Brooks Brothers, America’s Oldest Retailer, Marks 200-Year of American Style Excellence

Company was Founded by Henry Sands Brooks, Two Hundred Years Ago April 7, 1818

On April 7, 2018, Brooks Brothers, America’s oldest retailer, reached its milestone 200-year anniversary. Since opening its doors on April 7, 1818, in New York City, Brooks Brothers has grown from a small family haberdasher to become a global brand that has shaped and defined American style through its product innovations.

Brooks Brothers Logo

Brooks Brothers logo

Our anniversary today marks a significant and historic milestone not only for Brooks Brothers but also for the retail industry,” said Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman, and CEO of Brooks Brothers. “This is a moment to celebrate two hundred years steeped in both tradition and innovation.

American fashion today is a result of years of groundbreaking innovations and revolutionary disruptions by Brooks Brothers. While perhaps best known today as a “classic” brand, it is important to note that the brand’s founder, Henry Sands Brooks (1772 – 1833), was no traditionalist at all. He was actually a dandy and an influencer among his peers, always on the lookout for the newest and most novel styles for his emporium in lower Manhattan selling “every new style of cloth, of the finest quality, made to order in the best and most fashionable mode.”

Brooks Brothers 346 Madison Avenue Flagship Store NYC Entrance

Brooks Brothers 346 Madison Avenue Flagship Store NYC Entrance

It is therefore ironic that some of Brooks Brothers’ most classic items today were the result of either invention and innovation — many radical for their time. In fact, Brooks Brothers is notably responsible for the introduction and popularization of some of fashion’s most iconic and enduring items, including the navy blazer, the reverse striped rep tie, the polo coat and the Number One Sack Suit. Even today’s athleisure trend has its origins in Brooks Brothers’ adaptations of sports clothes for daily life — most notably the 1900 invention of the Original Polo® Button-Down Oxford shirt. Finally, Brooks Brothers was responsible for the single most significant contribution to fashion — ready-to-wear tailored clothing, which was introduced to America in the mid-1800s as a consequence of the Gold Rush.

BROOKS BROTHERS Fall/Winter 2018 FIRENZE PALAZZO VECCHIO JANUARY 2018

Brooks Brothers Recent Fashion Show — BROOKS BROTHERS Fall/Winter 2018 FIRENZE PALAZZO VECCHIO JANUARY 2018 — in Florence Italy – Jan 10, 2018 (Photo Credit: Dan Lecca)

This sartorial passion was passed down from Henry to his sons, Elisha, Daniel, Edward, and John: the actual Brooks Brothers. These were fashion’s earliest influencers. For the past two centuries — and straight through to today — Brooks Brothers has outfitted an ever-changing world and is consistently pursuing quality and innovation, always with a respect for the past and an eye toward the future.

A Selection of Brooks Brothers Milestones:

  • Before there was the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, and the cities of Hollywood and Chicago, there was Brooks Brothers.
  • In 1818, Henry Sands Brooks opened clothing shop “H. & D. H. Brooks & Co” on the corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets. The first recorded transaction was actually a loan to a friend.
  • In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln wore a custom-made Brooks Brothers coat to his second inauguration. Sadly, he was also wearing it when he was assassinated a month later.

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    Brooks Brothers Original Polo Button Down Oxford

  • In 1900, Brooks Brothers invented the original button-down-collar shirt after noticing that polo players in England were pinning down their collars while playing.
  • In 1902, Brooks Brothers introduced the reverse-stripe rep tie, an adaptation of British regimental ties.
  • In 1915, Brooks Brothers opened its 346 Madison Avenue flagship store, where it remains today.
  • In 1953, Brooks Brothers invented the first ever non-iron shirt.
  • In 1957, Brooks Brothers introduced Argyle socks to America.
  • In 1961, Brooks Brothers designed the “#2 suit” — a favorite of longtime customer President John F. Kennedy.
  • In 1976, Brooks Brothers launched a full women’s collection.
  • In 1979, Brooks Brothers was one of the first international brands to expand to Japan.
  • In 2008, Brooks Brothers acquired Southwick in Massachusetts so that it could resume the manufacturing of tailored clothing in America.
  • In 2016, Brooks Brothers appointed Zac Posen as creative director for the Women’s Collection.

Throughout its history, Brooks Brothers have forged relationships with generations of customers: artists and politicians, working people and captains of industry, and Hollywood legends, as well as 40 out of 45 U.S. Presidents.

