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George W. Bush: An Old Dog learning New Tricks

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

What do you do for an encore after you’ve been President of the United States? While some former presidents have chosen to stay in the national or international spotlight working on any number of projects, others have preferred to move into a quieter, less public life. George W. Bush took up oil painting as a way to augment the outdoor sports activities he loves, such as biking and golf.

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PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH WITH AMERICA'S FIRST LADY LAURA WELCH BUSH

President Bush says he was inspired by try painting after he read an essay on art written by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His intention was to develop a new personal avocation, and he began to take lessons in painting with oils, a particularly difficult medium. He painted a variety of subjects, including a dog, a watermelon, a horse and a golf course scene. He also painted a cat that belonged to his famous mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

The former president also tried out a few more “risqué” subjects, painting self-portraits of himself in the bathtub (only his legs) and in the shower (only his back). He said the bathroom paintings were done to “shock” his art teacher. He also painted a portrait of his wife, Laura, who was reportedly less than enthusiastic about the result. His response? “Never paint your wife or mother.”

Our 43rd President’s new painting career received public attention when a hacker tapped into the email account of his sister, Dorothy Bush Koch, hijacking copies of the “bathroom” paintings. They went viral. No surprise.

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A PRISTINE PIECE OF OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA AS SELECTED BY GEORGE W. BUSH AND THE FIRST LADY

Meanwhile, George Bush continues to paint, creating a collection of portraits of 30 world leaders with whom he had dealings – some quite notorious – while serving his two terms as President. The collection was unveiled in a showing at the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas, open to the public from April through June of 2014. The exhibition was entitled “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” because Bush always said he believed in the power of diplomacy in addressing the world’s problems.

Using Google Images as inspiration, he painted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Afghan president Hamid Karzai as part of the collection. Perhaps his most talked-about painting was of Vladimir Putin, the former Russian president who is back in power and recapturing headlines today.

Art critics and political journalists have commented freely on the Putin portrait. Alistair Cooke of The Guardian described it as “unconventional and compelling,” and Adam Taylor of the Washington Post said, “I’d argue that it is a really good painting aesthetically. What’s really fascinating is to watch Bush grapple with the identity of Putin, a man he once claimed to understand well.”

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GEORGE W. BUSH ENJOYS OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS GOLFING, WITH HIS CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY

More recently, George Bush unveiled an oil painting of himself and his father, former president George H. W. Bush. Bush the younger said, “I was very proud to be standing next to a man I admire greatly.” He wanted to depict his father’s “gentle soul,” but he admitted he had particular difficulty getting the noses just right as he painted.

Noting that it isn’t easy being a former President, Bush has been quoted as saying, “You get this sense of longing that you remain stimulated.” He says his oil painting hobby has help him fill that void. However future historians choose to remark on George Bush’s painting talent, it seems he has fulfilled his dream of becoming a well-known portrait painter.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired numerous pieces of official White House china. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: george w. bush white house china

Bill Clinton: The "Do-Gooder-In-Chief"

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

Throughout much of American history, it was traditional for presidents leaving office to go gently into retirement, occasionally consulted by successors but remaining well outside their former spotlight. In recent times, however, that has changed dramatically for some outgoing presidents, including Bill Clinton.

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FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON IN THE OVAL OFFICE

Perhaps it’s that our presidents in recent decades have been younger – not feeling ready to relinquish all the action just because their service in the oval office has come to an end. Bill Clinton was just 46 years old when he took office in 1993, so barely in his mid-50s as he “retired” from the White House. He’s made the most of the intervening years; a former President of the United States using his unparalleled visibility, connections and clout to promote greater good around the world.

Clinton said that he wished to make a “measurable difference,” focusing on national and international problems he came to know intimately as President. Toward that end, he created the William J. Clinton Foundation when he left office in 2001. The Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to “improve global health, education, economies and environments” – a tall order, and one for which President Barack Obama has dubbed him the “Do-Gooder-in-Chief.”

