GALLERY | 50 years after: The Kennedy inauguration

President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address.

President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address.

Fifty years ago today, John F. Kennedy, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts who won the White House by the smallest popular-vote margin in history, was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States.

The event, which included a reading from memory of “The Gift Outright” by Robert Frost and a delivery of the Star-Spangled Banner by Marian Anderson, is perhaps the best-remembered inauguration in American history. Kennedy’s 14-minute speech, in which he charged Americans to answer their nation’s call to service, sits near the top of a list of spectacular American orations. Kennedy said:

… Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty. …

As Todd S. Purdum writes in Vanity Fair this month, the day sent a “tidal wave of glamour, promise, and high spirits” across Washington and the nation. No inauguration, before or since, could be argued to be as glamorous or filled with optimism as Kennedy’s.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum has assembled a terrific website that gathers together materials related to the dawn of the Thousand Days. And, to boot, they’ve digitized the bulk of their Kennedy Administration archive.

Here’s a collection of LIFE photos from the inauguration:

LIVES | Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy adviser and speechwriter, 1928-2010

SorensenPresident-elect John F. Kennedy reviews documents with his aide and speechwriter, Theodore C. Sorensen, in Decmber 1960. This photo was taken by Paul Schutzer is presented courtesy of the LIFE magazine photo archive.

Theodore C. Sorensen, speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy and author of the most memorable words in 20th-century American politics, died Sunday in Manhattan. He was 82 and had been suffering complications from a stroke he endured a week ago.

Born in 1928 in Lincoln, Neb., Sorensen first went to work for then Sen. Kennedy in 1953 after having earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Nebraska. He went on to play a critical role in drafting sections of Kennedy’s much-praised “Profiles in Courage,” published in 1956. That book proved a stepping-stone toward a four-year march toward the White House.

Sorensen was a key player on the Kennedy team in 1960 and was the architect of the 1961 inaugural address, one of the finest ever written, that declared “the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”

After the assasination, Sorensen practiced law and remained active in Democratic politics. He authored a 783-page memoir of the administration that was titled, simply, “Kennedy.” In 1976, he declined an offer from President Carter to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. He was an earlier supporter of President Obama’s and had recently expressed worries over the current administration’s handling of the war in Afghanistan.

Here’s a small gallery of Sorensen images from the LIFE magazine archive:

BOOKS | ‘Take Ivy,’ at last

TakeIvy‘Take Ivy,’ the iconic collection of photography that is considered a bible of classic American style.

At last. For those of us unwilling to tender bids of as much as $1,000 on eBay, there is salvation. ‘Take Ivy,’ the iconic collection of photographs that is considered by many as the bible of traditional American style, is at last available for the masses. My copy arrived in today’s mail.

At $24.95, the book, published yesterday by Powerhouse Books, is an affordable winner. Originally published in Japan in 1965 by Fujingahosha, the venerable magazine concern, ‘Take Ivy’ is a journalistic exercise. Photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida and reporters Shosuke Ishizu, Toshiyuki Kurosu and Hajime Hasegawa. In their forward, the authors write:

… Here is a report entitled “Everything About the Ivy League” with photos that our team of reporters collected during our one-month fact-finding trip.

As the name suggests, the classic buildings on Ivy League campuses are literally adorned with green ivy. Tranquil school grounds are covered in lush grass. Dormitory lights remain lit until late at night. Classrooms are compact to accommodate a small, but elite group of brilliant students. The vast dining halls accommodate hundreds of hungry students at one time. Our camera successfully captured scenes of typical and beautiful American campuses in both lively and tranquil times.

Each Ivy Leaguer wears clothes in his own way while maintaining an appropriate student look. The meaning of freedom can be found in what the students wear at their residential campuses. [We] believe that this book serves an invaluable documentary of appropriate dress codes on campuses. …

‘Take Ivy’ accomplishes that mission, but we already knew that. Several excellent blogs, including The Trad and A Continuous Lean., posted images from the original Japanese editions ages ago. Men of Dartmouth, Brown and Princeton figure most prominently, as do a lovely collection of ‘old boys’ navigating the concrete and granite canyons of Manhattan.

