From the Crazy Vault, Notable People & Places / 14.03.2012

Look at this photo from 1910. It's amazing. That's the Executive Office Building on the left and the West Wing on the right ... and an airplane landing between them. Claude Grahame-White is about to land his small Farman biplane on West Executive Avenue, right next to the West Wing to pay a quick visit to some top military brass. Not only is this amazing, it is exceedingly dangerous. I'm shocked that he didn't crash and kill himself.
This Day in History / 24.01.2012

For the next "This Day in History" post, I came across this list of White House visitors for January 24th, 1912. A long list of prominent individuals visited President Taft that day, from the Italian Ambassador, to the Secretary of War and many Members of Congress. This is the early 20th century version of open government and transparency and it's really interesting to see this printed in the newspaper.
This Day in History / 06.01.2012

An interesting society section article in the Washington Post from January 5th, 1912 (I know I'm a day late. I started this last night and set it to post today) mentions that President William Howard Taft -- the heaviest president we've ever had the pleasure of electing -- had dinner the night before at his Secretary of State's home. Secretary Philander C. Knox and his wife hosted the first couple in the annual winter dinner of cabinet officers, honoring the President and Mrs. Taft (clearly not a tradition that survived across administrations). Below is the excerpt from the Post.
The President and Mrs. Taft were guests at dinner last night of the Secretary of State and Mrs. Knox at their home on K street. The dinner was the first in the series given every winter by cabinet officers in honor of the President and Mrs. Taft. The home of the Secretary and Mrs. Knox, which is one of the handsomest official residences in Washington, was decorated last night with orchids. The other guests were the British Ambassador and Mrs. Bryce, the German Ambassador and Countess von Bernstorff, the Italian Ambassador and Marchioness Cusani, the Russian Ambassador and Mme. Bakhmeteff, Mr. Justice McKenna and Mrs. McKenna, Senator and Mrs. Warren, Senator and Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Garrison McClintock, Mr. Horace Taft, and Mr. and Mrs. Hugh S. Knox.
That is an impressive guest list. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at that dinner. I added photos of some of the guests below.