A new fellowship to explore White House’s history of slavery

Last month, the association announced the creation of a joint two-year fellowship with American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center for a graduate student to continue the work.

“The creation of this fellowship is an important opportunity to deepen our understanding of slavery’s enduring legacy in our nation’s capital.” said Stewart McLaurin, the association’s president. “The protests that have erupted this summer over issues of racial injustice are a stark reminder of how important this work is.”

Mia Owens, a first-year graduate student in AU’s public history program, was selected as the inaugural fellow. Owens, 23, grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and immersed herself in the civil rights history of her hometown. She says the opportunity to do this work at this moment in American life is crucial.

Because of the pandemic, Owens will remain in Alabama for this semester and begin her work with the association from a distance. But that isn’t diminishing her enthusiasm for the project.

“I think especially right now, when so many people are focusing and having conversations about racial injustice in the country … it is so important that we as historians also contribute to that field and look at this history that has been overlooked for so long,” Owens said.

For the past two years, the White House Historical Association has been examining the ties between the president’s home and slavery. Earlier this year, it launched “Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood,” an online exhibit that shared research about how the White House relied on labor by enslaved people from its inception through the first half of the 19th century.

The research found that more than 300 enslaved men, women and children worked in the house or on the grounds over that time as builders, cleaners, servers, cooks and gardeners. Captive and unpaid, they worked to serve the leader of a country founded on freedom as an inherent right.

The historians determined that enslaved people served in the White House under 10 presidents beginning with George Washington. They learned as well that Thomas Jefferson, who owned more enslaved people than any other president, chose to employ white servants at the White House because, as he explained to a friend in a letter, “At Washington I prefer white servants, who, when they misbehave, can be exchanged.” And they discovered that President Andrew Jackson, while in office, purchased a young enslaved girl named Emeline, 8, to work in the White House.

Acknowledging and documenting the history that was for so long ignored is an essential responsibility, said Colleen Shogan, senior vice president and director of the David Rubenstein Center for White House History. That’s especially true, she said, as the nation continues to wrestle and come to terms with its legacy of racial injustice.

“You can’t understand what has happened in this country, you can’t process these occurrences of injustice without understanding the history that led up to them,” Shogan said. “The White House plays one particular role within that larger story of American slavery and

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Warren County fire department makes history as all-female interior crew responds to call | Regional

WASHINGTON BOROUGH, N.J. – The Washington Borough Fire Department in Warren County, New Jersey made history last week when its first all-female interior crew responded to a call.

The department recently added three certified firefighters to its volunteer roster; all are women.

Destinee Hartrum, her cousin Stephanie Hartrum and Deanna Harrington said they didn’t plan to join at the same time but wanted to serve their communities. They have spent the better part of a year in fire school training to do so.

“There is over 100 years of fire service in my family, so I kind of felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Destinee.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fewer than 10% of firefighters are female. Washington Borough Chief Dirk Higgins estimates that number to be even smaller in Warren County.

“We have the ability to have role models that we can showcase to young girls in our community and say ‘hey, you can be a fire fighter too,'” Higgins said.

Deanna Harrington said she spent about five years working in EMS before attending the fire academy. And that while some people in the community may be surprised to see a woman under the gear, the rest of the Washington Borough department is not.

“You hear of stories from other women from other parts of the country but here I’ve never felt treated differently. I just feel just another one of the guys, a fire fighter, you get treated with equal respect. They know you can do your job; you know they can do their job and that’s what really matters,” Harrington said.

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House lawyer says Trump’s census order breaks with history

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s directive to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted when the number of congressional seats in each state is determined is an unlawful order and following it would break with almost 250 years of history, an attorney for the U.S. House of Representatives told judges Tuesday.



Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, census worker Ken Leonard wears a mask as he mans a U.S. Census walk-up counting site set up for Hunt County in Greenville, Texas, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)


© Provided by Associated Press
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, census worker Ken Leonard wears a mask as he mans a U.S. Census walk-up counting site set up for Hunt County in Greenville, Texas, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

But attorneys for the Trump administration told a panel of three federal judges in the District of Columbia that the president has the discretion to decide who is considered an inhabitant of the U.S. for the purposes of determining how many congressional seats each state gets, a process known as apportionment.