Today, Brooks Brothers currently have more than 280 stores in the United States and more than 700 locations internationally in 45 countries and continue to lead with a pioneering spirit, continually developing materials and designs that deliver performance, innovation and high-quality design.

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New Exhibition Explores Lost And Censured Murals Of Los Angeles That Exposed Unequal Treatment Of Mexicans And Mexican Americans

¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals under Siege” provides a historical backdrop to issues of social justice that continue to plague California and the nation today

Murals became an essential form of artist response and public voice during the Chicana/o Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They were a means of challenging the status quo and expressing both pride and frustration at a time when other channels of communication were limited for the Mexican American community. Because they threatened established authority, Chicana/o murals were often censored, neglected, whitewashed, or destroyed.

California Historical Society Murales Rebeldes

New Exhibition, “¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicano/a Murals under Siege”, Explores Lost And Censured Murals Of Los Angeles That Exposed Unequal Treatment Of Mexicans And Mexican Americans. (PRNewsfoto/California Historical Society).

The California Historical Society presents its latest exhibition and companion publication,“¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicano/a Murals under Siege”, which provides an important historical backdrop to issues of social justice that sparked outrage in California more than a half-century ago and continue today and provides insight to similar injustice that plague today’s socio-political environment. ¡Murales Rebeldes! will be on view at the galleries of the California Historical Society, located at 678 Mission Street in San Francisco, from April 7 to September 16, 2018. Continue reading

“No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” Opens March 30 at Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery

Exhibition Brings Large-Scale Installations From Famed Desert Gathering to Washington

Cutting-edge artwork created at Burning Man, the annual desert gathering that is one of the most influential events in contemporary art and culture, will be exhibited in the nation’s capital for the first time this spring. “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” will take over the entire Renwick Gallery building, exploring the maker culture, ethos, principles and creative spirit of Burning Man. Several artists will debut new works in the exhibition. In addition to the in-gallery presentation, the Renwick exhibition will expand beyond its walls for the first time through an outdoor extension titled “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick,” displaying sculptures throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti, Totem of Confessions, 2015. Photo by Daniel L Hayes.

Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti, Totem of Confessions, 2015. Photo by Daniel L Hayes.

Burning Man is both a cultural movement and a thriving temporary city of more than 75,000 people that rises out of the dust for a single week each year in late summer in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. During that time, enormous experimental art installations are erected, some of which are then ritually burned to the ground. The desert gathering is a uniquely American hotbed of artistic ingenuity, driving innovation through its philosophies of radical self-expression, community participation, rejection of commodification and reverence for the handmade.

The scale, the communal effort and the technical challenges inherent in creating works for the desert are part of what sets Burning Man apart from other art experiences,” said Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “It is an amazingly creative laboratory where innovators go to play and to push the boundaries of their craft. Displaying the art of Burning Man at the Renwick is the latest example of our focus on new directions in craft and making.”

FoldHaus, Shrumen Lumen, 2016. Photo by Rene Smith.

FoldHaus, Shrumen Lumen, 2016. Photo by Rene Smith.

Nora Atkinson, the museum’s Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, is organizing the exhibition in collaboration with the Burning Man Project, the nonprofit organization responsible for producing the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, for facilitating and extending the culture that has issued from Burning Man into the wider world and for cultivating its principles reflecting an immediate, non-commercial and participatory culture. The outdoor extension of the exhibition is presented in partnership with Washington, D.C.’s Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, a 43-square-foot neighborhood that stretches from the White House to Dupont Circle. The Burning Man community across the globe was instrumental in suggesting artworks for inclusion in the exhibition.

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” opens March 30, 2018. The Renwick is the sole venue for the exhibition, which will close in two phases. The first floor will showcase works by Candy Chang, Marco Cochrane, Duane Flatmo, Michael Garlington and Natalia Bertotti, Five Ton Crane Arts Collective, Scott Froschauer, Android Jones and Richard Wilks and will close Sept. 16, 2018. The second floor, featuring works by David Best, FoldHaus Art Collective, Aaron Taylor Kuffner, HYBYCOZO (Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu), Christopher Schardt and Leo Villareal, will remain on view through Jan. 21, 2019. “No Spectators: Beyond the Renwick,” will be presented in the surrounding neighborhood through December 2018. Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Explore “Fashion, Feathers, And The Rise Of Animal Rights” Activism In Honor Of Landmark Migratory Bird Reaty Act Centennial

“Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife” On View April 6 – July 15, 2018

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Unidentified maker. Accessory set, including muff and tippet, 1880–99, United States Herring Gulls, feathers, silk. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, 2009.300.2050a-c. This unusual muff and tippet, made with four adult Herring Gulls harvested during breeding season, demonstrates how accessory manufacturers exploited these birds. Gulls are and were great scavengers, and continue to be instrumental in cleaning our shorelines. The 19th-century fashion for their feathers and bodies, however, nearly drove them into extinction.