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PRISTINE GOLD SERVICE PLATE FROM CLINTON'S WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION - THIS PIECE IS IN THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION - AS WELL AS OTHER IMPORTANT BILL CLINTON PIECES FROM THE SAME SET

With staff and volunteers around the world, the Foundation works to find actionable solutions to a wide range of issues, including:

  • Improving global health Increase opportunities for women and girls
  • Reducing childhood obesity
  • Eliminating preventable diseases, especially AIDS
  • Enhancing economic opportunities in the US, Africa and Latin America 
  • Helping communities deal with the effects of climate change

One of the Foundation’s most prominent projects is the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), established in 2005. CGI brings together leaders from around the world to contemplate innovative solutions to critical problems. Unlike other organizations, the Clinton Global Initiative takes a unique approach that does not involve direct action to address specific issues. Instead, the focus is on creative thinking, networking, knowledge-building and collaboration.

As part of the Clinton Global Initiative’s efforts, Bill Clinton himself has traveled to Africa five times – once accompanied by Bill Gates – to promote efforts aimed at eradicating HIV/AIDS. He has teamed up with former President George H. W. Bush three times – to raise awareness and funding to assist victims of the South Asia tsunami in 2004, of Hurricane Katrina in 2004 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.

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BILL CLINTON STILL IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN FINDING SOLUTIONS TO CRITICAL WORLD PROBLEMS

Clinton joined former President George W. Bush in raising money to rebuild Haiti – especially the country’s schools – following the devastating earthquake that occurred in 2010. The Foundation continues to work to create jobs and economic growth and improve sustainability in Haiti.

Most recently, “CGI University” just concluded a gathering of 1000 students from 300 schools in 75 countries, held at the University of Miami. Together, participants developed 700 Commitments to Action focusing on “new, specific, actionable plans to address pressing challenges facing campuses and communities.” Those action plans include efforts to encourage more girls to choose STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, bringing affordable, renewable energy to rural communities and improving nutrition in areas the Foundation calls “food deserts.”

Bill Clinton’s action-oriented presidential after-life has drawn attention and support from governments, organizations and individuals around the world. But he has also recruited support from his own family – so much so that the Foundation was formally renamed in 2013 to reflect the extensive involvement of the former First Lady and First Daughter. It is now known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired select pieces from Bill Clinton's White House China. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. Mr. Amyx's collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: bill clinton white house china

Jimmy Carter - The President Who Became Famous After He Left Office

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

James Earl Carter, known to all as Jimmy, served as our 39th president, from 1977 to 1981. But historians agree he has made his real mark on the world as a former President of the United States.

The year after he left office, Jimmy Carter became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta and founded the Carter Presidential Center there. The Center, which has a sizeable staff, works internationally to promote democracy and human rights and prevent disease and hunger. But former President Jimmy Carter personally works hand-in-hand with the Center on his own numerous international efforts.

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JIMMY CARTER - PRESIDENT FROM 1977-1981

As a promoter of human rights, Carter has been a leader in providing election oversight for emerging democracies – more than 70 elections in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said of him, “When it comes to elections, Carter is the most listened-to voice in the world.”

President Carter has also worked with the US State Department as an unofficial ambassador or emissary to help mediate conflicts all around the world. On one of his missions, he stated, “I am not here as a public official, but as a citizen of a troubled world who finds hope in a growing consensus that the generally accepted goals of society are peace, freedom, human rights, environmental quality, alleviation of suffering, and the rule of law.”

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A PRISTINE PRESIDENTIAL CHINA PLATE AS SELECTED BY JIMMY CARTER

Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are also well-known for their volunteer efforts on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International, not just raising their voices on the organization’s behalf but hoisting hammers as well on building projects in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton honored both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. He noted the Carters had formed an “extraordinary partnership,” and said that “Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have done more good for more people in more places than any other couple on the face of the earth.”

In 2002 Jimmy Carter also received the Nobel Peace Prize. The official citation noted the award was for his work leading the Camp David Accords to fruition while he was president and “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights and to promote economic and social development.” At the time, Jimmy Carter was the third U.S. President to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, succeeding Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Since then, President Barack Obama also received the prize, in 2009.

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PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER WINNING THE 2002 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

As if all that hasn’t kept him busy, since leaving office Jimmy Carter has authored two dozen books, including several memoirs and even one novel entitled Hornet’s Nest, for which he also painted the cover picture. He is thought to be America’s most prolific presidential author.

Perhaps the best summary of Jimmy Carter’s post-presidential life work can be found in his own words, delivered at the end of his Nobel Lecture in 2002: "The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices. God gives us the capacity for choice. We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes – and we must."

