Sunday, December 12, 2010

“The President and Mrs. Kennedy wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year"...a look back to 1961

Christmas makes us all think of how things were in the past - when we were young, Christmas held more sway over us as children and the times were simpler....

49 years ago, we had a young First Family celebrating Christmas in the White was a time when even though our country had serious problems, we as a nation were optimistic as the " New Frontier ' was something that held promise.

It is not that I feel things were any easier back then (they were not), it seems that as a nation we had a greater sense of community and common cause...President Kennedy stated, " Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country..."

Unfortunately we are now populated by a generation of people who were taught by their parents (the aging hippies and other malcontents from the 60s/70s) that it is all about THEM, rather than giving of themselves to others.

Luckily, we still have a "greatest generation", and they are those who serve our country while wearing the uniform of our country, their families who man the homefront, and all who support our military as military contractors and support services. I was privileged to be among those who continue to " stand a post" while others simply sit on their arses and bitch....

Well that's enough of the discouraging words.....Christmas is a time of hope & healing as an old year is ending and a New Year has yet to begin.......

Here's a peak at what Christmas was 49 years ago....what a time it was.... Let us hope 2011 holds better times for us all.

John F. Kennedy - Christmas at the White House - December 1961

For the Kennedys’ first Christmas in the White House in 1961, as a Christmas gift to their staff they gave a photograph of little Caroline Kennedy’s ducks in the fountain on the South Lawn with the White House in the background. Caroline, who was only five-years-old at the time, had raised the yellow-beaked white ducks from baby ducklings. After several months of trying to keep the Kennedy’s terrier, Charlie, from eating her fine-feathered friends, they were transported to safer grounds in Rock Creek Park located in northwest D.C. Before the ducks’ transfer, the President’s personal photographer, Cecil Stoughton, snapped the memorable picture of the ducks in the fountain.

Hallmark president Joyce C. Hall, who had been Eisenhower’s go-to man for Christmas cards and gift prints, was again commissioned to assist the Kennedys with their Christmas cards endeavors. Hallmark reproduced 1,000 color gift prints, each accompanied by a red protective folder with an embossed Presidential Seal on the front. The Christmas gift prints were given to White House staff members at an informal reception held in mid-December.

For the President’s official White House Christmas cards, Hallmark produced a design similar to the ones from Eisenhower’s presidency. The 1961 White House Christmas cards featured a wide green silk screen ban on a smooth white stock accompanied by the official Presidential Seal and the sentiment “Season’s Greetings 1961” engraved in gold. The imprint read: “The President and Mrs. Kennedy wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Kennedy ordered 800 official Christmas cards from Hallmark.


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