Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

100 Years of Girl Scouting in the USA

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

With help from the Key West Garden Club and Fran Ford, local Girl Scouts from the Lower Keys planted a pigeon plum tree at the Truman Little White House in celebration of 100 years of girl scouting in the USA. Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouting is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girls Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries.The Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, Inc. is one of 112 councils nationwide chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA to deliver Girl Scout program within specific geographic boundaries. The local council serves more than 20,000 girls and 3,600 adult volunteers in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties and maintains five campsites each offering unique experiences for girls and adults. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (305) 253-4841 or visit

Presidential Planes

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Air Force one

On this day back in 1969, the Boeing 747 made its debut.  Probably the most famous 747 in the world is Air Force One.  There are two 747’s (or VC-25 as the Air Force calls them) in service.  Actually any fixed wing aircraft carrying the President of the United States is called Air Force One, regardless of the make and model.  When traveling by helicopter, the president travels on Marine One, as the US Marine Corps oversees the fleet of choppers.

Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to use an airplane for travel.  His cousin Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to have a military plane designated for his use when the Army Air Corps became concerned about the security of the president on commercial flights.  President Truman used a C-54 Skymaster named Sacred Cow as his presidential plane.  Sacred Cow had first used by Roosevelt  during the Yalta Conference in 1945.  Truman replaced Sacred Cow in 1947 with a C-118 Liftmaster named Independence, after his hometown in Missouri. The  Independence was also the first presidential plane with distinctive markings painted on it with a bald eagle on the nose.   The term Air Force One was first used in 1953 with President Eisenhower when the plane transporting the president had the same call sign as an Easter Airlines commercial flight while both were using the same airspace. Eisenhower used Lockheed Constallations (C-121) named Columbine I and Columbine II after the state flower of Colorado, which was his wife Mamie’s adopted home state.  Eisenhower was the first president to use jet aircraft, with the addition of a Boeing 707 (VC-137) to the fleet in 1958.  Kennedy also used a modified long haul 707 Stratoliner during his presidency which remained in service until 1998.  In 1990 President George H. W.  Bush took of possession of the first 747 Air Force One in 1990.

Sacred Cow


Coumbine II

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States. For much of the rest of the world and especially in Europe, November 11 is Armistice Day, marking the end of the great war, World War I.  On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month in 1918 when the armistice was signed,  over 20 million people had lost their lives. To the members of the British Commonwealth, today is Remembrance Day and is often symbolized by the red poppy immortalized in the poem,  Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

American Cemetery, Flanders Field, Belgium

War Memorials

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

United States Marine Corps War Memorial

Two very important memorials were unveiled on this day, November 10. In 1954, the United States Marine Corps War Memorial was dedicated in Arlington, VA.  The bronze sculpture by Felix de Weldon depicts Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima during World War II and is based on a photograph by Joe Rosenthal.

In 1982 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was opened to the public.  This haunting monument contains the 58,267 names of those killed or missing in action from the conflict and along with Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial make up the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial National Memorial.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

We Like Ike, Too.

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Today, October 13 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of our 34th President, Dwight David Eisenhower. President Eisenhnower visited the Little White house twice, once for meetings in 1955 and to recover from a heart attack in 1956. The Eisenhower’s list of accomplishments are long: Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, Chief of Staff of Staff of the US Army, President of Columbia University and Supreme Commander of NATO. And this was before becoming President of the United State of America.

Eisenhower was elected president in 1952 and is one of only 5 other presidents to have never held political office prior to being president. At the time of his election he was the second oldest person (after James Buchanan), at the age of 62, to be elected president. Eisenhower was the first president to be televised on color television, the first president to be constitutionally prevented from running for re-election and the first president fall under the Former Presidents Act, giving presidents a pension and Secret Service protection upon leaving office. Eisenhower was the last president to be born in the 19th century.

The last two American states were admitted to the Union during Eisenhower’s presidency and he appointed five justices to the Supreme Court include Earl Warren as Chief Justice in 1953. One of the greatest accomplishments of the Eisenhower Administration was the creation of and Interstate Highway System. Eisenhower also created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (today known as the Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Dept. of Education created in 1979) into a cabinet level position.

After retirement, Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, retired to their farm next to Gettysburg Battlefield and after his death donated the farm to the National Park Service. Eisenhower died of congestive heart failure on March 28, 1969. At his funeral, President Richard M. Nixon, who had served as vice president under Eisenhower said,

“Some men are considered great because they lead great armies or they lead powerful nations. For eight years now, Dwight Eisenhower has neither commanded an army nor led a nation; and yet he remained through his final days the world’s most admired and respected man, truly the first citizen of the world.”

Eisenhower is buried next to his wife Mamie, who died in 1979 and his son Doud, who died at the age of 3 in 1921 at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

The Harry S. Truman Little White House currently has an exhibit, We Like Ike, Too, that is free and open to the public, featuring photos and memorabilia from Eisenhower’s time in Key West. It runs through December.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist Visits Little White House

Monday, April 19th, 2010

This last Friday (April 16) the Harry S. Truman Little White House hosted Florida Governor Charlie Crist. It was the governor’s first visit to the Little White House. The event was private but not without a notable figure or two including former Miami Dolphins Head Coach and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Don Shula.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Former Miami Dophins Head Coach Don Shula

Presidential Grandchildren

Monday, March 29th, 2010

We had a wonderful event this last Friday, March 26 at the Little White House.  The Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation and Harry’s Girls hosted Clifton Truman Daniel, Margaret Hoover and her husband author and political commentator, John Avlon.  The conversation and discussions were wonderful as was the food and drink.  We are hoping to have them back next year for an event that is not to be missed!

John Avlon, Margaret Hoover and Clifton Truman Daniel

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)