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired numerous pieces of official White House china including pieces from President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: jimmy carter white house china

Lyndon B. Johnson - An Active Advocate for Civil Rights - And "Selma"

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

With the release of the Hollywood movie “Selma,” President Lyndon Baines Johnson is back in the news. Although the movie depicts LBJ as initially not supportive of the civil rights movement, in fact he was a major political instrument in promoting and pushing through several pieces of legislation that forever changed America.

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POSTER FOR RECENT MOVIE - SELMA - ©PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Lyndon Johnson ascended to the presidency under the worst possible circumstances, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. But while Kennedy had been well-respected for his stirring oratory and charisma, he had not been able to persuade Congress to enact new civil rights laws. Johnson, however, was an old hand at getting things done in Congress. In addition, President Johnson had the power of the sympathy factor going for him, as a result of the assassination. LBJ immediately put his skills to work to move forward Kennedy’s proposals.

From those efforts, three pieces of landmark legislation emerged, all of which were part of LBJ’s effort to encourage Americans to transform country into “a great society, a place where the meaning of man’s life matches the marvels of man’s labor.” The label Great Society has always been associated with Johnson’s social change policies.

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THE RESOLUTE LYNDON B. JOHNSON - 36TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the first significant legislation of its kind since the Reconstruction, designed to outlaw segregation in the workplace, in schools and at “public accommodations.” It prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin and banned the former practice of applying different voter registration requirements to white and black citizens.

In an speech before both houses of Congress on March 15, 1965, Johnson introduced what would become known as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, saying, “At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.”

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A PRISTINE SERVICE PLATE BELONGING TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON – PART OF RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA COLLECTION

President Johnson went on, “There is no cause for pride in what has happened in Selma. There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy in what is happening here tonight. … Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.”

The Voting Rights Act, which was signed into law in August 1965, further outlawed racial discrimination at the polls. This legislation was subsequently amended five times as Congress sought to expand the Act’s protections under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The US Department of Justice describes the Voting Rights Act as America’s most effective civil rights legislation.

In 1965, Johnson also became the first President to appoint an African American to his cabinet, when he made Thurgood Marshall US Solicitor General. Two years later, LBJ nominated Marshall to become the first African American Justice of the US Supreme Court.

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PRESIDENT JOHNSON WITH MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AS LBJ DISTRIBUTES OFFICIAL BILL-SIGNER PENS FROM HIS SIGNING OF THIS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION

And in 1968, Johnson spearheaded efforts to pass another Civil Rights Act, sometimes known as the Fair Housing Act because it was aimed at ensuring equal housing opportunity regardless of race, creed or national origin. This legislation also made it a federal crime to use force or threat of force to “injure, intimidate or interfere with anyone” because of their race, color, religion or national origin.

While the country faced other significant domestic and international challenges during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, he will always be especially remembered for his commitment to establishing true equality among all United States citizens.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired pieces from Lyndon B. Johnson's official White House China Collection. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. Mr. Amyx's collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: Lyndon Johnson White House China

The Unfortunate Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

Only two Presidents in America’s history have been impeached: President Andrew Johnson and President Bill Clinton. Neither one was convicted, resulting in both presidents finishing their terms in office. Many Americans these days know the story of Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Andrew Johnson’s is a lesser known story.

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ANDREW JOHNSON - 17TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Johnson Becomes President

Andrew Johnson, a democratic senator from Tennessee during the Civil War, was the only US Senator from a seceding state to remained loyal to the Union. This, plus the fact he was a democrat, gave President Abraham Lincoln a strong reason to choose Johnson as a running mate. Together, they were victorious in the 1864 election, gaining approval from both Republicans and Democrats. Less than 5 months after the election, President Lincoln was shot and killed. President Johnson stepped into his place, however unprepared, with plans to unite a broken nation.

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ABE LINCOLN CHOOSES ANDREW JOHNSON AS HIS RUNNING MATE

His Unending Struggle with Congress

President Johnson, an overt racist, struggled against a Republican Congress in his plan to reconstruct the South. President Johnson’s Reconstruction Policy for the South was so lenient, it preserved the entire system of slavery under a different name. “Black Codes” were laws designed to restrict blacks’ rights and ensure they remained cheap, if not free, labor. Johnson’s Reconstruction Policy also granted complete amnesty to ex-Confederates. This left the Republican Congress enraged.

In response, Congress created the Civil Rights Act to ensure blacks had the right to buy property and testify in court. Johnson vetoed the Act, but Congress overrode the veto by a single vote. The power struggle continued and eventually came to a climax when Johnson tried to replace Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, with Generally Ulysses S Grant. This was a direct violation of the Tenure of Office Act - another act passed over the President's veto. Grant turned the office back to Stanton due to the Senate's protests.

