry Laboouisse the US Ambassador to Greece. After Lunch the President met with his advisors. At 6 he met with the Board of Directors of the Hearst Magazines.
30The President began the day with a Coffee Hour for Democratic Senators. His First meeting of the day was with Senator Ralph Yarborough, He then met with Mennen Williams the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. The President then had a meeting on Agricultural policy. After lunch the President met with Newton Minnow the head of the FCC. He then met with Asst AG Nicholas Katzenbach with Ken O'Donnel and Lee White. The President met with British politician Roy Jenkins. The Presidents last meeting of the day was with Orville Freeman, Ralph Dungan and McGeorge Bundy. The President and First Lady had dinner at the home of Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon. The Kennedys arrived at the Dillon home at 8:36 and departed at 11:55PM.
31The President began his day with a Coffee Hour for Democratic Congressman. He then met with Walter Heller. The President next met with the Consumer Advisory Council. The President had an off the record meeting with Senator Herman Talmadge. The President next presented to General Lauris Nortstad the American Heart Associations Heart of the Year Award. The President next met with Walt Rostow. The President next greeted the Boston Celtics Basketball Team. The President next held a meeting with the EXCOMM to discuss European policy and NATO. At night the President addressed the 50th Anniversary Dinner of Bnai Brith.

The 1960s History

The 1960s started off as the dawn of a golden age to most Americans. On January 20, 1961, the handsome and charismatic John F. Kennedy became president of the United States. His confidence that, as one historian put it, “the government possessed big answers to big problems” seemed to set the tone for the rest of the decade. However, that golden age never materialized. On the contrary, by the end of the 1960s, it seemed that the nation was falling apart. Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” splintered as the Democratic Party split and America became increasingly enmeshed in the Vietnam War.

List of presidents of the United States

The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States, indirectly elected to a four-year term by the American people through the Electoral College. The officeholder leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Since the office was established in 1789, 45 people have served in 46 presidencies. The first president, George Washington, won a unanimous vote of the Electoral College one, Grover Cleveland, served two non-consecutive terms and is therefore counted as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States (giving rise to the discrepancy between the number of presidents and the number of persons who have served as president).

The presidency of William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days after taking office in 1841, was the shortest in American history. Franklin D. Roosevelt served the longest, over twelve years, before dying early in his fourth term in 1945. He is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. Since the ratification of the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1951, no person may be elected president more than twice, and no one who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected may be elected more than once. [1]

Four presidents died in office of natural causes (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin D. Roosevelt), four were assassinated (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy), and one resigned (Richard Nixon, facing impeachment). John Tyler was the first vice president to assume the presidency during a presidential term, and set the precedent that a vice president who does so becomes the fully functioning president with his presidency, as opposed to a caretaker president. The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution put Tyler's precedent into law in 1967. It also established a mechanism by which an intra-term vacancy in the vice presidency could be filled. Richard Nixon was the first president to fill a vacancy under this provision when he selected Gerald Ford for the office following Spiro Agnew's resignation in 1973. The following year, Ford became the second to do so when he chose Nelson Rockefeller to succeed him after he acceded to the presidency. As no mechanism existed for filling an intra-term vacancy in the vice presidency before 1967, the office was left vacant until filled through the next ensuing presidential election and subsequent inauguration.

Documents in this collection that were prepared by officials of the United States as part of their official duties are in the public domain.
Some of the archival materials in this collection may be subject to copyright or other intellectual property restrictions. Users of these materials are advised to determine the copyright status of any document from which they wish to publish.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction.
One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excesses of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law. The copyright law extends its protection to unpublished works from the moment of creation in a tangible form.

John F. Kennedy (January 14, 1963)

I congratulate you all?not merely on your electoral victory but on your selected role in history. For you and I are privileged to serve the great Republic in what could be the most decisive decade in its long history. The choices we make, for good or ill, may well shape the state of the Union for generations yet to come.

Little more than 100 weeks ago I assumed the office of President of the United States. In seeking the help of the Congress and our countrymen, I pledged no easy answers. I pledged?and asked?only toil and dedication. These the Congress and the people have given in good measure. And today, having witnessed in recent months a heightened respect for our national purpose and power?having seen the courageous calm of a united people in a perilous hour?and having observed a steady improvement in the opportunities and well-being of our citizens?I can report to you that the state of this old but youthful Union, in the 175th year of its life, is good.

In the world beyond our borders, steady progress has been made in building a world of order. The people of West Berlin remain both free and secure. A settlement, though still precarious, has been reached in Laos. The spearpoint of aggression has been blunted in Viet-Nam. The end of agony may be in sight in the Congo. The doctrine of troika is dead. And, while danger continues, a deadly threat has been removed in Cuba.

At home, the recession is behind us. Well over a million more men and women are working today than were working 2 years ago. The average factory work week is once again more than 40 hours our industries are turning out more goods than ever before and more than half of the manufacturing capacity that lay silent and wasted 100 weeks ago is humming with activity.

In short, both at home and abroad, there may now be a temptation to relax. For the road has been long, the burden heavy, and the pace consistently urgent.

But we cannot be satisfied to rest here. This is the side of the hill, not the top. The mere absence of war is not peace. The mere absence of recession is not growth. We have made a beginning?but we have only begun.

Now the time has come to make the most of our gains?to translate the renewal of our national strength into the achievement of our national purpose.

America has enjoyed 22 months of uninterrupted economic recovery. But recovery is not enough. If we are to prevail in the long run, we must expand the long-run strength of our economy. We must move along the path to a higher rate of growth and full employment.

For this would mean tens of billions of dollars more each year in production, profits, wages, and public revenues. It would mean an end to the persistent slack which has kept our unemployment at or above 5 percent for 61 out of the past 62 months?and an end to the growing pressures for such restrictive measures as the 35-hour week, which alone could increase hourly labor costs by as much as 14 percent, start a new wage-price spiral of inflation, and undercut our efforts to compete with other nations.

To achieve these greater gains, one step, above all, is essential?the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in Federal income taxes.

For it is increasingly clear?to those in Government, business, and labor who are responsible for our economy's success?that our obsolete tax system exerts too heavy a drag on private purchasing power, profits, and employment. Designed to check inflation in earlier years, it now checks growth instead. It discourages extra effort and risk. It distorts the use of resources. It invites recurrent recessions, depresses our Federal revenues, and causes chronic budget deficits.

Now, when the inflationary pressures of the war and the post-war years no longer threaten, and the dollar commands new respect?now, when no military crisis strains our resources?now is the time to act. We cannot afford to be timid or slow. For this is the most urgent task confronting the Congress in 1963.