I suppose the joy of the book is that it’s a book, by which I mean that I still enjoy the process of turning pages and assessing photography as editors intended. On the whole, I would say it’s the third-best catalog of 1960s photographs I own, behind Slim Aarons’ oeuvre and Bill Eppridge’s “As it Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties.”

One disappointment is that the color reproduction seems poor, especially when compared with the images I’ve enjoyed at the aforementioned blogs. I’m sort of motivated to splurge for an original copy to make a comparison. For example, in the scans I’ve seen elsewhere online, the Dartmouth green is decidedly green. In the Powerhouse edition, it often seems black. Still, other frames, particularly in the section on Bermuda shorts, seem to reproduce beautifully.

The glossaries, on the upside, are charming. They include brief discussions of the Eight, anecdotes about the raising of Old Glory over each campus, President Kennedy and the the tradition of working and playing hard. The Japanese authors also offer a dissertation on Ivy League vehicles that includes a note on the 1960s obsession with vintage vehicles.

And, finally, of course, is an outline on traditional style, at its apex in 1965. Going barefoot, school colors and madras are all discussed in brief before the authors present a nice little guide to the wardrobe essentials.

So, reproduction issues aside, get thee to a bookstore!

‘Take Ivy’
Powerhouse Books
First English Edition, 2010

ARCHITECTURE | Pan-American’s Worldport to be demolished

WorldportPan American World Airways’ Worldport at Idlewild Airport, later John F. Kennedy International Airport, shortly after its completion in the early 1960s.

Earlier this month, Delta Airlines announced it would decamp from Terminal 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The terminal, criticized for being cramped and crowded, was built as the Worldport by Pan American Airways in 1960. A triumph of mid-century architectural design, the building can be credited to Ives, Turano & Gardner Associated Architects and Walter Prokosch of Tippets-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton.

Notable for its flying-saucer appearance, the terminal also featured a series of sculptures by Milton Hebald that captured the signs of the Zodiac. The building was expanded in 1972 and sold to Delta in 1991 when Pan American folded.

Delta has announced plans to spend $1.2 billion to renovate and expand the adjacent Terminal 4, from which all its international flights will depart. The transition is due to be complete by May 2013.

Sadly, Terminal 3 is to be demolished by 2015.

Take a look at the Worldport and other buildings at Idlewild — the airport was renamed for President Kennedy on Christmas Eve 1963 — as taken by Dmitri Kessel for LIFE in 1961:

ARCHIVE | The Washington Post buys the Times-Herald, 1954

MeyerWashington Post publisher Eugene Meyer, wearing a hat made of newspaper, pushes the button to start the presses on the first edition of the combined Washington Post and Times-Herald on March 25, 1954.

Messing around in boredom on the LIFE archive earlier this week, I searched for the term newspaper. Among the results were these terrific shots that document the merger of The Washington Post and the Times-Herald in March 1954.

Owned by Eugene Meyer and operated by his son-in-law, Philip Graham, The Post purchased the conservative Times-Herald and produced the first combined edition for Thursday, March 25, 1954. The Times-Herald, whose flag was reduced and reduced and finally eliminated in 1973, had been formed by the merger of two Hearst papers in 1939. The Meyers purchased the paper from the McCormicks, the publishers of the Chicago Tribune who’d gained control of the title in the late 1940s, for an estimated $8.5 million. In doing so, they eliminated their only morning competitor. The Washington Star, the capital city’s evening paper, folded in 1981.

Here’s a little archive of photos from the Post-Times-Herald merger, shot by Hank Little:

GALLERY | Another Canaras retreat goes on the books

CanarasThe view looking west across Upper Saranac Lake from Canaras Conference Center, the St. Lawrence University retreat. To the left, in the distance, is Whiteface Mountain. To the right is Green Island.

The second weekend of June just passed and Mrs. F. and I made our annual journey to Canaras, the great camp St. Lawrence University operates as a conference center. The camp, which I wrote about in detail last year, is a treasure whose worth I wouldn’t dare to quantify.