Andrew Johnson wasn’t easily going to give up, though. He decided to again try to replace Stanton, this time with General Lorenzo Thomas. Stanton put up quite a fight this time, barricading himself in his office. The House of Representatives was not going to stand for Johnson’s shenanigans anymore. They formally impeached him on February 24th, 1868. Congress brought forward 11 Articles of Impeachment, many of which charged the President with illegally removing Stanton from office. The last two articles were more vague; saying Johnson slandered Congress through "inflammatory and scandalous harangues."

Unfortunately, Johnson didn’t even have the public on his side. Throughout his term, there had been many personal attacks aimed at him. He was accused of being a "drunken imbecile" and "ludicrous boor.” Johnson had indeed shown up drunk to his vice presidential inauguration and insulted many high ranking officers.

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ANDREW JOHNSON'S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

The Impeachment Trial

Johnson’s impeachment trial began on March 13th. Three different votes were held and they each ended the same: Congress was one vote short of convicting President Johnson. A young republican senator, Edmund Ross of Kansas, stood between Congress and their goals to see Johnson removed from office. Senator Ross stood his ground, voted “not guilty” each time, and essentially ended the impeachment trial. President Johnson finished his term, moved back to Tennessee, and successfully ran for Senate. Only a few months after returning to DC as a Senator, he suffered a paralytic attack and passed away.

Andrew Johnson’s downfall came from his views on how to effectively handle the Reconstruction of the South, combined with his inability to work peacefully with Congress. He started and ended his political career as a senator, showing that he insisted to the end on having a hand in government, no matter the position.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

Advanced collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired pieces from many various US Presidents' official White House China Collections. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: Andrew Johnson White House China

President's Day or George Washington's Birthday?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

President’s Day - like many other national holidays - has become an excuse to go shopping due to the large sales many stores hold. President’s Day, now celebrated on the 3rd Monday of February, stands for much more than that, though. It has deep roots in American History and exists that we may remember former leaders of our country - specifically George Washington.

Originally, President’s Day was known as Washington’s Birthday and was always celebrated on February 22nd, his actual birthday. It dates back to February 1800, the year after Washington’s death. At the time, George Washington was considered the most prominent American figure, thus an unofficial celebration seemed necessary. Nearly 85 years later, it became an official National Holiday. It was 1 of 5 National Holidays and the only one celebrating an individual’s life.

george-washington-john-trumbullAMERICA'S FIRST PRESIDENT - GEORGE WASHINGTON

Washington’s Birthday becomes President’s Day

In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was signed into law. The Act was an attempt to create more 3-day weekends for government workers to discourage truancy. By this time, Washington’s Birthday was joined by Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, and Memorial Day. Each was moved from it’s original day to a certain Monday of it’s respective month. Some people thought moving the holidays from their original dates would cheapen their meanings. Retailers were for it as they saw it as an opportunity to boost sales.

By moving Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday in February, many considered it a way to honor Abraham Lincoln who also had a February birthday. This led to a proposal to change the name to President’s Day. Marketers and retailers were among the first to start promoting the name change. They began advertising “President’s Day” sales. Some states celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday separately from Washington’s birthday giving government workers and schools two days off in February.

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FROM THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION - PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE CHINA - 9.5" DINNER PLATE

By the mid-1980s most Americans were referring to the Holiday as President's Day and by 2000 most calendars had also made the switch. Some states took the liberty to add prominent state figures to the list of who was honored. For example, Arkansas celebrates Daisy Gatson Bates, a civil right’s activist, on the same day. Many states also refer to the Holiday in ways to be sure both Lincoln and Washington are honored. For example, Montana calls it “Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthday.” Alabama chooses to recognize Thomas Jefferson instead of Abraham Lincoln.

No longer a birthday celebration

So far, there are four presidents with birthdays in February: George Washington, William Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan. Interestingly enough, President's Day never actually falls on any of their birthdays.

Today, most people consider President’s Day a day to recognize all the men who have served our country as President. Although not everyone gets the day off from work, we can all take time to remember the sacrifices, time, and service each President gives during their terms. We can be thankful for a nation based on strong, moral values gleaned from president’s such as George Washington.

