Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Outside the Box - December

Season's Greetings
With another Thanksgiving under our belts, and Christmas songs flooding radio stations everywhere, it seems the 2009 holiday season is officially upon us! For December’s “Outside the Box” post it seemed fitting to offer some holiday cheer with a selection of greeting cards from our political collections.

Produced by Hallmark, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official greeting card from the White House in 1953. The tradition took hold over the next seven years and has been followed by every President since. Over the years, the White House mailing list has grown exponentially. In 2008, President George W. Bush reportedly sent greetings cards to 1.4 million people!

Our collection of season’s greetings from the White House includes cards from…

President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, 1961

President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967

dent and Mrs. Richard M. Nixon, 1970

President and Mrs. Ronald W. Reagan, 1983

(depicting the White House Green Room)

While Presidential greetings certainly carry a certain cache (especially when the recipient list was substantially shorter), the political collections here in the Russell Library also contain an array of cards sent to local and state leaders from constituents, friends, and family. For your viewing pleasure, a few of our favorite treasures include:

Two Christmas postcards from friends sent to Richard B. Russell, Jr. The first (below, left), mailed on Christmas Eve 1920, would have arrived just after Russell was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives at age twenty-three. The second (below, right), mailed on December 23, 1922, would have found Russell in the months before he was elected Speaker pro tempore by the state house (1923).

A groovy card sent by Robert F. Kennedy and family in 1967.

December's “Outside the Box” object will be on display in the lobby gallery of the Russell Library, open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, until January 12th. For further information please contact russlib@uga.edu or visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell.

Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Richard B. Russell Library.

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