Made up of three camps: Canaras, Ne-Pah-Win and Cadeceus, the place has been a part of my life for 10 summers. Though the hilarious Bob Sheldon, who graduated from St. Lawrence in 1977 and has served as director of the camp since 1990, insists that I spent more time drinking Scotch than scrubbing toilets, I worked on the 2000 staff. That magical summer cemented my affection for the Adirondacks.

During the course of our alumni association meeting there (I was just elected secretary of the association’s governing board), we met with the University’s president, Bill Fox ‘75. With a partly cloudy fiscal forecast for the next two years, there was a lot of worry that the University might consider selling the place. Not so, Fox said. Sighs of relief echoed across the lake and the Laurentian diaspora.

Here’s a gallery of photos from the retreat:

FIND | The 1971 Larries prepare for war on Weeks Field

A postcard promoting the 1971 St. Lawrence football team recently came across my desk.

A very nice piece of Laurentiana recently crossed my desk: A post card depicting legendary St. Lawrence football coach Ted Stratford ‘58 and two of his 1971 Larries (they had not become the Saints quite yet), Richard Grimes and Daniel Mathias ‘72.

Stratford, known to a generation of Laurentians as the Bear, lead St. Lawrence on the gridiron from 1969 to 1978, when he lead an 8-1 team to the NCAA playoffs. He returned to Canton in 1967, after teaching and coaching stints at Ogdensburg Free Academy and Potsdam High School, and remained until 1979, when he headed south to Clinton to coach the Continentals of Hamilton College. His 1976 Saints made the University’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in football. Stratford was inducted to the St. Lawrence Hall in 2001.

I first met Ted and his family when I worked at Canaras in 2000. A welcoming and fun-loving bunch, they spent the first week of our alumni season reminiscing about their days at the camp, which Ted ran in the 1970s. I got to know him a bit better in 2002, when I started as a reporter at the Enterprise. In his retirement from collegiate coaching, the Bear had returned to Saranac Lake, where he taught in the public schools. He was always helpful to Laurentians in the Tri-Lakes and we were all devastated when he died in 2006 at 74.

Here’s a transcript of the text on the card’s obverse:


“Homecoming Weekend vs. Norwich is one of four exciting home games to be played on Weeks Field. Coach Ted Stratford (center), co-captains Richard Grimes (left), and Dainel Mathias (right), will lead the Larries against eight rugged 1971 opponents.

ROOMS| Yale dormitories of the late 19th century delight

YaleA student room at Yale’s Lawrance Hall, photographed during the 1880s.

In my Canton days, I was more than a little obsessed with making our accommodations there both comfortable and interesting. We had a huge collection of furniture, flags, banners, prints and even taxidermy on the walls of 33 E. Main St. when Lavin, Leifer, Furnary, Johnny and I were renting the place. We joked at the time that it had the feel of an upscale Bennigan’s. But we loved it all the same.

Clarke, who departed Canton before the advent of 33, still visited us and his memory was apparently jogged when he came across an interactive for “There’s No Place Like Home: Student Rooms at Yale, 1870—1910,” an online exhibit at the Yale Art Gallery.

“Between 1869 and 1894, new dormitories, monumental in scale and lavish in design, were built along the New Haven Green on College Street in the area known today as Old Campus, gradually creating a self-contained quadrangle that quickly became the psychological center of the campus,” a precis for the exhibit states. “Amid this growth, the distinctiveness of Yale College and campus life asserted itself.”

That distinctiveness is evident in five photographs of student rooms taken in the latter half of the 19th Century. These are hardly the humble cells one might imagine. Austerity is nowhere to be found. In its place are beautiful bookcases and desks, heavy formal drapes, framed prints and photographs, taxidermy, musical instruments and sporting accouterments. Though I often find Victorian furnishings to be a bit over the top, I want to spend time in these rooms. They each convey a sense of comfortable, lived-in warmth.

Coupled with the photographs, which come from the Sterling Memorial Library’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives at Yale, are images of pieces from the Yale Art Gallery’s Department of American Decorative Arts. These objects correspond to pieces on view in each photograph.

Remarkable find, Clarke. Thanks for passing it on.