In an early message, I shall propose a permanent reduction in tax rates which will lower liabilities by $13.5 billion. Of this, $11 billion results from reducing individual tax rates, which now range between 20 and 91 percent, to a more sensible range of 14 to 65 percent, with a split in the present first bracket. Two and one-half billion dollars results from reducing corporate tax rates, from 52 percent?which gives the Government today a majority interest in profits?to the permanent pre-Korean level of 47 percent. This is in addition to the more than $2 billion cut in corporate tax liabilities resulting from last year's investment credit and depreciation reform.

To achieve this reduction within the limits of a manageable budgetary deficit, I urge: first, that these cuts be phased over 3 calendar years, beginning in 1963 with a cut of some $6 billion at annual rates second, that these reductions be coupled with selected structural changes, beginning in 1964, which will broaden the tax base, end unfair or unnecessary preferences, remove or lighten certain hardships, and in the net offset some $3.5 billion of the revenue loss and third, that budgetary receipts at the outset be increased by $1.5 billion a year, without any change in tax liabilities, by gradually shifting the tax payments of large corporations to a more current time schedule. This combined program, by increasing the amount of our national income, will in time result in still higher Federal revenues. It is a fiscally responsible program?the surest and the soundest way of achieving in time a balanced budget in a balanced full employment economy.

This net reduction in tax liabilities of $10 billion will increase the purchasing power of American families and business enterprises in every tax bracket, with greatest increase going to our low-income consumers. It will, in addition, encourage the initiative and risk-taking on which our free system depends?induce more investment, production, and capacity use?help provide the 2 million new jobs we need every year?and reinforce the American principle of additional reward for additional effort.

I do not say that a measure for tax reduction and reform is the only way to achieve these goals.

No doubt a massive increase in Federal spending could also create jobs and growth, but in today's setting, private consumers, employers, and investors should be given a full opportunity first.

No doubt a temporary tax cut could provide a spur to our economy?but a long-run problem compels a long-run solution.

No doubt a reduction in either individual or corporation taxes alone would be of great help?but corporations need customers and job seekers need jobs.

No doubt tax reduction without reform would sound simpler and more attractive to many?but our growth is also hampered by a host of tax inequities and special preferences which have distorted the flow of investment.

And finally, there are no doubt some who would prefer to put off a tax cut in the hope that ultimately an end to the cold war would make possible an equivalent cut in expenditures?but that end is not in view and to wait for it would be costly and self-defeating.

In submitting a tax program which will, of course, temporarily increase the deficit but can ultimately end it?and in recognition of the need to control expenditures?I will shortly submit a fiscal 1964 administrative budget which, while allowing for needed rises in defense, space, and fixed interest charges, holds total expenditures for all other purposes below this year's level.

This requires the reduction or postponement of many desirable programs, the absorption of a large part of last year's Federal pay raise through personnel and other economies, the termination of certain installations and projects, and the substitution in several programs of private for public credit. But I am convinced that the enactment this year of tax reduction and tax reform overshadows all other domestic problems in this Congress. For we cannot for long lead the cause of peace and freedom, if we ever cease to set the pace here at home.

Tax reduction alone, however, is not enough to strengthen our society, to provide opportunities for the four million Americans who are born every year, to improve the lives of 32 million Americans who live on the outskirts of poverty.

The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods.

This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.

Therefore, by holding down the budgetary cost of existing programs to keep within the limitations I have set, it is both possible and imperative to adopt other new measures that we cannot afford to postpone.

These measures are based on a series of fundamental premises, grouped under four related headings:

First, we need to strengthen our Nation by investing in our youth.

The future of any country which is dependent upon the will and wisdom of its citizens is damaged, and irreparably damaged, whenever any of its children is not educated to the full extent of his talent, from grade school through graduate school. Today, an estimated 4 out of every 10 students in the 5th grade will not even finish high school?and that is a waste we cannot afford.

In addition, there is no reason why one million young Americans, out of school and out of work, should all remain unwanted and often untrained on our city streets when their energies can be put to good use.

Finally, the overseas success of our Peace Corps volunteers, most of them young men and women carrying skills and ideas to needy people, suggests the merit of a similar corps serving our own community needs: in mental hospitals, on Indian reservations, in centers for the aged or for young delinquents, in schools for the illiterate or the handicapped. As the idealism of our youth has served world peace, so can it serve the domestic tranquility.

Second, we need to strengthen our Nation by safeguarding its health.

Our working men and women, instead of being forced to beg for help from public charity once they are old and ill, should start contributing now to their own retirement health program through the Social Security System.

Moreover, all our miracles of medical research will count for little if we cannot reverse the growing nationwide shortage of doctors, dentists, and nurses, and the widespread shortages of nursing homes and modern urban hospital facilities. Merely to keep the present ratio of doctors and dentists from declining any further, we must over the next 10 years increase the capacity of our medical schools by 50 percent and our dental schools by 100 percent.

Finally, and of deep concern, I believe that the abandonment of the mentally ill and the mentally retarded to the grim mercy of custodial institutions too often inflicts on them and on their families a needless cruelty which this Nation should not endure. The incidence of mental retardation in this country is three times as high as that of Sweden, for example?and that figure can and must be reduced.

Third, we need to strengthen our Nation by protecting the basic rights of its citizens.

The right to competent counsel must be assured to every man accused of crime in Federal court, regardless of his means.

And the most precious and powerful right in the world, the right to vote in a free American election, must not be denied to any citizen on grounds of his race or color. I wish that all qualified Americans permitted to vote were willing to vote, but surely in this centennial year of Emancipation all those who are willing to vote should always be permitted.

Fourth, we need to strengthen our Nation by making the best and the most economical use of its resources and facilities.

Our economic health depends on healthy transportation arteries and I believe the way to a more modern, economical choice of national transportation service is through increased competition and decreased regulation. Local mass transit, faring even worse, is as essential a community service as hospitals and highways. Nearly three-fourths of our citizens live in urban areas, which occupy only 2 percent of our land?and if local transit is to survive and relieve the congestion of these cities, it needs Federal stimulation and assistance.

Next, this Government is in the storage and stockpile business to the melancholy tune of more than $16 billion. We must continue to support farm income, but we should not pile more farm surpluses on top of the $7.5 billion we already own. We must maintain a stockpile of strategic materials, but the $8.5 billion we have acquired?for reasons both good and bad?is much more than we need and we should be empowered to dispose of the excess in ways which will not cause market disruption.