Tuesday’s court arguments were part of the latest hearing over the legality of Trump’s July memorandum. Arguments already have made heard in federal cases in Maryland and New York, where a three-judge panel blocked the presidential order earlier this month, ruling it was unlawful.

The New York judges’ order prohibits Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, from excluding people in the country illegally when handing in 2020 census figures used to calculate apportionment. The Trump administration has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the New York judges didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the memorandum, merely saying it violated federal laws on the census and apportionment, leaving open the door for the judges in the nation’s capital to rule on other aspects of the president’s memorandum. Other lawsuits challenging the memorandum have been filed in California, Maryland and Massachusetts.



A briefcase of a census taker is seen as she knocks on the door of a residence Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Winter Park, Fla. A half-million census takers head out en mass this week to knock on the doors of households that haven't yet responded to the 2020 census. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


© Provided by Associated Press
A briefcase of a census taker is seen as she knocks on the door of a residence Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Winter Park, Fla. A half-million census takers head out en mass this week to knock on the doors of households that haven’t yet responded to the 2020 census. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

One of the aspects the judges indicated they may consider is whether the Census Bureau will have to use statistical sampling to determine how many people are in the country illegally since there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census that could help answer that. The Supreme Court has ruled that statistical sampling can’t be used for the apportionment count.

To help figure find out that number, Trump issued another memorandum last year, directing the Census Bureau to use federal and state administrative records to find out the citizenship status of every U.S. resident. The Census Bureau hasn’t yet made public how it will use those records to come up with a method for answering that question.

Under questioning from the federal judges, federal government attorney Sopan Joshi said the Census Bureau had no intention of using statistical sampling.

The Washington lawsuit was brought by a

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House Lawyer Says Trump’s Census Order Breaks With History | Political News

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s directive to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted when the number of congressional seats in each state is determined is an unlawful order and following it would break with almost 250 years of history, an attorney for the U.S. House of Representatives told judges Tuesday.

But attorneys for the Trump administration told a panel of three federal judges in the District of Columbia that the president has the discretion to decide who is considered an inhabitant of the U.S. for the purposes of determining how many congressional seats each state gets, a process known as apportionment.

Tuesday’s court arguments were part of the latest hearing over the legality of Trump’s July memorandum. Arguments already have made heard in federal cases in Maryland and New York, where a three-judge panel blocked the presidential order earlier this month, ruling it was unlawful.

The New York judges’ order prohibits Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose agency oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, from excluding people in the country illegally when handing in 2020 census figures used to calculate apportionment. The Trump administration has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

But the New York judges didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the memorandum, merely saying it violated federal laws on the census and apportionment, leaving open the door for the judges in the nation’s capital to rule on other aspects of the president’s memorandum. Other lawsuits challenging the memorandum have been filed in California, Maryland and Massachusetts.

One of the aspects the judges indicated they may consider is whether the Census Bureau will have to use statistical sampling to determine how many people are in the country illegally since there is no citizenship question on the 2020 census that could help answer that. The Supreme Court has ruled that statistical sampling can’t be used for the apportionment count.

To help figure find out that number, Trump issued another memorandum last year, directing the Census Bureau to use federal and state administrative records to find out the citizenship status of every U.S. resident. The Census Bureau hasn’t yet made public how it will use those records to come up with a method for answering that question.

Under questioning from the federal judges, federal government attorney Sopan Joshi said the Census Bureau had no intention of using statistical sampling.

The Washington lawsuit was brought by a coalition of cities and public interest groups, who argued the president’s order was part of a strategy to enhance the political power of Republicans and non-Hispanic whites. The U.S. House of Representatives later offered its support on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The Trump administration on Tuesday asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying it was premature since it’s impossible to know who will be affected by the exclusion order before the head count is finished and whether the Census Bureau will come up with a method for figuring out who is a citizen.