The New-York Historical Society presents a special exhibition that melds fashion, activism, and the history of the groundbreaking Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife, on view April 6–July 15, 2018, examines the circumstances that inspired early environmental activists—many of them women and New Yorkers—to champion the protection of endangered birds. The exhibition showcases bird- and plumage-embellished clothing and accessories. It also features original watercolors by John James Audubon of birds endangered before the passage of the statute, models for The Birds of America, from the Museum’s renowned collection. The exhibition is part of the Year of the Bird, a centennial celebration of the Act organized by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and BirdLife International. Recordings of bird songs from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology—together with objects on loan from other institutions, books, ephemera, and photographs—animate the narrative.

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John James Audubon (1785–1851), Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus), Study for Havell pl. 411, 1838. Watercolor, graphite, oil, black ink, black chalk, and white gouache? with touches of pastel and glazing on paper, laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.411 Swans’ down, the soft, fine, under-feathers, of swans were used for trimming clothes—as in the evening dress on display—and for cosmetic powder puffs. Tundra Swans once nested over most of North America but disappeared rapidly as civilization advanced westward. By the 1930s, fewer than 100 remained south of Canada. With protection from hunting and the disturbance of plumers, northwestern populations have rebounded. Today, their population is stable enough to sustain a limited hunting season in some areas.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was one of the first federal laws to address the environment, prohibiting the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds. It also regulated the nation’s commercial plume trade, which had decimated many American bird species to the point of near extinction.

Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife commemorate the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by delving into history and examining the economic and social circumstances that inspired the early environmentalists and activists who lobbied for this consequential legislation,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president, and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “As New York was the center of the nation’s feather trade, the exhibition also investigates how the act impacted the city’s feather importers, hat manufacturers, retailers, and fashion consumers—as well as how New York women played an important role in pushing for the legislation.”

1863-17-379RufousHummingbird

John James Audubon (1785–1851) with Maria Martin (1796–1863), Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), Study for Havell pl. 379, 1836–37. Watercolor, graphite, black ink, and gouache with touches of pastel and selective glazing on paper laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.379. Audubon painted three species of North American hummingbirds. He never saw the western Rufous Hummingbird alive, but painted it from specimens sent to him by the naturalist Thomas Nuttall. While naturalists always admired the hummingbirds they studied, the larger public’s appreciation of these sensationally beautiful creatures resulted from exposure in public arenas. Many pieces of hummingbird jewelry, like the Red-legged Honeycreeper earrings seen in the exhibition, were produced in England by Harry Emanuel, who in 1865 patented a process for insetting the heads in silver and gold mounts.

N-YHS Oppenheimer Editions AWC Plate 321 Roseate Spoonbill

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), Study for Havell pl. 321, ca. 1831–32; 1836. Watercolor, graphite, gouache, and black ink with touches of glazing on paper laid on Japanese paper. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.321. Audubon admired these prehistoric-looking, wading birds, the largest North American member of the ibis family. The beauty of their feathers brought the species to the brink of extinction by 1920. Plume hunters invaded colonies to slaughter the birds for fans sold in the tourist trade. They survived after the Audubon Society dispatched wardens to protect them and urged the passage of strict conservation laws. Today, the Roseate Spoonbill is one of the great success stories of the conservation movement.

The first gallery of the exhibition, “A Fancy for Feathers,” presents examples of the late 19th- and early 20th-century fashion including feathered hats, boas, fans, aigrettes, jewelry, and clothing. Highlights include a gold and diamond aigrette hair ornament (1894) featuring the wispy feathers of a Snowy or Great Egret, which were scornfully called the “white badge of cruelty” by activists; a muff and tippet accessory set (1880–99) composed of four adult Herring Gulls created during a craze for gulls that nearly drove the sea birds to extinction; a folding brisé fan of swirling white feathers (1910–29); and a pair of earrings inset with hummingbird heads (ca. 1865). Painted miniatures on view from the late 19th and early 20th centuries portray women adorned with bird plumes, such as one professed bird lover, wearing a hat decorated with dyed ostrich feathers while holding an American robin and surrounded by caged birds. Feathers also adorned men’s regalia and hats.