Finally, our already overcrowded national parks and recreation areas will have twice as many visitors 10 years from now as they do today. If we do not plan today for the future growth of these and other great natural assets?not only parks and forests but wildlife and wilderness preserves, and water projects of all kinds?our children and their children will be poorer in every sense of the word.

These are not domestic concerns alone. For upon our achievement of greater vitality and strength here at home hang our fate and future in the world: our ability to sustain and supply the security of free men and nations, our ability to command their respect for our leadership, our ability to expand our trade without threat to our balance of payments, and our ability to adjust to the changing demands of cold war competition and challenge.

We shall be judged more by what we do at home than by what we preach abroad. Nothing we could do to help the developing countries would help them half as much as a booming U.S. economy. And nothing our opponents could do to encourage their own ambitions would encourage them half as much as a chronic, lagging U.S. economy. These domestic tasks do not divert energy from our security?they provide the very foundation for freedom's survival and success.

Turning to the world outside, it was only a few years ago?in Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, even outer space?that communism sought to convey the image of a unified, confident, and expanding empire, closing in on a sluggish America and a free world in disarray. But few people would hold to that picture today.

In these past months we have reaffirmed the scientific and military superiority of freedom. We have doubled our efforts in space, to assure us of being first in the future. We have undertaken the most far-reaching defense improvements in the peacetime history of this country. And we have maintained the frontiers of freedom from Viet-Nam to West Berlin.

But complacency or self-congratulation can imperil our security as much as the weapons of tyranny. A moment of pause is not a promise of peace. Dangerous problems remain from Cuba to the South China Sea. The world's prognosis prescribes, in short, not a year's vacation for us, but a year of obligation and opportunity.

Four special avenues of opportunity stand out: the Atlantic Alliance, the developing nations, the new Sino-Soviet difficulties, and the search for worldwide peace.

First, how fares the grand alliance? Free Europe is entering into a new phase of its long and brilliant history. The era of colonial expansion has passed the era of national rivalries is fading and a new era of interdependence and unity is taking shape. Defying the old prophecies of Marx, consenting to what no conqueror could ever compel, the free nations of Europe are moving toward a unity of purpose and power and policy in every sphere of activity.

For 17 years this movement has had our consistent support, both political and economic. Far from resenting the new Europe, we regard her as a welcome partner, not a rival. For the road to world peace and freedom is still long, and there are burdens which only full partners can share?in supporting the common defense, in expanding world trade, in aligning our balance of payments, in aiding the emergent nations, in concerting political and economic policies, and in welcoming to our common effort other industrialized nations, notably Japan, whose remarkable economic and political development of the 1950's permits it now to play on the world scene a major constructive role.

No doubt differences of opinion will continue to get more attention than agreements on action, as Europe moves from independence to more formal interdependence. But these are honest differences among honorable associates?more real and frequent, in fact, among our Western European allies than between them and the United States. For the unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion. But the basic agreement of this alliance on fundamental issues continues.

The first task of the alliance remains the common defense. Last month Prime Minister Macmillan and I laid plans for a new stage in our long cooperative effort, one which aims to assist in the wider task of framing a common nuclear defense for the whole alliance.

The Nassau agreement recognizes that the security of the West is indivisible, and so must be our defense. But it also recognizes that this is an alliance of proud and sovereign nations, and works best when we do not forget it. It recognizes further that the nuclear defense of the West is not a matter for the present nuclear powers alone?that France will be such a power in the future?and that ways must be found without increasing the hazards of nuclear diffusion, to increase the role of our other partners in planning, manning, and directing a truly multilateral nuclear force within an increasingly intimate NATO alliance. Finally, the Nassau agreement recognizes that nuclear defense is not enough, that the agreed NATO levels of conventional strength must be met, and that the alliance cannot afford to be in a position of having to answer every threat with nuclear weapons or nothing.

We remain too near the Nassau decisions, and too far from their full realization, to know their place in history. But I believe that, for the first time, the door is open for the nuclear defense of the alliance to become a source of confidence, instead of a cause of contention.

The next most pressing concern of the alliance is our common economic goals of trade and growth. This Nation continues to be concerned about its balance-of-payments deficit, which, despite its decline, remains a stubborn and troublesome problem. We believe, moreover, that closer economic ties among all free nations are essential to prosperity and peace. And neither we nor the members of the European Common Market are so affluent that we can long afford to shelter high cost farms or factories from the winds of foreign competition, or to restrict the channels of trade with other nations of the free world. If the Common Market should move toward protectionism and restrictionism, it would undermine its own basic principles. This Government means to use the authority conferred on it last year by the Congress to encourage trade expansion on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world.

Second, what of the developing and non-aligned nations? They were shocked by the Soviets' sudden and secret attempt to transform Cuba into a nuclear striking base?and by Communist China's arrogant invasion of India. They have been reassured by our prompt assistance to India, by our support through the United Nations of the Congo's unification, by our patient search for disarmament, and by the improvement in our treatment of citizens and visitors whose skins do not happen to be white. And as the older colonialism recedes, and the neo-colonialism of the Communist powers stands out more starkly than ever, they realize more clearly that the issue in the world struggle is not communism versus capitalism, but coercion versus free choice.

They are beginning to realize that the longing for independence is the same the world over, whether it is the independence of West Berlin or Viet-Nam. They are beginning to realize that such independence runs athwart all Communist ambitions but is in keeping with our own?and that our approach to their diverse needs is resilient and resourceful, while the Communists are still relying on ancient doctrines and dogmas.

Nevertheless it is hard for any nation to focus on an external or subversive threat to its independence when its energies are drained in daily combat with the forces of poverty and despair. It makes little sense for us to assail, in speeches and resolutions, the horrors of communism, to spend $50 billion a year to prevent its military advance?and then to begrudge spending, largely on American products, less than one-tenth of that amount to help other nations strengthen their independence and cure the social chaos in which communism has always thrived.

I am proud?and I think most Americans are proud?of a mutual defense and assistance program, evolved with bipartisan support in three administrations, which has, with all its recognized problems, contributed to the fact that not a single one of the nearly fifty U.N. members to gain independence since the Second World War has succumbed to Communist control.

I am proud of a program that has helped to arm and feed and clothe millions of people who live on the front lines of freedom.

I am especially proud that this country has put forward for the 60's a vast cooperative effort to achieve economic growth and social progress throughout the Americas?the Alliance for Progress.

