Truman, Harry S
A week before leaving office, President Truman appoints the Secretary of the Smithsonian to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
Autograph ID: 7115
Condition: Very good, some light creasing at top and slight spot at lower left will mat out
Description: “(1884-1972) Missouri Senator, VP 1945, President 1945-1953 succeeding to office on death of FDR, elected in own right 1948.
Frameable partly printed 19 x 23 DS as President, Washington, January 14 1953, signed also by Secretary of State Dean Acheson, appointment of Leonard Carmichael to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Nice large white paper Great Seal of the United States affixed at lower left.
DEAN ACHESON (1893-1971) US statesman, Secretary of State in the Truman administration (1949-53). He played a central role in defining US Cold War foreign policy during the Cold War. Acheson helped design the Marshall Plan and was a key player in the development of the Truman Doctrine and the creation of NATO. His most famous decision was convincing President Truman to intervene in the Korean War in June 1950. He also persuaded Truman to dispatch aid and advisors to French forces in Indochina, though in 1968 he finally counseled President Johnson to negotiate for peace with North Vietnam. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy called upon him for advice, bringing him into the executive committee (“ExComm”), a strategic advisory group. In the late 40s Acheson came under heavy attack for his defense of State Department employees accused during the anti-gay “Lavender” and “Red” Scare investigations by Senator McCarthy and others, and over Truman’s policy toward China.
LEONARD CARMICHAEL (1898-1973) 7th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1953-64. Dr. Carmichael came to the Smithsonian after earlier declining the position “because, like most other Americans, I didn’t know what the Smithsonian was, really.” During his 11 years as Secretary, he sought to revise the image of the Smithsonian as “the nation’s attic.” During his tenure, the Institution experienced a 500% increase of visitors. The National Portrait Gallery was created, and the Patent Office Building was acquired for the American Art and Portrait Galleries. New wings were added to the National Museum of Natural History, the Hope Diamond was donated by Harry Winston, and the Fénykövi elephant was unveiled in the Natural History Museum rotunda. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory was revitalized and moved to Cambridge, Mass.; in 1957, when Sputnik was launched, the observatory was the only US lab capable of tracking the Soviet satellite. The Friends of the National Zoo was created and a Master Plan for zoo improvement was initiated. After leaving the Smithsonian, he became VP of the National Geographic Society and led its research and exploration activities, incl. sponsoring Dr. Louis S. P. Leakey’s discoveries of new evidence bearing on man’s descent in the Olduvai Gorge in Africa; Jacques‐Yves Cousteau’s explorations of the depths of the Red and Mediterranean Seas; and an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. Dr. Carmichael graduated from Tufts University in 1921 and in 1924 received his doctorate from Harvard and for 14 years taught at Brown University, focusing on experimental psychology with primates. While chairman of Brown’s department of psychology in the early 1930s, Dr. Carmichael and Dr. Herbert Jasper developed electroencepholagraphy (measurement of brain waves). In 1938, he returned to Tufts, at 39, one of the youngest presidents in the school’s history. He remained there to WW II, when he came to Washington to hold several government posts, incl. director of the national roster of scientific and specialized personnel, where he organized the recruiting of a million scientists to work on war‐related research projects. After the war he returned to Tufts, remaining until joining the Smithsonian in 1953. Dr. Carmichael also served as president of the American Psychological Association and the American Philosophical Society. In 1972, the National Academy of Sciences bestowed its highest award, the Hartley Public Welfare Medal, upon him “for eminence in the application of science to the public welfare.” Tufts’ community service organization, a dormitory and dining hall on the campus, and the lunar crater Carmichael are all named in his honor.”