Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Resolute Desk

I love the history of The President's desk. It was made from the oak timbers of a former British warship and was a gift from Queen Victoria.

"The President's Desk
Many presidents have used the Resolute desk in the Oval Office or the their study in the Residence. It was made from the timbers of HMS Resolute, an abandoned British ship discovered by an American vessel and returned to the Queen of England as a token of friendship and goodwill. When the ship was retired, Queen Victoria commissioned the desk from William Evenden, Royal Naval Dockyard at Chatham, England, and presented to President Rutherford Hayes in 1880.

The desk has twice been modified. Franklin Roosevelt had the whole desk raised on a 2 inch base to accommodate his wheelchair. He also requested that the kneehole be fitted with a modesty panel carved with the presidential seal (he preferred people not see his leg braces and often placed a waste basket in front of his desks), but he did not live to see it installed. However, President Truman liked the eagle motif and had it installed when he came into office in 1945.

Every president since Hayes—except Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford—has used the Resolute desk, although some chose to use it in their private study in the Residence. The desk was made famous in part by a photograph of John Kennedy at work while his son, John Jr., peeked out the front through the kneehole panel"

I mean, it's not as cool as MY desk...

...but it's a pretty cool fucking desk.


m.v. said...

featured in the movie National Treasure, that's how I learned about it

Donna said...

Very interesting. Love the picture of JFK at the desk.

Marti_L said...

Very cool! I also love the picture of JFK Jr. playing underneath. I'm just so happy to have an intelligent man sitting behind it now :-)