Archive for November, 2009

President Kennedy’s HAWK Missiles

Monday, November 30th, 2009

MisslesOn October 14, 1962 Soviet missiles were discovered in Cuba just 90 miles south of Key West.   Key West, due to its close proximity to Cuba, prepared for possible invasion. Large numbers of US troops gathered here to invade Cuba and defensive measures included HAWK missiles to shoot down Soviet planes and barb wire and machine gun emplacements along the beach to deter invasion by Cuban and Soviets troops to Key West. The US Navy blockaded Cuba instead. On October 27, the Soviets agreed to remove their missiles from Cuba and the United States agreed to withdraw our missiles from Turkey and war was averted.

Forty seven years ago, on November 26, 1962,  President Kennedy came to Key West to inspect the HAWK missiles sites shown above and to reassure Americans it was safe to vacation in Key West once more.

John Kennedy is one of the seven US presidents who have used the Little White House in Key West, Florida.

This is an Important Day in History….

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

gettysburg-addressOn November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address to dedicate the national military cemetery. “ Four Score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  Starting in 1948, President Harry Truman began a series of five Executive Orders to help fulfill the dream that all men are treated as equals.

EO 9808 created first Civil Rights Commission; EO 9980 desegregated the federal workforce; EO 9981 desegregated the US military; EO 10210 and EO10308 ( issued from Key West Little White House ) required federal contractors hire minorities

The dream lives on thanks to the moral courage of Harry Truman.

FDR at the Little White House

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Harry Truman once was quoted as saying, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” We at the Little White House phrased it as “History is a process of discovery”. It seems we are always learning some long forgotten fact and discovering a “new” story that has relevance to the Little White House.


Larooco Captain Morris, his wife, unidentified crew & FDR March 21,1926.

Recently, we were delighted to read the ship’s log of the Larooco.  In August 1921 Roosevelt had been stricken with poliomyelitis. He became an early proponent for hydrotherapy and believed the clear salt water and warm sunshine of the Florida Keys had recuperative effects.  He rented a houseboat in February and March of  1923 and was convinced of the positive results. “I have been swimming four times and it goes better and better. I am sure this warmth and exercise is doing lots of good.” (March 5,1924)