I do not underestimate the difficulties that we face in this mutual effort among our close neighbors, but the free states of this hemisphere, working in close collaboration, have begun to make this alliance a living reality. Today it is feeding one out of every four school age children in Latin America an extra food ration from our farm surplus. It has distributed 1.5 million school books and is building 17,000 classrooms. It has helped resettle tens of thousands of farm families on land they can call their own. It is stimulating our good neighbors to more self-help and self-reform?fiscal, social, institutional, and land reforms. It is bringing new housing and hope, new health and dignity, to millions who were forgotten. The men and women of this hemisphere know that the alliance cannot succeed if it is only another name for United States handouts?that it can succeed only as the Latin American nations themselves devote their best effort to fulfilling its goals.

This story is the same in Africa, in the Middle East, and in Asia. Wherever nations are willing to help themselves, we stand ready to help them build new bulwarks of freedom. We are not purchasing votes for the cold war we have gone to the aid of imperiled nations, neutrals and allies alike. What we do ask?and all that we ask?is that our help be used to best advantage, and that their own efforts not be diverted by needless quarrels with other independent nations.

Despite all its past achievements, the continued progress of the Mutual Assistance Program requires a persistent discontent with present performance. We have been reorganizing this program to make it a more effective, efficient instrument?and that process will continue this year.

But free world development will still be an uphill struggle. Government aid can only supplement the role of private investment, trade expansion, commodity stabilization, and, above all, internal self-improvement. The processes of growth are gradual?bearing fruit in a decade, not a day. Our successes will be neither quick nor dramatic. But if these programs were ever to be ended, our failures in a dozen countries would be sudden and certain.

Neither money nor technical assistance, however, can be our only weapon against poverty. In the end, the crucial effort is one of purpose, requiring the fuel of finance but also a torch of idealism. And nothing carries the spirit of this American idealism more effectively to the far corners of the earth than the American Peace Corps.

A year ago, less than 900 Peace Corps volunteers were on the job. A year from now they will number more than 9,000?men and women, aged 18 to 79, willing to give 2 years of their lives to helping people in other lands.

There are, in fact, nearly a million Americans serving their country and the cause of freedom in overseas posts, a record no other people can match. Surely those of us who stay at home should be glad to help indirectly by supporting our aid programs .by opening our doors to foreign visitors and diplomats and students and by proving, day by day, by deed as well as word, that we are a just and generous people.

Third, what comfort can we take from the increasing strains and tensions within the Communist bloc? Here hope must be tempered with caution. For the Soviet-Chinese disagreement is over means, not ends. A dispute over how best to bury the free world is no grounds for Western rejoicing.

Nevertheless, while a strain is not a fracture, it is clear that the forces of diversity are at work inside the Communist camp, despite all the iron disciplines of regimentation and all the iron dogmatisms of ideology. Marx is proven wrong once again: for it is the closed Communist societies, not the free and open societies which carry within themselves the seeds of internal disintegration.

The disarray of the Communist empire has been heightened by two other formidable forces. One is the historical force of nationalism?and the yearning of all men to be free. The other is the gross inefficiency of their economies. For a closed society is not open to ideas of progress?and a police state finds that it cannot command the grain to grow.

New nations asked to choose between two competing systems need only compare conditions in East and West Germany, Eastern and Western Europe, North and South Viet-Nam. They need only compare the disillusionment of Communist Cuba with the promise of the Alliance for Progress. And all the world knows that no successful system builds a wall to keep its people in and freedom out?and the wall of shame dividing Berlin is a symbol of Communist failure.

Finally, what can we do to move from the present pause toward enduring peace? Again I would counsel caution. I foresee no spectacular reversal in Communist methods or goals. But if all these trends and developments can persuade the Soviet Union to walk the path of peace, then let her know that all free nations will journey with her. But until that choice is made, and until the world can develop a reliable system of international security, the free peoples have no choice but to keep their arms nearby.

This country, therefore, continues to require the best defense in the world?a defense which is suited to the sixties. This means, unfortunately, a rising defense budget?for there is no substitute for adequate defense, and no "bargain basement" way of achieving it. It means the expenditure of more than $15 billion this year on nuclear weapons systems alone, a sum which is about equal to the combined defense budgets of our European Allies.

But it also means improved air and missile defenses, improved civil defense, a strengthened anti-guerrilla capacity and, of prime importance, more powerful and flexible non-nuclear forces. For threats of massive retaliation may not deter piecemeal aggression?and a line of destroyers in a quarantine, or a division of well-equipped men on a border, may be more useful to our real security than the multiplication of awesome weapons beyond all rational need.

But our commitment to national safety is not a commitment to expand our military establishment indefinitely. We do not dismiss disarmament as merely an idle dream. For we believe that, in the end, it is the only way to assure the security of all without impairing the interests of any. Nor do we mistake honorable negotiation for appeasement. While we shall never weary in the defense of freedom, neither shall we ever abandon the pursuit of peace.

In this quest, the United Nations requires our full and continued support. Its value in serving the cause of peace has been shown anew in its role in the West New Guinea settlement, in its use as a forum for the Cuban crisis, and in its task of unification in the Congo. Today the United Nations is primarily the protector of the small and the weak, and a safety valve for the strong. Tomorrow it can form the framework for a world of law?a world in which no nation dictates the destiny of another, and in which the vast resources now devoted to destructive means will serve constructive ends.

In short, let our adversaries choose. If they choose peaceful competition, they shall have it. If they come to realize that their ambitions cannot succeed?if they see their "wars of liberation" and subversion will ultimately fail?if they recognize that there is more security in accepting inspection than in permitting new nations to master the black arts of nuclear war?and if they are willing to turn their energies, as we are, to the great unfinished tasks of our own peoples?then, surely, the areas of agreement can be very wide indeed: a clear understanding about Berlin, stability in Southeast Asia, an end to nuclear testing, new checks on surprise or accidental attack, and, ultimately, general and complete disarmament.

For we seek not the worldwide victory of one nation or system but a worldwide victory of man. The modern globe is too small, its weapons are too destructive, and its disorders are too contagious to permit any other kind of victory.

To achieve this end, the United States will continue to spend a greater portion of its national production than any other people in the free world. For 15 years no other free nation has demanded so much of itself. Through hot wars and cold, through recession and prosperity, through the ages of the atom and outer space, the American people have never faltered and their faith has never flagged. If at times our actions seem to make life difficult for others, it is only because history has made life difficult for us all.

But difficult days need not be dark. I think these are proud and memorable days in the cause of peace and freedom. We are proud, for example, of Major Rudolf Anderson who gave his life over the island of Cuba. We salute Specialist James Allen Johnson who died on the border of South Korea. We pay honor to Sergeant Gerald Pendell who was killed in Viet-Nam. They are among the many who in this century, far from home, have died for our country. Our task now, and the task of all Americans is to live up to their commitment.

