Tuesday, February 06, 2007

And another thing Eleanor!

So what's with my title? Well, in 1985 Ronald Reagan gave a tribute speech about John F. Kennedy to help support the JFK Presidential Library. It is a enjoyable speech in itself and I especially like that Reagan admits he worked against Kennedy's election:
Which is not to say I supported John Kennedy when he ran for president, because I didn't. I was for the other fellow. But you know, it's true: when the battle's over and the ground is cooled, well, it's then that you see the opposing general's valor.

But what I want to share from this speech is the end, talking about the history of the White House:
And sometimes I want to say to those who are still in school, and who sometimes think that history is a dry thing that lives in a book: Nothing is ever lost in that great house; some music plays on. I have been told that late at night when the clouds are still and the moon is high, you can just about hear the sound of certain memories brushing by. You can almost hear, if you listen close, the whir of a wheelchair rolling by and the sound of a voice calling out, "And another thing Eleanor!" Turn down a hall and you can hear the brisk strut of a fellow saying, "Bully! Absolutely ripping!" Walk softly now and you're drawn to the soft notes of a piano and a brilliant gathering in the East Room, where a crowd surrounds a bright young president who is full of hope and laughter. History is not only made by people, it is people.

I thought you'd all enjoy that with me! Please follow the link above if you want to read the entire speech (it isn't that long).


The Tour Marm said...

I have had the pleasure of being a guest at the White House several times during several different administrations.

My first visit, as a guest, was in 1978 at a tea given by Mrs. Nixon.

It was so thrilling to be seated in a chair that had been owned by President Monroe and served tea and canapes from a service that had belonged to President Jefferson. History was at every gaze.

Imagine, this house also belongs to me; it is on loan to the Presidents and their families!

As a guide, I like to accompany my groups through the White House, it affects me emotionally and I always relate my experiences and thoughts to my students.

The one thing they are required to seek in that house is the prayer that was chisled into the fireplace in the State Dining Room:

"I pray to heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that hereafter inhabit it...May none but the honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."

Jennie W said...

I've been in the White House on the regular public tour and I have to admit, it just wasn't that inspiring to me. Not because I wasn't fascinated by the history, but because it was so crowded, we were herded through like cattle and I really felt like I didn't get to see anything. I need to be able to stop and enjoy and you can't do that in the White House anymore - they are afraid you are stopping to set a bomb or something. I'm sure it would be much different to actually be a gues there - not just a random tourist. You are very lucky to have had that pleasure!