BOOKS| ‘Take Ivy’ re-release available for preorder

Take IvyThe cover overleaf of “Take Ivy,” a collection of photographs taken of the 1960s that focus on Ivy League style.

Aficionados of classic American style rejoice: “Take Ivy,” the coveted photographic collection is due to be released, it seems.

As was earlier reported tonight over at Ask Andy, the compendium of photographs taken on Ivy League campuses by Japanese photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida in 1960s is now available for preorder at An August 31 release is set for the title, which is currently on offer for $24.95.

The book, authored by Kensuke Ishizu, Toshiyuki Kurosu and Moto Hasegawa, was first published in 1965 and has since been released a couple of times. The book, whose title plays on Dave Brubeck’s classic “Take Five,” plays on the Japanese affinity for both jazz and classic American style. It remains unclear if the book’s text will be translated to English but no matter. The photographs, which you can explore over at The Trad, speak volumes themselves about enduring style.

To give you a sense of both perceived value and demand for the book, I turned up a used copy this evening for $2,000. This reprint is welcome news for the thrifty.

“Take Ivy”
From $24.95

ARCHIVE| Life at the San: Saranac Lake, 1937

BroadwayLooking southeast on Saranac Lake’s Main Street toward the Harrietstown Town Hall, 1937. This view looks nearly identical today.

Though I tend to write quite a lot about Lake Placid, I also harbor a deep affection for its neighbor, Saranac Lake, the Little City of the Adirondacks.

First settled by the Moody family, who came west from Keene, New Hampshire in 1819, the Saranac Lake we know today largely grew up around the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, a cure center for consumptives founded by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau in 1884. Spending long periods of time outside, even in the coldest hours of winter, was Trudeau’s chief prescription for those seeking to cure.

Trudeau, born in 1848 in New York and educated at Columbia, contracted tuberculosis in 1873. To quell his disease, he moved north to the clear, cold air of the Adirondacks. By 1876, he was well enough to start a medical practice that eventually became what everyone in town still calls “the San.”

TrudeauTrudeau doctors inspect tubercular lungs, 1937.

The hospital’s beginnings were modest. “Little Red,” the cottage that housed the first two patients, two sisters from New York, is preserved on the grounds of the Trudeau Institute. But Trudeau’s practice, and the village with it, grew quickly. Robert Louis Stevenson was a patient in 1887. By 1915, when Trudeau died, the San was a sprawling campus that included a number of cure cottages, a post office, a chapel dining facilities and so on. Other sanatoriums were constructed in neighboring Ray Brook and Gabriels, and the Will Rogers Hospital was built in Saranac Lake in 1927. But demand for the cure was such that hundreds of private “cure cottages” opened across Saranac Lake. The village’s entire economy centered around its position as a health resort.

After World War II, however, with the advent of Penicillin and other treatments, sanatoriums fell out of favor. The San, renamed for Trudeau on his death, closed in 1954. Larry Doyle, a baseball star on the New York Giants in the 1910s and 1920s, was its final patient. He stayed in Saranac Lake and died in 1974 at age 87. The Trudeau family stayed too. Trudeau’s grandson, Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, Jr., sold the San property in 1957 to the American Management Association, which retains ownership today. In 1964, he opened the Trudeau Institute on Lower Saranac Lake. It is a world-renowned biomedical research center. Frank Trudeau died in 1995; his son, Garretson Beekman Trudeau, is the creator of “Doonesbury.”

For more on the history of the Little City, visit Historic Saranac Lake.

SLBerkeley Square at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway, Saranac Lake, 1937

Here, though, is Saranac Lake in 1937. These photos, from the Life Archive, were shot by the prolific Alfred Eisenstaedt for a story that was published in the magazine’s Nov. 29, 1937 issue. Titled “Tuberculosis: A Menace and a Mystery,” the piece explored the treatment of the disease in Saranac Lake. A number of Saranac Lake icons are here: There are shots of a WNBZ broadcast, a woman sitting a recliner no doubt from Fortune’s reading the Enterprise, Little Red, the Harrietstown Town Hall and the Hotel Saranac, Berkeley Square and so on.

I’ve harvested 96 images, so be sure to scroll through to see them all:

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