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RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired numerous pieces of official White House china from President George Washington to President Bill Clinton. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the first or second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: George Washington

Harry S. Truman: Surprise Foreign Affairs Specialist

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 03:02 PM

Only a few men have ascended to the presidency of the United States because their predecessor died in office. And none was as unprepared for the realities of his new position as Harry S. Truman.

Truman had served as Vice President under Franklin Roosevelt just 82 days when FDR passed away from a stroke. During that entire time, he had only two meetings with the President. He was never apprised about details of the war effort in Europe or Japan, so he had no idea that the Soviet Union – a supposed ally of America – was growing increasingly belligerent. Even more shocking, he had never even heard of the Manhattan Project, the United States' atomic bomb program.

harry-truman-photo-3PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN IN A STRIKING POSE

These days it’s hard to imagine that a Vice President could have been so completely in the dark, especially about issues that went to the heart of our nation’s security. Truman was initially overwhelmed, telling the press, “I felt like the moon, the stars and all the planets had fallen on me.”

Harry S. Truman had no choice but to become an instant foreign affairs expert. But he rose to the occasion, making an indelible mark on the United States and the world as a statesman and leaving a legacy of significant foreign relations achievements.

truman-and-military-personnel-1THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL EISENHOWER

Truman faced a series of international crises, including the continuation of war. Even after V-E Day in Europe, Japan refused to surrender. Truman conferred with military advisors and then ordered cities in Japan that were instrumental in their war effort to be bombed with America's newly-developed atomic bombs. After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan did surrender, and there was hope for peace.

The new United Nations was established in 1945, to replace the failed League of Nations as a worldwide peacekeeper. And Truman convinced Congress to fund the European Recovery Program – nicknamed the Marshall Plan after the Secretary of State, John Marshall – a massive undertaking designed to get devastated western European nations back on their feet economically as quickly as possible.

harry-truman-signing-autographs-photo-1HARRY TRUMAN SIGNING A WWII PROCLAMATION

Unfortunately, all was not peaceful after all. With the Soviet Union threatening Greece and Turkey, Truman announced a new policy of containment that became known as the Truman Doctrine. When the Soviet Union blockaded western Berlin, Truman ordered the famous Berlin airlift to bring vital supplies to the citizens. To create a show of solidarity and strengthen the military might of the West, Truman worked to help establish the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949.

The next year, Communist North Korea invaded South Korea, and President Truman felt compelled to become involved. He said there was “complete, almost unspoken acceptance on the part of everyone that whatever had to be done to meet this aggression had to be done. There was no suggestion from anyone that either the United Nations or the United States could back away from it.” And another war was underway - one that did not end until Truman had left office.

Our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman served a little less than two full terms. Yet in those few years, he led the way through the end of World War II and almost to the conclusion of the Korean War, and he managed to navigate the frosty waters of the early days of the Cold War. He truly became a major leader in foreign affairs, something he never could have envisioned when he first entered office as Vice President.

Raleigh_in_Library_small_72HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired many significant pieces from President Harry Truman's official White House China Set. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: President Harry S. Truman

Dwight Eisenhower: President, Commander-in-Chief, and... Master Chef?

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

Dwight D. Eisenhower was our 34th president, the only one ever elected who was a 5-star general. He may also have been the only president – certainly one of few – ever to barbeque at the White House.

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PRESIDENT DWIGHT EISENHOWER & FIRST LADY MAIME EISENHOWER

When we think of President Eisenhower, most of us remember his military achievements, the fact that he created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), or any number of other accomplishments, and the fact that he was an ardent golfer. Today, most people no longer recall that Ike also loved cooking, and that he was well-known for it. The public clamored for his recipes, especially his vegetable soup and beef stew, many of which were reprinted in newspapers around the country.

Dwight D. Eisenhower learned to cook as a child, and as President, he frequently used the kitchen on the third floor of the White House to prepare his favorite dishes. Perhaps that reflects his heritage as a son of America’s heartland. Born and raised in Abilene, Kansas, in a speech delivered upon his homecoming from the war in Europe, he stated, "The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene." Throughout his life, he retained strong feelings for agriculture.

dwight-eisenhower-china-service-plate-1PRISTINE EXAMPLE OF A DINNER PLATE FROM DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER'S WHITE HOUSE CHINA SET - NOW PART OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION

In a Special Message to the Congress in 1956, President Eisenhower encouraged lawmakers to remember the importance of the country’s farmers. "The proper role of government, however, is that of partner with the farmer -- never his master. By every possible means we must develop and promote that partnership -- to the end that agriculture may continue to be a sound, enduring foundation for our economy and that farm living may be a profitable and satisfying experience."

