Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Camp David Jackets

One of the customs at Camp David is to present guests with an official Camp David jacket.  The most common type is the windbreaker; although some Presidents prefer the leather bomber jacket.  Below are some photos of Presidents and their guests wearing the official Camp David jacket.

President Nixon with Soviet President Brezhnev - June 1973

President Nixon wearing his Camp David leather jacket in December 1971

President Carter with close friend and advisor Charles Kirbo at Camp David in April 1978

Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan at Camp David in September 1978

President Reagan and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone at Camp David in April 1986

Prime Minister Nakasone presents a portable television to the Reagans in the Aspen Lodge 

The Reagans at Camp David in July 1988

President and Mrs. Bush - March 1990

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Camp David 

Gift from President George W. Bush to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

President Obama and VP Joe Biden at Camp David in October 2010

And, for just five bucks you can buy an official-looking Camp David patch on eBay and sew it on your own jacket.

Sources:  Richard Nixon Library; Jimmy Carter Library; Ronald Reagan Library; George Bush Presidential Library;  AP; Daily Mail; White House; eBay

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving at Camp David

President and Mrs. Bush along with daughter Doro watch as Thanksgiving pies are prepared in 1989

According to this story in the Washington Examiner:
"The Thanksgiving holiday week at the White House traditionally follows a familiar trajectory: pardon the turkey in the Rose Garden, receive bizarre, carriage-driven delivery of the White House Christmas tree, then off to Camp David to give staff and Secret Service time off with their families."

The Clintons celebrate Thanksgiving at Camp David in 1994
Camp David - Thanksgiving 2000

This 1998 newspaper article describes President Clinton's Thanksgiving Day round of golf at nearby Maple Run Golf Course prior to sitting down for a traditional dinner at Camp David with his family and friends.

Hillary Clinton describes that 1998 Thanksgiving in her book Living History:
 "The men played golf despite the freezing weather, competing for what they called the Camp David trophy.  We ate our meals and spent our time in Laurel, where I had a big-screen television brought in so that every play in every football game could be seen from every corner of the room.  At dinner we voted on which movie to watch that night in the camp's theater."

The Clintons celebrated their first Camp David Thanksgiving in 1995.  The menu included President Clinton's mother Virginia Kelley's cornbread stuffing.  The complete menu can be found on this foodie blog.

President George W. Bush had an annual Camp David tradition of calling troops stationed overseas to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.   .

President Bush talks to troops on Thanksgiving in 2006

2007 Thanksgiving phone call to the troops

Here is what was served for Thanksgiving at Camp David in 2008:

Sources:  White House; National Archives; William J. Clinton Presidential Library; Washington Examiner; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Living History; Gherkins & Tomatoes; George Bush Presidential Library; Boston Globe

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Truman Shangri-La Photos

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum website has these interesting old photos of Camp David back when it was called Shangri-La:

Bess Truman and her Independence (MO) bridge club at Shangri-La  -  1946

Aspen Lodge at Shangri-La  -  1948

Laurel Lodge at Shangri-La  -  1948

Aspen Lodge at Shangri-La  -  1948

View from Shangri-La  -  1950

Outdoors at Shangri-La  -  1950

Source:  Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Friday, November 5, 2010

Aspen Fish Pond

President Nixon with Soviet President Brezhnev 

There is a fish pond located in front of the Aspen Lodge that, according to the Camp David Tour site, was originally built there to use as a water supply in the event of a fire. The site describes how the water is "pumped from the pond to the top of a concrete-lined spillway where it cascades over the rocks and returns to the pond".  The pond was first stocked with rainbow trout at the request of President Eisenhower.

I received an email from someone who took care of the Aspen Pond in the early 1970s. Upon his discharge, he was given the photo of Nixon and Brezhnev signed by President Nixon.  He provided some additional information about the pond:
"In the picture of Nixon and Brezhnev at Aspen fish pond, the fish in there at that time were Japanese Koi and Golden Orfe plus floating water hyacinth and some water lilies. The log in the foreground was cut out as a bench where FDR would sit and fish. The log has been replaced several times because of decay and rot. FDR then was fishing for stocked bass and trout."  

I also came across an anecdote about the Aspen Lodge fish pond written by someone who once lived at Camp David:
In front of Aspen Cabin, the President’s abode at Camp David, is a man-made rock pond, filled with imported, exotic fish. A call was placed to the Camp’s CO:
“Sir, the President is on the line,” said military aide.
“Yes, Sir, Mr. President,” my husband said, “What can I do for you, Mr. Reagan?”
“Well…..,” came the slow, steady voice, “You need to get over here right away, the poor fellas are floating belly up!”

Below are some more photos of the pond.

President Johnson and Ambassadors Ellsworth Bunker and W. Averell Harriman in April 1968;
 CyrusVance, Jody Powell, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Hamilton Jordan in September 1978

                                                                                                                       President Ford in front of the Aspen pond in 1974

September 1978

Google Maps view of the pond in front of the Aspen Lodge

Sources:  Richard Nixon Library; Lyndon Baines Johnson Library; Jimmy Carter Library; Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; Camp David Tour; The New York Times; What A Party; Florida Sportsman Magazine; UPI; Google Maps