2013.143a, b

Unidentified maker. Red-Legged Honeycreeper hummingbird earrings, ca. 1865 Probably London, England Preserved bird, gold, metal. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Z. Solomon and Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2013, 2013.143a, b. Animal parts and insects decorated late 19thcentury jewelry. In 1865, London jeweler Harry Emanuel patented a method to inset hummingbird heads, skins, and feathers into gold and silver mounts. As objects of beauty as well as scientific fascination, the dazzling birds’ heads and feathers were prized as earrings, necklaces, brooches, and fans.

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George Bird Grinnell (1849–1938) From Nathaniel Pitt Langford, Diary of the Washburn Expedition to the Yellowstone and Firehole Rivers in the year 1870, n.p. St. Paul, MN: Yellowstone National Park, 1905 New-York Historical Society Library. Born in Brooklyn, Grinnell played a seminal role in American conservation. He lived as a youth in Audubon Park in upper Manhattan, previously the estate of the legendary naturalist-artist John James Audubon. There Grinnell was tutored by Lucy Bakewell Audubon, who encouraged his lifelong passion for wildlife and the natural world. After a later expedition to Yellowstone, his report included what may be the first official statement in opposition to the excessive killing of big game. In 1886, Grinnell founded the Audubon Society of New York, the forerunner of the National Audubon Society (1905). He launched it from its publication Audubon Magazine as “an association for the protection of wild birds and their eggs.”

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New-York Historical Society To Showcase Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” On First Stop Of International Touring Exhibition

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms” On View May 25 – September 2, 2018

A new major exhibition exploring the evolution of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms from a series of illustrations into a national movement debuts at the New-York Historical Society this spring as part of an international seven-city tour.

1. Rockwell - Four Freedoms composite

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Four Freedoms, 1943. Assemblage Story illustrations for four February-March, 1943 issues of the Saturday Evening Post Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, on view at New-York Historical May 25 – September 2, 2018, showcases Rockwell’s depictions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA—where the tour culminates in 2020 after traveling to five additional U.S. venues as well as Normandy, France—the exhibition illuminates the historical context for these now-iconic images and examines how Rockwell’s 1943 paintings united the public behind Roosevelt’s call for the defense of universal rights.

6. Photo of Rockwell Freedom Speech War Bond Show

Photographer unknown. Photograph of Norman Rockwell with Freedom of Speech painting at Four Freedoms War Bond Show, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum © Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved

The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The Museum holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to Rockwell’s life and work, while also preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting a growing collection of art by other American illustrators throughout history. The Museum engages diverse audiences through onsite and traveling exhibitions, as well as publications, arts and humanities programs, and comprehensive online resources.

2. Rockwell - Freedom of Speech

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom of Speech, 1943 Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 20, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Norman Rockwell’s iconic images remind us of the significant role his work played in inspiring Americans to embrace Roosevelt’s call to protect freedom around the world,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “At the same time, Rockwell’s art underscores the enduring importance of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. What Rockwell and Roosevelt identified as central to human dignity in the era of World War II is equally valid today. We are honored to convey this message to our visitors, and to be the first venue on the Norman Rockwell Museum’s illustrious tour.

3. Rockwell - Freedom of Worship

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom of Worship, 1943 Oil on canvas, 46” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 27, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com 

The Norman Rockwell Museum conceived of Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms both to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Freedoms and to tell the story of how Norman Rockwell’s paintings came to be among the most enduring images in the history of American art,” said Norman Rockwell Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt. “The exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the Four Freedoms together, outside their permanent home in Stockbridge. As the steward of Rockwell’s legacy, we are thrilled to launch the exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, whose remarkable work explores the relevance of historic events to our lives today.”

4. Rockwell - Freedom from Want

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom from Want, 1943 Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 6, 1943.  Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, which is organized into five thematic sections, features paintings, drawings, and other original artworks by Rockwell and his contemporaries, as well as historical documents, photographs, videos, artifacts, interactive digital displays, and immersive settings, some with virtual reality elements. Continue reading

New-York Historical Society To Present Unprecedented Exhibition On The History Of The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975, On View October 4, 2017 – April 22, 2018

One of the major turning points of the 20th century, the Vietnam War will be the subject of an unprecedented exhibition presented by the New-York Historical Society from October 4, 2017April 22, 2018. Bringing the hotly contested history of this struggle into the realm of public display as never before, the exhibition will offer a chronological and thematic narrative of the conflict from 1945 through 1975 as told through more than 300 artifacts, photographs, artworks, documents, and interactive digital media.

