Politics

See newly digitized rare behind-the-scenes White House photos

Updated 8:24 AM ET, Sat February 24, 2018
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This photograph of President Lyndon B. Johnson meeting in the Cabinet Room was taken by James P. Blair on April 28, 1966. President Johnson met that day with Civil Rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and members of Congress and his Cabinet to discuss and sign his Special Message to the Congress Proposing Further Legislation To Strengthen Civil Rights. Johnson's Special Message called for the enactment of federal law prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin. Johnson would go on to send a Special Message to Congress every year until the April 11, 1968 signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Seated from left to right are: Andrew J. Biemiller of the AFL-CIO; Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach; Floyd B. McKissick, national director of the Congress of Racial Equality; Dr. King; Rep. Emanuel Celler of New York; President Johnson; Roy Wilkins, executive director of the NAACP; and Civil Rights and union labor leader A. Philip Randolph. James P. Blair/White House Historical Association
In this photograph first lady Lady Bird Johnson dines with actor Gene Kelly and photographer Edward Steichen at dinner during the White House Festival of the Arts. On June 14, 1965 over 300 guests attended the White House Festival of the Arts to honor contemporary American artistic achievement. 65 works of art borrowed from 39 museums across the country were displayed in the East Wing and Jacqueline Kennedy Garden. The 14 hour event also featured a variety of performances in the East Room and the South Lawn including Duke Ellington, the Robert Joffrey Ballet, and the Louisville Orchestra. Joseph J. Scherschel/White House Historical Association
This photograph by Joseph J. Scherschel shows scenes from President Lyndon B. Johnsons visit to NASAs Manned Spaceflight Center in Houston, Texas. The purpose of the visit was a speech to honor the crew of the Gemini 4 mission and Johnson nominated astronauts James McDivitt and Edward White for promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The Gemini 4 mission spanned four days and 62 Earth orbits, and included the first American spacewalk. Here, Johnson is delivering his remarks.The Manned Spaceflight Center was established in 1961 where it served the Mission Control Center for NASAs spaceflight program and led the Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab missions. In 1973, it was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in honor of the former president whose home state was Texas. Today, the center continues to serve as Mission Control and leads NASAs International Space Station operations. Joseph J. Scherschel/White House Historical Association
This photograph by Joseph J. Scherschel shows astronauts James McDivitt and Edward White and their families in the White House swimming pool. The McDivitt family is out of frame. They were invited to the White House following the successful Gemini 4 mission to space, which included 62 Earth orbits over four days and the first American spacewalk. The invitation followed their promotion by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the rank of lieutenant colonel the week before at an event at NASA's Manned Spaceflight Center in Houston, Texas, and the visit included an overnight stay at the White House. This pool was installed during the Franklin Roosevelt administration and was covered over during the Richard M. Nixon administration to create the Press Room. Joseph J. Scherschel/White House Historical Association
In this photograph President John F. Kennedy, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny of the Ivory Coast, and first lady Marie-Thérèse Houphouët-Boigny of the Ivory Coast converse in the Red Room of the White House. The group was attending a State Dinner held in honor of President Houphouët-Boigny's State Visit on May 22, 1962. George F. Mobley/White House Historical Association
In this photograph President Lyndon B. Johnson talks with Sen. Robert F. Kennedy of New York in the East Room of the White House after signing the Veterans Readjustments Benefits Act of 1966 on March 3, 1966. Also known as the "Cold War GI Bill," the bill gave veterans who served after January 31, 1955 access to benefits such as educational assistance, job placement services, veterans preference, and home and farm loans. Joseph J. Scherschel/White House Historical Association
In this photograph President Lyndon B. Johnson walks Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi into the Center Hall prior to a State Dinner held in her honor on March 28, 1966. The Center Hall is located on the Second Floor of the White House, in the family quarters. Joseph J. Scherschel/White House Historical Association
In this photograph two members of the American Ballet Theatre dance a pas de deux or duet during a performance of Aaron Copland's "Billy the Kid" on a temporary stage in the East Room of the White House on May 22, 1962. The performance was part the State Dinner held in honor of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny of the Ivory Coast and hosted by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. George F. Mobley/White House Historical Association
This photograph shows President Lyndon B. Johnson with Thurgood Marshall and Penelope Hartland-Thunberg at an announcement of their nominations to federal positions on July 13, 1965 in the East Room. Marshall was named solicitor general, becoming the highest-ranking African-American government official in history. Hartland-Thunberg was added to the United States Tariff Commission. Joseph J. Scherschel/White House Historical Association
This photograph shows visitors on the North Portico after exiting the White House following a tour. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy greets the group and poses for pictures. George F. Mobley/White House Historical Association
This photograph shows the West Wing press area during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. The press has had a dedicated work space in the White House since the construction of the West Wing in 1902, moving around the West Wing and next door in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building before settling in the room built above the White House swimming pool. This particular iteration was enlarged under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and decorated under President John F. Kennedy. Abbie Rowe, the White House photographer for the National Park Service, is seen standing to the right in a dark gray suit and black rimmed glasses. Rowe documented the presidents and the White House from the Franklin D. Roosevelt through the Lyndon B. Johnson administrations. James P. Blair/White House Historical Association
This photograph shows the press waiting in the Press Lobby in the West Wing. The press has had a dedicated work space in the White House since the construction of the West Wing in 1902, though the press area was moved around the West Wing and next door in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building before being assigned to a room built above the White House swimming pool, installed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, during the Richard M. Nixon administration. James P. Blair/White House Historical Association