But Gregory Diskant, an

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Ugly Story From American History, Inspiring Stories Of Art, On View At Shofuso Japanese House And Garden

The Underground Railroad will always serve as America’s greatest example of ordinary citizens sticking their necks out to help those suffering under the crushing weight of the nation’s racist institutions. Another example can currently be found in a most unusual place, the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia during its new exhibition, “Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia.”

Organized by The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the exhibition celebrates the friendships and transcultural exchanges between Junzo Yoshimura (1908–1997, Japan), George Nakashima (1905-1990, US), Noémi Pernessin Raymond (1889-1980, France) and Antonin Raymond (1888–1976, Austria-Hungary), through their collaborative architectural projects.

Their brilliant artwork takes on added dimensions when their remarkable back stories are discovered.

The married Raymonds first visited Japan in 1919 to work for Frank Lloyd Wright on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. They subsequently set up their own architectural offices in Tokyo in 1922, where they would live and practice for the next 18 years.

Yoshimura started working for the Raymond’s architectural office in 1928 when he was still a student and continued to work with the Raymonds until 1941.

Nakashima started working at the Raymond’s firm in 1934 until his return to Seattle in 1941. Shortly after returning to the U.S., the Nakashima family was sent to the Minidoka internment camp in Hunt, Idaho.

Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, 120,000 people of Japanese descent living on America’s West Coast were sent to internment camps. They were American citizens, like Nakashima, his wife, also of Japanese descent, and their baby daughter.

In 1943, the Raymonds interceded and successfully vouched for the Nakashimas, thus allowing the family to take refuge at the Raymonds’ Farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania where they would eventually settle and set up Nakashima’s house, studio and workshop.  

George Nakashima and his wife, Marion Okajima, were both American citizens, both born in the United States. Both were college graduates with degrees from prestigious universities, George with an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in architecture from MIT, Marion a degree from UCLA – exceedingly rare for a woman in 1940s America. George Nakashima had traveled the world as an American citizen.

That didn’t matter.

Both had Japanese ancestry so they were rounded up by the U.S. government and their freedom was taken away. No crime was committed. No trial was held.

The Raymond’s, neither of whom were born in the United States, but both possessing the golden ticket to opportunity in American–being white–possessed the influence to free the American-born and

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Rose Garden History: Jackie Kennedy Oversaw 1962 Design

Rose Garden History Jackie Kennedy


Getty

Jacqueline Kennedy with John F. Kennedy Jr./White House Rose Garden renovation.

The Rose Garden has been an iconic part of the White House grounds throughout Presidential history, but its 1962 design under the Kennedy Administration and First Lady Jackie Kennedy laid the blueprint for decades to come.

First Ladies played varying roles in the rose garden, which was formally named in 1913 following a redesign by First Lady Ellen Wilson in 1902. Throughout the years, it has housed stables, greenhouses and carriages. Even before it was formally named, the most common feature of the garden was roses. The 1962 design was completed under the direction of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and designed by Rachel Lambert Mellon, a friend of the Kennedys. Read about First Lady Melania Trump’s redesign of the rose garden and see before and after photos here.

“Twenty years have gone by. The Rose Garden has seen administrations come and go,” Mellon wrote in an essay about the garden in 1983. “It is now known the world over. It has fulfilled John F. Kennedy’s vision of a garden that would endure and whose atmosphere, with the subtlety of its every changing patters, would suggest the every changing pattern of history itself.”

Here’s what you need to know:


A Magnolia Tree at the Rose Garden Dated Back to Andrew Jackson & More Were Added Under the Kennedy Administration

Magnolia trees were a highlight of the White House rose garden for decades, and more were added in the 1962 renovation. Before its design under the Kennedy administration in 1962, a magnolia tree dating back to Andrew Jackson stood near the oval office. Designer Rachel Lambert Mellon was commissioned by John F. Kennedy to complete the project in 1961.