Cooking was a satisfying pastime for Eisenhower. Many of his recipes were even collected into a cookbook entitled “Ike and Mamie’s Favorites.” But his most famous culinary activity was preparing his Coal-Fired Steak, something he often served visitors to the White House and also at Camp David, which was named for his grandson. This unusual method of “grilling” did not originate with Eisenhower, but to this day many still refer to the method as “Eisenhower steak.”

ike_-_moaney__w_ike_grilling_lg._dwight-eisenhower-john-moaney-barbeque-1-resized-600EISENHOWER DOING ONE OF HIS FAVORITE PASTIMES – GRILLING WITH SERGEANT JOHN MOANEY, HIS TRUSTED VALET

Here’s his recipe:

"Build a charcoal fire on the ground and let it burn until it is a bed of red hot coals. Get a sirloin steak 21/2 to 3 inches thick. Roll the steak in a mixture of fine salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Throw the steak in the fire. After about 10 minutes nudge it over once and let it stay in the fire for a total of about 20 minutes. Take it out, brush off, and slice on the diagonal."

Yes, the steak is cooked directly on the hot coals, not on a grill.

dwight-eisenhower-photo-tipping-hatPRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER  WEARING HIS ROLEX

Reflecting back on his presidency in 1968, Ike wrote to Dillon Anderson, his former National Security Advisor, “Many people are always saying the Presidency is too big a job for any one man. When I hear this assertion, I always try to point out that a single man must make the final decisions that affect the whole, but that proper organization brings to him only the questions and problems on which his decisions are needed. His own job is to be mentally prepared to make those decisions and then to be supported by an organization that will make sure they are carried out."

Eisenhower knew that the process of mental preparation requires time for reflection and relaxation. For him, spending time in the kitchen – or outdoors tossing steaks into the fire – kept him close to his native heartland and helped him relax as he mentally prepared for the tough job of presidential decision-making.

raleigh-degeer-amyx-in-libraryRALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired pieces from Dwight Eisenhower's White House China Collection. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: dwight eisenhower

FDR - The Determined Philatelist & Head of State

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an inveterate collector, both before and during his presidency. He collected models of ships, rare books, drawings, prints, stamps and coins. But it was the stamps that truly captivated him. By the time he passed away in 1945, he had amassed more than 1,200,000 varieties.

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THE EFFERVESCENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT WITH FIRST LADY ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

As with many personal stamp collections, most of the items had minimal monetary value. Nonetheless, the year after his death, FDR’s collection was divided into four lots and auctioned for a total of $220,000. But for Franklin Roosevelt, the stamps represented a different kind of value.

Young Franklin D. Roosevelt started collecting stamps when he was eight year old, encouraged by his mother Sara Delano Roosevelt who had been a collector herself as a child. He focused on stamps from throughout the Western Hemisphere and from Hong Kong, perhaps influenced again by his mother. Many of Sara Roosevelt's  stamps came from the Far East, because her father often traveled to that part of the world. Later in life, Franklin acquired his mother’s collection as a gift from her younger brother.

When FDR was a child, stamp collecting was considered a pastime for youngsters, not adults. But the future President never gave up the hobby, and as he became Governor of New York and then President, he brought visibility and cache to stamp collecting that captured the hearts of Americans. In addition it was a way for the President to relax.  In fact, when the public learned about President Roosevelt’s intense interest in collecting, they started sending him covers and stamps to augment his collection.

fdr_wiliamsburg_service_close-up_franklin-roosevelt-china-uss-williamsburg-plate-1STUNNING PIECE OF PRESIDENTIAL FROM THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION  COLLECTION

As a child, F.D.R. used stamps to learn about the world. Instead of filling the pages of his stamp albums with items, he would position just one or two on a page and then add notes about the event or person portrayed on the stamp. Some historians believe this gave him knowledge and insight about international history and geography that strengthened his political capabilities in later years.

While Franklin D. Roosevelt collected many other items as President such as miniatures of dogs, donkeys and other animals, his main passion continued to be stamps. After taking office as President in 1933, Roosevelt discovered Herbert Hoover had also been a stamp collector, though not quite as passionate about it as FDR. But Roosevelt was happy to continue a tradition established by Hoover with staff at the Department of State. Interestingly envelopes from international communications were always sent to the Oval Office, so the President could look them over.