My friends: I close on a note of hope. We are not lulled by the momentary calm of the sea or the somewhat clearer skies above. We know the turbulence that lies below, and the storms that are beyond the horizon this year. But now the winds of change appear to be blowing more strongly than ever, in the world of communism as well as our own. For 175 years we have sailed with those winds at our back, and with the tides of human freedom in our favor. We steer our ship with hope, as Thomas Jefferson said, "leaving Fear astern."

Today we still welcome those winds of change?and we have every reason to believe that our tide is running strong. With thanks to Almighty God for seeing us through a perilous passage, we ask His help anew in guiding the "Good Ship Union."

The Assassination

Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza.

Bullets struck the president's neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The governor was shot in his back.

The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But little could be done for the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. Though seriously wounded, Governor Connally would recover.

The president's body was brought to Love Field and placed on Air Force One. Before the plane took off, a grim-faced Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the tight, crowded compartment and took the oath of office, administered by US District Court Judge Sarah Hughes. The brief ceremony took place at 2:38 p.m.

Less than an hour earlier, police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. He was being held for the assassination of President Kennedy and the fatal shooting, shortly afterward, of Patrolman J. D. Tippit on a Dallas street.

On Sunday morning, November 24, Oswald was scheduled to be transferred from police headquarters to the county jail. Viewers across America watching the live television coverage suddenly saw a man aim a pistol and fire at point blank range. The assailant was identified as Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner. Oswald died two hours later at Parkland Hospital.


Designed by John Trumpy and built by the famed John H. Mathis & Company Shipbuilders in Camden, New Jersey, Sequoia was completed at a cost of approximately $200,000 and launched October 27, 1925. [5] Originally named the Sequoia II, she was the second of four successively larger yachts built between 1924 and 1931 for Mr. and Mrs. Richard McCall Cadwalader of Philadelphia. [5] The Cadwalader's third and fourth yachts were named Savarona and Savarona II, respectively. [6]

At 104 feet in length, Sequoia II ' s hull was originally constructed of long-leaf yellow pine on white oak frames and her deckhouse of mahogany and teak. She is capable of comfortably sleeping eight guests in her three double and two single staterooms, has ample crew quarters and can seat 22 for formal dinners. [7] [8]

Richard M. Cadwalader and Emily Roebling Cadwalader Edit

Richard Cadwalader was a prominent Philadelphia banker and his wife, Emily Roebling Cadwalader, was an heiress to the Roebling fortune. Emily was the granddaughter of John Augustus Roebling, chief engineer and original designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, and was named after her paternal aunt, Emily Warren Roebling. [9]

Emily Roebling Cadwalader became the driving force behind the four exceptional yachts constructed for the Cadwaladers, culminating in 1931 with the 446-foot Savarona II.

Sequoia II ' s christening and early use Edit

Local newspapers recount that on October 26, 1925 after arriving with her party in two Rolls-Royce automobiles, Mrs. Cadwalader broke a bottle of champagne against the bow of the Sequoia II commemorating its service to her family. Oddly, these accounts of Sequoia II ' s christening make no mention of prohibition when discussing the champagne. [5] The Cadwaladers sailed Sequoia II on various high-profile trips to the coasts of Florida during 1925 and 1926, including to West Palm Beach and Miami. [10] [11]

Three years after being built for the Cadwaladers, Sequoia II was sold to William Dunning, a Houston-based oil executive who used the vessel for various gambling trips to Cuba and business-related travel along the Mexican coastline. [9] Dunning was forced to sell Sequoia II during the Great Depression.

On March 24, 1931, the U.S. Bureau of Navigation within the Department of Commerce purchased Sequoia II from Dunning for approximately $40,000. [7] Sequoia II initially was used to patrol the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays as a decoy vessel to attract would-be bootleggers. [9] In hope of selling illegal liquor, bootleggers would come alongside what was seen as a wealthy family's yacht only to be arrested.

Presidential service Edit

Hoover Administration Edit

Herbert Hoover was known to have an affection for Mathis-Trumpy houseboats, such as Sequoia, and had spent time both between his election victory and inauguration and during the early part of his administration cruising and fishing in Florida aboard the yacht Saunterer, [12] a 98-foot Mathis-Trumpy house boat owned by his friend, Jeremiah Milbank.

Having decommissioned the former presidential yacht The Mayflower in 1929, Herbert Hoover initiated Sequoia II ' s presidential service by using her on various occasions during the final years of his Administration. This included four documented voyages from 1931 to 1933 for official presidential business as well as for pleasure cruises. [13] Various news outlets reported on the status of Hoover's fishing trips aboard Sequoia. [14] During 1932, President and Mrs. Hoover spent both Christmas and New Year's Eve aboard the Sequoia II as part of a ten-day fishing trip along the Georgia and Florida coastlines. [15] Hoover used a photo of the indulgent yacht on his 1932 White House Christmas Card, when many Americans were suffering through the Depression and struggling for basic necessities.

Roosevelt Administration Edit

President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the yacht more frequently, with over fifty recorded outings between 1933 and 1935. [16] On March 25, 1933, what was now known simply as Sequoia and no longer Sequoia II, became the official presidential yacht after it was transferred from the Department of Commerce to the Naval Department. [17] An elevator was installed to enable access for the polio-stricken President, who, like Hoover before him, enjoyed fishing aboard Sequoia and also used the vessel for important meetings and summits. [17]

On April 23, 1933, President Roosevelt hosted British Prime Minister James Ramsay MacDonald as his first guest on the Sequoia. During a cruise to Mount Vernon they discussed the Great Depression, demilitarization, Adolf Hitler's rise and strategies for averting the threat of a potential new war with Germany. [18] [19] As it became clear these efforts were failing and war approached, the wooden Sequoia was deemed unsafe for the President, and on December 9, 1935, Sequoia was officially reassigned to the Secretary of the Navy and the steel-hulled USS Potomac was designated as the presidential yacht. [20] For the next three decades, Sequoia served at the pleasure of the United States Secretary of the Navy until its recommissioning in 1969 as a presidential yacht. [20]

Truman Administration Edit

While serving as the yacht for the Secretary of the Navy, U.S. presidents and members of the Cabinet continued to use the Sequoia, often providing the backdrop for critical moments in American history.