“I vividly remember my first impression of the scene and the setting for the projected garden. The White House proper seemed exceptionally tall where it joined the long, low colonnade that linked it to the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. There were no trees near this wing or the corner by the White House, except for Andrew Jackson’s tall, dark Magnolia grandiflora near the South Portico. Beneath the magnolias was a long semicircular white bench on which Perry Wheeler and I sat facing the President’s office,” Mellon wrote in an essay.

While she was trying to determine ideas for the project, she came across magnolia trees in New York and became inspired, according to her essay.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyUS President Barack Obama walks around the Rose Garden under a colorful Magnolia tree on the way to the Oval Office of the White House April 10, 2014 after he returned from his two-day trip to Texas. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mellon wrote:

After that first impression of the garden and my talk with the President,

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Interior wall of Main Street building has history glued to it | News

“I tried to talk dad into keeping it (the unusual newspaper wall paper) and put sheet rock on it,” Stacy said.

Stacy was Jerry’s business partner on many projects.

The fate of the newsprint appears dire as workers gave an indication that it probably would be tossed during this fix up.

“Dad was a realtor, builder and into construction,” Stacy added. “In 2008, dad went all out on the Main Street building. And, up until the fire, the building was in perfect shape.

The recent fires of the last three years damaged one side of the building and part of the roof. The water problem was something they did not foresee.

“We are trying to get dried out,” Stay added. “Dad said he had $325,000 into it, but I don’t know if that is the retail value or actual (money) put in.”

Unfortunately, the building’s insurance had not been fully paid within the 12 month period when the fire happened. Getting a settlement was not in the cards.

The family is still deciding on what to do with the historic Wagoner building. They may sell. It’s just not sure.

“Back in 1908, it was a salon downstairs with boarding rooms upstairs,” Stacy described. “The newspapers could have been added in the 1940s and 1960s during big remodels in Wagoner.”

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‘Rebuild the greatest economy in American history’

House Republicans announced plans for governing with lower taxes and support for law enforcement if they are able to retake the House in the Nov. 3 election.

The GOP agenda included few details but a strong pledge from Republicans to steer clear of the far-left agenda they say House Democrats and their presidential nominee, Joe Biden, plan to follow.

Republicans called their agenda “Our Commitment to America,” and they said the plan’s objectives include restoring America to life before the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, and renewing the American dream.

They provided few details, although Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican and ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee, said the GOP would make the 2017 tax cuts permanent.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the GOP would work to create 10 million good-paying jobs.

“And we will ensure the safety and security of all communities and uphold the constitutional liberties of every single American,” the California Republican said. “Republicans will rebuild the greatest economy in history. We’ve done it once, and we’ll do it again.”

McCarthy said Republicans would work to ensure manufacturing shifts from China back to America, invest in school science and technology programs, and ensure that families have options for educating their children outside of the public system.

To win back the majority, House Republicans would need to pick up more than 20 seats now held by Democrats while winning all of their own competitive races.

Race analysts project House Republicans will not make any significant gains in November, however.

Republicans are working to distinguish themselves from Democrats in a bid to win over more moderate voters who may be turned off by the leftward swing of the Democratic Party.

Democrats, GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said, “would defund our police, dismantle our freedom, destroy our history and abandon our founding values and every day.”

She added, “We are committing today to the United States of America that if you give us the chance, we will change that.”

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A Brief History of Tapestries in American Decor

The myriad details of restoring or furnishing a period house are enough to overwhelm even the most dedicated homeowner. Paint colors, wood finishes, floor covering, lighting fixtures; chosen wisely, these elements can combine to produce a satisfying authenticity. The selection of appropriate textiles can add a visual and textural dimension, a finishing touch of comfort and warmth. Tapestries, in particular, can be used effectively in almost any period home.

Tapestries have been important elements in American interior design both early and late. They were the height of fashion in the 17th and late 19th centuries, and maintained a more modest popularity during the intervening periods.

Early use in American decor

In the 17th century, colonists, as British citizens, were determined to be as refined in the Colonies as their countrymen in the Mother Country. The wealthy and socially conscious remained in vogue as much as time and distance allowed, importing English fashions and goods to the growing urban centers. European-made tapestries were often listed among the most valuable items in estate inventories of the wealthy. As either wall hangings or bed hangings, they were admired by visitors; during this period, the best bed, splendidly adorned with rich tapestry art, was found more often in the parlor than the bedroom or “chamber.”

