Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The Hidden Secrets Of “Resolute” Desk



In few days America will see its new president either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  Who so ever win will be the 45th president of the country . In these 200 years of history the great country have witnessed many things, the low and the high of country and many presidents. But what has not changed in these years in the white house is a desk named “Resolute” desk. Yes this is not just a desk, it is a part of American history. A history they are really proud off. The Resolute Desk is far and away the greatest of the presidential desks. So here let’s take a look to the journey of this mighty desk.

The Creation Of The Desk


The Resolute Desk first came to America in 1879, given to Rutherford B. Hayes as a gift from Queen Victoria, but its history goes back a little farther. The HMS Resolute was a British naval vessel that had been abandoned in unnavigable arctic pack ice in 1853. When the ice thawed, releasing the ship, it drifted away, eventually being discovered by an American whaling vessel.

The ship was sailed back to America where it was fixed up at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and then sailed back to Britain as a goodwill gift. The Resolute never saw much action after that and was broken down in 1879. Queen Victoria fired the next salvo in the war of kindness when she had the oak timbers of the ship used to create what is now the Resolute Desk.

Getting In The Oval House

FILE--President Kennedy, working late at his White House office, wears a slight smile on his face, indicating perhaps he is not completely unaware that his son, John Jr., is exploring under his desk in the Oval Office in the White House in 1963. John Jr. called the spot under the desk "my house" and was peeking from behind the "secret door." A small plane carrying John F. Kennedy Jr. to a wedding in Hyannisport, Mass., was reported missing early Saturday, July 17, 1999, and a search was under way off the coast of New YorkÕs Long Island, Coast Guard officials said. (AP Photo/Look Magazine, Stanley Tretick, File)

-President Kennedy, working late at his White House when son, John Jr., is exploring under his desk in the Oval Office .

The Resolute Desk did not make it to the Oval Office until the presidency of John F. Kennedy, but it was not he who chose to put it there. It was First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy who found the Resolute Desk, then forgotten in a White House broadcasting room, and had it installed in the Oval Office as part of her overall restoration of the White House.

Removed From White House


The desk was removed from the White House only once, after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, when President Johnson allowed the desk to go on a traveling exhibition with the Kennedy Presidential Library. After this it was on display in the Smithsonian Institution. President Jimmy Carter brought the desk back to the Oval Office, and since then the desk is used by every president.

Modifying The Desk


The desk has been modified only two times. Firstly President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a hinged front panel for the knee hole opening in order to hide his leg braces and second modification was done to raise the desk by adding a separate, uniform base called a plinth. The first time a base was made for the Resolute Desk was during the John F. Kennedy Administration.

Replicas Of The Desk


There are exact replicas of the Resolute desk on display in at least five presidential libraries. The desk at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library was recreated by Robert Whitley. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California; the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California; and the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, include replicas of the Resolute desk.

A brass plaque affixed to the desk records the history of its creation:     


“H.M.S. ‘Resolute’, forming part of the expedition sent in search of Sir John Franklin in 1852, was abandoned in Latitude 74º 41′ N. Longitude 101º 22′ W. on 15th May 1854. She was discovered and extricated in September 1855, in Latitude 67º N. by Captain Buddington of the United States Whaler ‘George Henry’. The ship was purchased, fitted out and sent to England, as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Victoria by the President and People of the United States, as a token of goodwill & friendship. This table was made from her timbers when she was broken up, and is presented by the Queen of Great Britain & Ireland, to the President of the United States, as a memorial of the courtesy and loving kindness which dictated the offer of the gift of the “Resolute’.”

The desk is both a symbol of power and diplomacy. Not to mention, it was crucial in helping Benjamin Gates discover the President’s Book of Secrets (another National Treasure plug) and uncover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. All in all, it’s one pretty sweet piece of office décor which is so ready to serve the country for many more years to come.

Watch the journey of desk in video :


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