President Harry S. Truman who used the USS Williamsburg as his official yacht, nevertheless called upon Sequoia to host the first atomic arms control talks. Just three months after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was aboard the Sequoia during a November 1945 cruise down the Potomac past Mount Vernon that Truman first discussed the promise of atomic power and the need to control atomic weapons with the United States' closest allied leaders, Prime Ministers Clement Attlee of Great Britain and Mackenzie King of Canada. [21] On September 16, 1946, then General Dwight David Eisenhower's calendar shows he met aboard the Sequoia with U.S. Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, General Carl Spaatz, and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery. This meeting, under the guise of a cruise to Mount Vernon, initiated a series of highly classified political and military discussions from which emerged the Western European Union, which formed in 1948, followed by NATO a year later. [22] General Eisenhower later served from 1951 to 1952 as the first Supreme Commander of NATO.

Eisenhower Administration Edit

On election to the presidency, Eisenhower ordered his Joint Chiefs of Staff (including Admiral Arthur W. Radford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) to meet on the Sequoia to further formulate and develop a plan for implementing Eisenhower's “New Look” defensive policy. On August 6, 1953, Admiral Radford and his fellow Chiefs set sail in the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Sequoia. The military leaders understood the President wanted a consensus and it was not until late on August 8, once the Chiefs had all signed what would be known as the "Sequoia Report", that the Sequoia returned to Washington. [23] The Sequoia Report helped introduce a defensive strategy to reduce the overall size and cost of the military and rely heavily on nuclear deterrence, a doctrine that would serve as a defining turning point in U.S. strategy during the Cold War. [20]

Kennedy Administration Edit

President Kennedy's use of Sequoia is not as well documented as that of other presidents. Government photographers did not accompany him on the yacht, and curiously, immediately after his assassination, an order was given to destroy all personal logs associated with Sequoia ' s use during the Kennedy Administration. [20] At the time, Paul “Red” Fay, one of Kennedy's closest friends and confidants, served as Acting Secretary of the Navy.

During October 1962, President Kennedy held strategy meetings on Sequoia to discuss the Cuban Missile Crisis. [24] On May 29, 1963, the Kennedys hosted a cruise to celebrate the President's 46th and final birthday. At 8 pm, the couple boarded Sequoia to the music of two orchestras. With 25 friends and family, the President and his guests danced after a meal of roast filet and Dom Perignon. [25] [26] In the words of Clement Norton, a close Kennedy family friend who was aboard that night, “You never can imagine anything happier or more normal or nice.” [27] The iconic photographs documenting the President's last birthday were not taken by an official White House photographer, but by the navy officer in charge of Sequoia using his own Kodak Instamatic camera. Mary Pinchot Meyer's presence at the intimate celebration and her murder the following year have been topics of much speculation.

At the time President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963 he and the First Lady were scheduled to host friends for a Sunday cruise aboard Sequoia, two days later, on November 24, 1963. [28] In April 1964, the widowed Mrs. Kennedy spent an evening aboard Sequoia with a group of President Kennedy's closest friends. Frank Gannon, the piano player aboard that day, recounts a poignantly sad story of Mrs. Kennedy requesting him to play “Me and My Shadow” a song about being alone. [28] On May 27, 1964, two days before what would have been Kennedy's 47th birthday, his closest family and some friends once again gathered aboard Sequoia for a dinner cruise documented by Kennedy speechwriter and presidential historian, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Johnson Administration Edit

In an interview after her husband had left office, former first Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, remembered the Johnson's “love affair with the Sequoia goes back indeed to 1949.” [29] Having become friends with then Secretary of the Navy and soon to be Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, the future president and First Lady had been invited guests aboard the ship on numerous occasions during the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. [30]

As Kennedy's vice president, Johnson made eight recorded trips aboard Sequoia. As president, Johnson's use of Sequoia would increase, with more than 35 recorded trips during his 5 years in office. [31] During 1964, President Johnson ordered FDR's elevator removed and a bar installed in its place. [32] Johnson used Sequoia to lobby members of congress on critical legislative matters including civil rights and to strategize with his advisors regarding important decisions including escalation of the Vietnam war. [33] Sequoia was used for hosting foreign ambassadors, as well as the leaders of Turkey and Greece who discussed the ongoing issue of Cyprus. [34] President Johnson frequently used Sequoia as a place to unwind and watch a film.

Nixon Administration Edit

Sequoia ' s most frequent presidential passenger was Johnson's successor, Richard Nixon. President Nixon recorded more than 80 trips aboard the yacht while in office.

On June 19, 1973, when a party of U.S. and Soviet diplomats accompanied the President and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev on a working dinner aboard the yacht. Throughout their cruise, the leaders discussed an agreement between the U.S. and U.S.S.R regarding the prevention of nuclear war, which was signed by President Nixon and General Secretary Brezhnev two days later on June 22, 1973 during the Washington Summit. [35] It was aboard the Sequoia that President Nixon decided to resign and informed his family. [36] In a 1983 interview conducted by Frank Gannon of the Nixon Foundation titled, "The Smoking Gun and the Sequoia" former president Nixon describes the August 5, 1974 cruise aboard the Sequoia during which he learned a Court had ordered him to release - the transcript of a tape recording that showed he approved the cover-up of the Watergate break-in. [37]

Ford Administration Edit

Following President Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford assumed the presidency. Ford used Sequoia less than Nixon. In May 1975, Ford was the first known president to host a Cabinet meeting aboard the vessel. Lasting four hours, the President and his cabinet discussed wide-ranging issues facing the United States, including a discussion regarding Congressional relations, confronting the issue of Vietnamese refugees, and the status of the U.S. Energy program in light of the 1973 oil crisis. [38]

Later that summer, Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller, wife of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, entertained Mrs. Takeo Miki (wife of the Prime Minister of Japan) on a cruise along the Potomac during a state visit. [39] Similarly, in October, 1975, the yacht would cruise along the Potomac to entertain Emperor Hirohito and the accompanying delegation from Japan. Another notable visitor aboard the Sequoia during the Ford years was the prime minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau, who in 1976, had a working dinner with the President aboard Sequoia. [40]

President Ford celebrated his 62nd birthday on the Sequoia shortly after a surprise party given by White House staff. [41] In 1975, Susan Ford hosted a pre-prom party aboard the yacht with a group of friends, and then celebrated her 19th birthday aboard Sequoia the following year. [42] First Lady Betty Ford hosted a June 9, 1976 Sequoia cruise in celebration of Happy Rockefeller's 50th birthday. [43]

Carter Administration Edit

After 46 years of government service, citing cost concerns – the Sequoia cost taxpayers an estimated $800,000 annually – President Carter ordered the Sequoia be sold at auction. Carter would later recall selling the yacht as a mistake. In a conversation with broadcaster Ray Suarez, Carter said: “People thought I was not being reverent enough to the office I was holding, that I was too much of a peanut farmer, not enough of an aristocrat, or something like that. So I think that shows that the American people want something of, an element of, image of monarchy in the White House.” [44] In his 2015 autobiography "A Full Life: Reflections at 90" President Carter wrote of selling Sequoia, "I was determined to be strict on expenditures for the nation, and to set an example in my personal life. I decided to sell the presidential yacht Sequoia, and to minimize the playing of “Ruffles and Flourishes” when I arrived at public meetings. I was surprised when some of these changes proved to be quite unpopular, and to learn how much the public cherished the pomp and ceremony of the presidency."