From the early 18th century to the late 19th, rich fabrics, including tapestries, were used in parlors and “best rooms,” but less frequently on walls. The British artist Charles Eastlake, widely read in America in the mid-19th century, cautioned that wall tapestries may be at risk in homes in dirty, industrialized cities, where they lacked protection from soot, coal dust, and smoke, but their popularity persisted as furniture coverings.

A popular option for Americas wealthy

By the late 19th century, American industry had given rise to unprecedented wealth, held (and liberally spent) by families such as the Vanderbilts, Astors, and others. Perceiving themselves as the American aristocracy, they built both urban and country homes (the latter often referred to as “cottages’) modeled after European palaces and grand estates.

Tapestries were an important element in the decorative scheme of such grand houses as George Washington Vanderbilt’s Biltmore, the dining room of which featured two massive 16th century tapestries of Vulcan and Venus as the focal point. Like their Colonial counterparts, the 19th century American “royalty” sought to display their very new wealth even as they imitated the interior design fashions of centuries before.

The revival in tapestry art

In less luxurious homes, tapestries were literally off the wall, appearing more often as drapery or upholstery fabric, or as a decorative covering for a table, piano, or mantel. Portieres, lambrequins, and valences often used jacquard-woven tapestry fabric to enrich a decorative scheme, providing texture, color, and visual interest. William Morris and his cohorts in the Arts and Crafts movement re-introduced tapestry as both an art form and an element in interior design, and it was once again seen in homes on both sides of the Atlantic. The fashion was short-lived, however, …

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Garden Gazebos – A History

The word "gazebo" has always conjured up an image of a circular garden pavilion in my mind. The walls and roof are made of white lattice and the wooden floor is polished a vivid red. The sun is always shining and for some reason, the time period is always around the 19th century, with people drinking tea and eating scones. Gazebos have several names eg pagodas, summerhouses, screen houses pergolas and arbors. Their popularity has risen and fallen nearly as often as the tides. At the moment they are experiencing a popularity resurgence as people crave the illusion of peace that they bring.

Their existence can be traced back thousands of years to the earliest gardens all around the world. They did not start start out as garden structures, but were built as towers or lanterns on the roofs of houses. Their only aim was to provide the owner with spectacular views of the neighborhood and surrounding areas. It was only years later that they were built on the ground as havens of peace and pavilions from which one could admire one's garden.

The earliest known gazebos were in Egypt about 5000 BC. They belonged to royalty who believed their gardens to be paradise on earth. They also believed that they could take their gardens with them into the afterlife. In order to do so they had to have the layout for the garden depicted in a mural in the tomb. The earliest mural that has been found in a tomb dates back to 1400 BC. Some historians and archaeologists have speculated that Egyptians used the gazebos as small temples to commune with their gods.

Gazebo-like structures were built in Rome and ancient Greece. They were built to resemble small temples, often complementing the larger temple dedicated to their gods. The building material of choice was marble. As Rome's population increased and space became an issue, the rich and important in society began building summerhouses along the Mediterranean coasts. Gazebos featured most prominently in these coastal getaways.

Persian gazebos were inspired by Islamic architecture and referred to as "kiosks". These forms of gazebos could be anything from colored tents to elaborate 2-story structures with marble columns and golden seats. As Persia suffered from very hot summers, many gazebos were built across pools or streams so that the cool water would help regulate the temperature inside. Pagodas were also used as tombs for their owners.

Pagodas in China were elaborate and ornate. In Japan they were called teahouses and were used for their Tea Ceremonies. They were considered as places to rest, meditate, and achieve spiritual harmony as well as being ideally situated to admire the beauty of the garden. Japan's view of the pagoda is very much in line with the western view as places of peace and quiet reflection away from the main house. In the late 18th century the architecture of Chinese pagodas became very fashionable in Europe and turned up all across the continent.

The Renaissance saw …

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