Nixon during Watergate

Another blog post on President Richard Nixon’s activities during the Watergate investigation. The first one can be found here, and the second one can be found here.

On November 17, 1973, Richard Nixon famously declared “I’m not a crook” to a room full of Associated Press managing editors. According to the Washington Post story at the time, he appeared resolute about his innocence with regards to the growing scandal. You can watch a brief clip of the press conference here.

With all of that going on, the president still found time to relax. The photographs below show Richard Nixon spending time with Pat, performing at the White House, and meeting with actor Chuck Connors in the Oval Office.

The Nixons had three dogs while they lived in the White House: Pasha, a terrier; Vicky, a poodle; and King Timahoe, an Irish setter. If you’re interested in other presidential pets, check out the Presidential Pet Museum.

Richard and Pat Nixon walk their dogs at Camp David (November 1973). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 21, Folder 2. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Richard and Pat Nixon walk their dogs at Camp David (November 1973). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 21, Folder 2. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

A little known fact about Richard Nixon is that he played the piano. It was not unusual for him to perform at events both inside and outside of the White House.

Pat Nixon sings while Richard Nixon plays the piano at a White House event (November 1973). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 27, Folder 7. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Pat Nixon sings while Richard Nixon plays the piano at a White House event (November 1973). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 27, Folder 7. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Chuck Connors was an American film and television star most famous for his role in the “Rifleman” television show from 1958 to 1963. He was also an accomplished athlete and played professional basketball and baseball prior to his acting career. At the time of this photograph, he was still very active and appeared in multiple television movies and films during the year.

Richard Nixon shakes hands with actor Chuck Connors (November 1973). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 21, Folder 7. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Richard Nixon shakes hands with actor Chuck Connors (November 1973). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 21, Folder 7. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Set models in the Federal Theatre Project personal papers

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Set model by Samuel Leve for the production Cherokee Nights. The Federal Theatre Project personal papers, Box 28, Collection #C0227, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.

There are a number of recent additions to the FTP personal papers collection. The number of boxes in the collection has gone from 9 to 29 since the finding aid was originally created in October 2012. This is mainly due to a processing decision that instead of processing each collection individually we would put them all together in one larger collection. The finding aid lists the materials alphabetically by donor.

These are fun collections to look through because they contain personal items that shed light on individual experiences. Some of my favorite items from this collection include hand drawn and colored costume designs by Rhoda Rammelkamp Bolton, original poster mock ups by Anthony Velonis, and set designs by Sam Leve.

In addition to Federal Theatre Project materials, this collection also has some non-Federal Theatre Project play related documents. Images below are of a set model for the play Hand in Glove by C.K. Freeman and G. Savory. Sam Leve created the scenic design for the December 1944 to January 1945 production that opened first at the Playhouse Theatre and then continued at the Forrest Theatre both in New York City. This model is interesting because the set consists of two main scenes, an outside and an inside view of a house, that can swivel around allowing for quick transitions.

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Set model by Sam Leve for the December 1944 to January 1945 production of Hand in Glove. This image shows the set with the back of the house visible. The Federal Theatre Project personal papers, Box 29, Collection #C0227, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.

IMAG0720

Set model by Sam Leve for the December 1944 to January 1945 production of Hand in Glove. This image shows the set with the inside of the house visible. The Federal Theatre Project personal papers, Box 29, Collection #C0227, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.

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Set model by Sam Leve for the December 1944 to January 1945 production of Hand in Glove. This image shows the set from above. The Federal Theatre Project personal papers, Box 29, Collection #C0227, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.