Winston Churchill and the Sequoia Edit

Sequoia served as refuge for presidents to relax with friends and conduct business outside of the public spotlight. As a result, no official documentary evidence exists for many events which took place aboard the yacht, and certain lore has developed, particularly regarding British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's activities aboard Sequoia. This includes, but is not limited to, Churchill and Roosevelt planning D-day together on the large table in Sequoia ' s main salon, Churchill gifting deck chairs from the Queen Mary for Sequoia ' s upper deck and Churchill being the impetus behind Roosevelt decommissioning the USS Sequoia so that the two leaders could drink on board – alcoholic beverages were prohibited aboard commissioned naval vessels. Despite these persistent legends, Churchill was never documented as being aboard the yacht.

Sequoia has had 7 owners since being sold by the U.S. government in 1977. Certain of the past owners sought to offset the costs of maintaining and operating the vessel by offering Sequoia for private charter, and others were non-profit groups seeking to maintain her for historical reasons and/or return her to presidential service.

Thomas Malloy purchased Sequoia from the U.S. government in May 1977 for $286,000. [45] [46] Three months later, Malloy resold Sequoia to a partnership led by Norman Pulliam for $355,000. Mr. Pulliam maintained Sequoia in Myrtle Beach SC and then sold her to The Ocean Learning Institute of Palm Beach, FL during March 1980 for $750,000. The institute used Sequoia to entertain potential donors. [47]

The Presidential Yacht Trust, a non-profit organization, acquired Sequoia from the Institute for approximately $1.1 million in 1980 and brought Sequoia back to D.C for use by the President and his cabinet. President and Mrs. Reagan let it be known ''There is some feeling in the White House that [the President] should not be on a million-dollar yacht when he has to cut programs such as food stamps and such.'' [48] Although, Reagan preferred to appear on horseback, he authorized his Cabinet's use of Sequoia. During an August 1982 luncheon aboard Sequoia, E.P.A. administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford (mother of future Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch) announced to eight Reagan Administration officials, she was holding back Federal funds to clean up a toxic waste site near Los Angeles to avoid helping the Senate campaign of former California Gov. Brown, a Democrat. [49] When Congress charged the EPA had mishandled such toxic waste Superfund sites and demanded records, Gorsuch refused and became the first agency director in U.S. history to be cited for contempt of Congress. During 1984 Sequoia received a heroes welcome as she was taken on an eight-month, 6,000-mile tour of the country.

A Congressional Resolution written to assist the Trust in bringing Sequoia back into government service, passed in December 1985. Sequoia underwent a $2 million restoration in 1986 before participating in the flotilla of vessels celebrating the centennial of the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 1986. Vice President George H.W. Bush used Sequoia in May 1987 to host a day of meetings with Yang Shangkun who subsequently served as President of the People's Republic of China from 1988 to 1993. [50] [51] Sequoia was designated as a National Historic Landmark in March 1988. Political considerations dictated that if the Sequoia were to be returned to the government for use by the President, the cost should not be born by the U.S. government. The Trust was surprised by the Navy's requirement that the Trust not only pay for the yacht and its operations but also the security which would be required by the President. Unable to pay a $2 million repair bill, title to the yacht was transferred to the Virginia shipyard and Sequoia spent 6 years in storage. [52]

Upon taking office, the Clinton White House worked closely with the Trust during 1993 and 1994 to have Kuwait purchase Sequoia from the Virginia yard where she was being stored and transfer title to the Trust as gift to the American people and a gesture of gratitude to the US for leading a coalition of 34 counties in liberating Kuwait after Saddam Hussein's 1990 Iraqi invasion. [53]

A Japanese buyer was about to purchase Sequoia and move her to Tokyo, when The Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group LLC purchased Sequoia from the Virginia shipyard in September 2000 for approximately $2.0 million and made her available in Washington, D.C. for private charters until 2014. [54]

President Clinton attended one such event aboard Sequoia on October 17, 2000 [55] —making him the 10th person who served as U.S. president to walk upon Sequoia's decks—the full list includes: Herbert C. Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, George H. W. Bush (while Vice President) and William J. Clinton.

During 2005, The Mystic Seaport Museum (located in Mystic, Connecticut) entered into an exclusive 6-month option agreement to purchase Sequoia from the Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group but was unable to raise the $20 million needed to buy, restore and maintain the vessel. Upon the expiration of its option, the museum's president told the New York Times, "[He] was disappointed because the Sequoia, a national historic landmark, is probably the most desirable vessel in private hands." [56]

Sequoia is currently owned by FE Partners, a portfolio company of the Washington D.C. based Equator Capital Group which purchased Sequoia in October 2016 for $7.8 million. Equator Capital is controlled by L. Michael Cantor and is in the process of restoring the Sequoia at a repair yard in Belfast Maine. When asked about future plans by MegaYacht News, Cantor stated, “Once restored, our intention is to bring Sequoia back to Washington where she will serve as a venue to teach American presidential history and promote ocean conservation causes” [57]

FE Partners purchased Sequoia after a protracted litigation with The Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group, the former owner who believed Sequoia to be worth significantly more than the $7.8 million purchase price and filed a January 2013 lawsuit against FE Partners to block the sale. As part of a loan agreement, the former owner had provided FE Partners with an option to purchase Sequoia for $13 million or in the event of a default under the loan agreement for $7.8 million. [58] [59] On August 29, 2013, a Delaware Court entered a Default Judgment against the former owner and confirmed FE Partner's contractual right to purchase Sequoia for $7.8 million. On November 14, 2017, the same Delaware Court found the aggregate amount of funds which had been loaned by FE Partners to the former owner, legal fees, Sequoia’s 3rd part debts and the cost to repair Sequoia exceeded the $7.8 million purchase price. As a consequence, the Court also ruled FE Partners was not required to pay any additional funds to the former owner. [58]

Upon purchasing Sequoia in October 2016, FE Partners filed a lawsuit against Chesapeake Boat Works of Deltaville, Virginia [60] which had damaged Sequoia while hauling her out of the water on a marine railway during December 2014. FE Partners won a $700,000 settlement award against the Virginia shipyard on February 22, 2019, [61] and then began the process of removing Sequoia from the railway, placing her on a barge and transporting the barge from Virginia to Maine. In September 2019, the Sequoia was first moved by barge from Deltaville, Virginia, to Cambridge, Maryland. [62] and then during October, from Cambridge, Maryland to Belfast, Maine where Sequoia arrived on October 22, 2019 to begin its restoration by French & Webb Inc for an undisclosed price.