Like his predecessor, FDR added some of the stamps to his personal collection. The extras were packaged by his secretary and sent as presents to American children who had written letters to the President.

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FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT'S 1933 INAUGURATION DAY

Roosevelt’s former campaign manager, James A. Farley, became his first Postmaster General, and while Presidential tenure, Roosevelt helped design more than 200 stamps for the post office. Working with stamps also provided entertainment and respite while Franklin Roosevelt was convalescing after being stricken with polio, and he is well-known for having said, “I owe my life to my hobbies – especially stamp collecting.”

Because of Roosevelt’s widespread popularity, many nations around the world issued stamps depicting the American President. One, issued by Monaco in 1947, mistakenly showed a drawing of him with six fingers. An unusual circumstance!

In some ways, you could say Franklin D. Roosevelt single-handedly transformed stamp collecting from a children’s amusement to a scholarly and engaging hobby for all ages – a unique and enduring Presidential legacy.

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HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired pieces of official White House China from American Presidents ranging from President George Washington all the way up to President Bill Clinton. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is, perhaps, the largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

How Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points Still Impacts the World Today

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Thu, Jan 08, 2015 @ 12:30 PM

Thomas Woodrow Wilson served two terms as our 23rd President, his second term including the entirety of World War I. One of President Wilson’s most famous accomplishments – if not his most successful – was creation of his Fourteen Points that helped bring an end to the war.

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WOODROW WILSON AND WIFE FIRST LADY EDITH WILSON

Of the Fourteen Points, eight identified specific actions Wilson felt would assure future sovereignty and self-rule for Russia, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary, the Balkan States, Poland and Turkey. President Wilson asserted there should be no more secret agreements among countries, free navigation of all seas, an end to economic barriers between countries and a universal reduction in the number of weapons.

His final point called for creation of a League of Nations that would assure “political and territorial independence of all states.”

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WOODROW WILSON'S FINE WHITE HOUSE CHINA PLATE

With the easy perspective of historical hindsight, we know President Wilson’s Fourteen Points, however well-intended, were overly idealistic. Despite widely proclaimed initial verbal support, when it came time to formally end the war via the Treaty of Versailles, most of the points were omitted by foreign leaders anxious to retain their various colonial advantages and punish Germany as harshly as possible.

Many historians believe that Germany’s vengeful treatment under the Treaty of Versailles laid the groundwork for World War II.

Even here at home, President Wilson’s proposal for a League of Nations was not supported by Congress, which refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. Many among the American public and its leaders were firmly in favor of isolationism, so they had no interest in joining an international peace-keeping organization.

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NEWSPAPER ARTICLE DISCUSSING WILSON'S 14 POINTS

However, President Wilson campaigned actively around the country in favor of his plan. During this effort, he suffered a stroke and was not able to continue his campaign with the same fervor. Some historians wonder if things would have turned out differently were his health not compromised.

President Wilson – and millions around the world – hoped the end of the war represented a new era in which peace would prevail. In announcing his Fourteen points, President Wilson said, “The day of conquest and aggrandizement is gone by; so is also the day of secret covenants entered into in the interest of particular governments and likely at some unlooked-for moment to upset the peace of the world.”

Although ignored by the United States, the League of Nations was formed and ultimately became the precursor for today’s United Nations. President Wilson’s vision of a “world made fit and safe to live in” may not yet be achieved, but he opened the door for a dialog about how nations could work together in support of peace, and that conversation continues to this day. And his Fourteen Points have left an indelible legacy in other areas. His ideas promoting abolition of secret treaties, freedom of the seas, free trade and concurrent international disarmament were all incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles and remain fundamental tenets of international law and commerce today.

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HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX

World renowned collector Raleigh DeGeer Amyx has acquired pieces from President Benjamin Harrison and Caroline Scott Harrison’s official White House China Collection. Mr. Amyx’s passion for American historical memorabilia has been his sole focus for more than three decades. His collection is the second largest privately-owned collection of White House China in the world. If you would like to engage in a discussion with Mr. Amyx about White House China, please contact him through the button below.

ATTENTION: SELL YOUR WHITE HOUSE CHINA AND/OR PRESIDENTIAL CHINA

Tags: Woodrow Wilson

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