From the Archives: Air Force One and Presidential Air Travel

Click here to see the photo gallery.   The President of the United States must be ready to travel anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice. Fortunately, modern Presidents have access to a variety of transportation options, including ... Read more »

From the Archives: Presidential Commencement Addresses

Graduation season is here once again and many of us have enjoyed watching our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and friends accept their hard-earned diplomas. Occasionally a university is able to celebrate the accomplishments of their students with a commencement address delivered by the President of the United States. The holdings of the Presidential Libraries include many photographs and other records that commemorate these special events.

So what sort of wisdom does a President pass along to a graduating class as they prepare to enter the next chapter in their lives? When Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the Pennsylvania State University class of 1955, he focused on the important role education plays in our society: “The peoples of this earth share today a great aspiration. They all have a common dream of lasting peace with freedom and justice. But the realization of the dream calls for many types of cooperation based upon sympathetic and thorough mutual understanding. In turn, such understanding is dependent on education that produces disciplined thinking.”

Richard Nixon’s commencement address to the Air Force Academy on June 4, 1969 focused on upcoming events that would take us well beyond planet Earth: “Our current exploration of space makes the point vividly; here is testimony to man's vision and to man's courage. The journey of the astronauts is more than a technical achievement; it is a reaching out of the human spirit. It lifts our sights; it demonstrates that magnificent conceptions can be made real…when the first man stands on the moon next month every American will stand taller because of what he has done, and we should be proud of this magnificent achievement.”

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Democracy, God, the People, and the Pharaoh: A Master Narrative’s Work is Never Done

by Bud Goodall The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia last week beget further democracy uprisings in Egypt and Yemen this week, as well as protests in Jordan and Mauritania.  If the protesters are finally successful in Egypt and President Hosni Mubarak is forced out, this eruption of game-changing scenarios inspired by deep conflicts between the people and their leaders, and enabled by the velocity and spread of social media, poses a whole new set of communication […] Read more »

Foreign Reactions to US Anti-Muslim Events, Part II: Qur’an Burning Day

by Steven R. Corman, Jeffry R. Halverson, and Chris Lundry This is the second of a four-part series of posts on foreign reactions to recent anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. In Part I we looked at the Park51 project, also known as the “Ground Zero Mosque,” and found concern over growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. There were also claims about Zionist interests, creating a double-bind situation that would cast the U.S. in a negative light whether […] Read more »

Give Us a Break, Mr. Bush

by Steven R. Corman At his final news conference yesterday President Bush responded to a question about whether the nation’s image needs repairing given the “damage that Gitmo, that harsh interrogation tactics that  [members of the incoming administration] consider torture, how going to war in Iraq without a UN mandate have damaged America’s moral standing in the world.”  He said: I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged.  It may […] Read more »