According to MegaYacht News, the Sequoia restoration will require 9 to 10 months of careful planning before the refurbishment itself can start. [63] French and his team are sourcing woods to supplement and/or replace her long-leaf yellow pine, mahogany, and teak.


The First Family starred stand-up comedian and impersonator Vaughn Meader as Kennedy and Naomi Brossart as the First Lady. Meader's skill at impersonating Kennedy was honed on the stand-up circuit – with his New England accent naturally close to Kennedy's familiar, and often parodied, Harvard accent he needed to adjust his voice only slightly to sound like the President. Brossart was a theatre actress and model making her recording début. [4]

The First Family was written and produced by Bob Booker, Earle Doud and George Foster Booker and Doud were also in the cast and received front cover billing, as the album is officially titled Bob Booker and Earle Doud Present The First Family. The album also features the voice talent of Jim Lehner, Bradley Bolke, Chuck McCann, Bob McFadden, and Norma MacMillan. It was recorded in front of a live studio audience.

Meader later revealed, "A lot of people don't know this, but we recorded The First Family on the night of October 22, 1962, the same night as John F. Kennedy's Cuban Missile Crisis Speech. The audience was in the studio and had no idea of the drama that was taking place. But the cast had heard the speech and our throats almost dropped to our toes, because if the audience had heard the Cuban Missile Speech, we would not have received the reaction we did." During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cadence Records almost cancelled the distribution of the record, assuming America would be going to war.

Although the comedy album boom was mushrooming by 1962, production of a record imitating the President met stiff opposition. James Hagerty, a top executive for ABC-Paramount Records and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s former press secretary, said the proposed album would be "degrading to the presidency" and proclaimed that "every Communist country in the world would love this record." After other rejections, Cadence Records agreed to distribute the album, and within a month the record was appearing on store shelves, and seeing brisk sales. Two weeks later it had sold more than 1 million copies, pushing past the debut album by Peter, Paul and Mary. [5]

Within weeks, many Americans could recite favorite lines from the record, including "the rubber schwan [swan] is mine", and "move ahead. with great vigah [vigor]", the latter lampooning the President's own words. The album poked fun at Kennedy's PT-109 history the rocking chairs he used for his painful back the Kennedy clan's well-known athleticism, football games and family togetherness children in the White House and Jackie Kennedy's soft-spoken nature and her redecoration of the White House and many other bits of knowledge that the public was eager to consume. Kennedy himself was said to have given copies of the albums as Christmas gifts, and once greeted a Democratic National Committee group by saying, "Vaughn Meader was busy tonight, so I came myself." [6] According to UPI reporter Merriman Smith, during a Cabinet meeting Kennedy played the entire record for everyone. At one press conference, Kennedy was asked if the album had produced "annoyment (sic) or enjoyment." He jokingly responded, "I listened to Mr. Meader's record and, frankly, I thought it sounded more like Teddy than it did me. So, now he's annoyed." [7]

The First Family album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1963. [8] That March, most of the same cast recorded a sequel album, The First Family Volume Two, a combination of spoken-word comedy and songs. Release in the spring of 1963, Volume Two was also successful, peaking at #4 on the album chart in June 1963. [9]

Immediately after Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, producers Booker and Doud, along with Cadence president Archie Bleyer, pulled both albums from sales and had all unsold copies destroyed so as not to seemingly "cash in" on the President's death. Both albums remained out of print until they were finally re-issued on CD together in 1999.

In 1962, two similar albums were also released:

  • The Other Family spoofed the Nikita Khrushchev regime of the Soviet Union and featured Buck Henry, Joan Rivers, and George Segal.
  • The President Strikes Back! was an imagined response of President Kennedy to The First Family, written by future Mel Brooks collaborator Ron Clark.

During Lyndon Johnson's administration, Doud and Alen Robin released a series of two comedy albums using actual recordings of Johnson and other political figures to create comedic simulated interviews: Welcome to the LBJ Ranch (1965) [10] and Lyndon Johnson's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). [11]

In 1966, The New First Family 1968: A Futuristic Fairy Tale was issued, co-produced by Bob Booker and George Foster, and starring impressionist and comic Will Jordan as the newly elected president Cary Grant in this political fantasy. Two other noted impressionists also appeared on the album - John Byner and David Frye. Frye's impression of Richard Nixon would later be featured on the Elektra Records albums I Am the President and Radio Free Nixon, among others. Will Jordan's most famous impression - that of TV host and newspaper columnist Ed Sullivan - was not used on The New First Family 1968. Instead, the Ed Sullivan impression heard on the album was done by Byner.

In 1981, a new album titled The First Family Rides Again was issued, co-produced by Doud and starring impressionist Rich Little as then-President Ronald Reagan. [12]



Community Mental Health Act

On October 31, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Act (also known as the Mental Retardation and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963), which drastically altered the delivery of mental health services and inspired a new era of optimism in mental healthcare. This law led to the establishment of comprehensive community mental health centers throughout the country. It helped people with mental illnesses who were “warehoused” in hospitals and institutions move back into their communities.

Along with this law, the development of more effective psychotropic medications and new approaches to psychotherapy made community-based care for people with mental illnesses a feasible solution. A growing body of evidence at that time demonstrated that mental illnesses could be treated more effectively and in a more cost-effective manner in community settings than in traditional psychiatric hospitals.

As services offered to people with mental illnesses became more diverse and comprehensive, it also became clear that helping people function at optimal levels would require the addition of treatment services for addiction disorders. This coordinated brand of service was labeled as “behavioral healthcare” — and providing comprehensive mental health and addictions services is the goal of community-based behavioral health organizations today.

Community-based mental health and addictions care continues to be a more effective option than institutionalization — in terms of access to quality healthcare and cost to the taxpayer and private payer. However, the organizations delivering such care have evolved far beyond the original community mental health centers.

Community-based behavioral healthcare is delivered by a mix of government and county-operated organizations, as well as private nonprofit and for-profit organizations. These mental health and addiction services are funded by a patchwork of sources, including Medicaid Medicare county, state, and federal programs private insurance and self-pays.

Check out our infographic highlighting the milestones and moments important to community mental health and substance use centers since the act was signed into law.