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American infantrymen crowd into a mud-filled bomb crater and look up at tall jungle trees seeking out Viet Cong snipers firing at them during a battle in Phuoc Vinh, north-northeast of Saigon in Vietnam’s War Zone D, June 15, 1967. Henri Huet / Associated Press

Objects on display will range from a Jeep used at Tan Son Nhut Air Base to a copy of the Pentagon Papers; from posters and bumper stickers both opposing and supporting the U.S. war effort to personal items left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC; from indelible news photographs (such as Eddie Adams’ Execution) to specially commissioned murals by contemporary artist Matt Huynh. While no gallery exhibition can provide a comprehensive, global perspective on this vast subject, the materials brought together in The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 will comprise a sweeping and immersive narrative, exploring, from a primarily American viewpoint, how this pivotal struggle was experienced both on the war front and on the home front. The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 was curated by Marci Reaven, New-York Historical Society vice president for history exhibitions.

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Interior of the USNS General Nelson M. Walker. Courtesy of Art and Lee Beltrone, Vietnam Graffiti Project, Keswick, VA. American servicemen initially traveled to Vietnam aboard WWII-era troop ships like the General Nelson M. Walker. Nearly 5,000 Marines and G.I.s crowded the Walker on each three-week voyage from Oakland, California to Danang or Qui Nhon, South Vietnam.

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 signals a new ambition for the New-York Historical Society, which is to include in our exhibition program histories that are not only difficult but also as yet unresolved,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president, and CEO of New-York Historical. “This monumental exhibit challenges received wisdom about the origins and consequences of the War, relying on sources only recently made available to scholars as well as first person accounts of those who fought. As the exhibition shows, the War continues to provoke debate and discussion today and to dominate much of our thinking about military conduct and policy. The Vietnam War was the longest armed conflict of the 20th century, and today—more than 40 years after it ended―it continues to influence both public policy and personal convictions. We are grateful for the opportunity to offer the public a chance to better understand events and protagonists of the 20th century that reverberate well into the 21st.

Exhibition Overview

The Vietnam War: 1945–1975 sets the scene for the coming conflict through a display in an introductory gallery, where texts and materials about the onset of the Cold War document how the U.S. and its allies began to maneuver against the Communist bloc in regional confrontations after World War II while avoiding head-on engagement between the nuclear powers. Objects on view include a series of oil paintings by Chesley Bonestell imagining the destruction of New York City by Soviet atomic bombs and a newsreel from 1950 making the case for U.S. military action in Korea.

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Men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade on a search and destroy patrol after receiving supplies, 1966. National Archives at College Park, MD. The primary mission of U.S. forces was to destroy the enemy and their logistical network. American ground troops operated throughout South Vietnam, supported by naval and air campaigns. They defended the DMZ, pursued units in the hills along the Central Coast, combed through Viet Cong base areas in the Iron Triangle, and ranged across the upper Mekong Delta as part of an Army-Navy mobile riverine force.

The exhibition then takes up the story of Vietnam by recalling the successful struggle of the Communist-nationalist coalition Viet Minh to force France to abandon its claim to Vietnam, then part of the French colony known as Indochina. Archival footage from a CBS News broadcast illustrates the “domino theory” put forward by the Eisenhower administration in support of its desire to halt the spread of Communism in Asia, a mindset which contributed to the partitioning of Vietnam into North and South. Among the objects representing the experiences of the North Vietnamese and southern insurgents are a 1962 painting by the Hanoi-based artist Tran Huu Chat and a bicycle of the sort used by North Vietnamese forces for transport of arms along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Also on view is a scale model of the USS Maddox, one of the destroyers involved in the Gulf of Tonkin encounter with North Vietnamese forces in August 1964, which gave the Johnson Administration grounds for seeking Congressional authorization to increase U.S. military operations without a declaration of war.

On July 28, 1965, President Johnson spoke to the nation on TV to explain that it was up to America to protect South Vietnam and fight communism in Asia and that to be driven from the field would imperil U.S. power, security, and credibility. He also announced a dramatic escalation in the military draft.

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Draft card. Courtesy of Joseph Corrigan, C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Dak To, Vietnam 1967–68. President Johnson’s order to send more troops to Vietnam affected all men between the ages of 18 and 26. Registration for military service was compulsory. The Selective Service called up only the men needed while excusing the rest through deferments. Twenty-seven million American men were of draft age during the war. Forty percent served in the military, and about 2.5 million went to Vietnam.

Objects on view, like an original draft card, and displays will address various responses to the draft, which affected all men between the ages of 18 and 26. Archival footage of Johnson’s address announcing the doubling of the draft will be shown. Artifacts, such as graffiti created by soldiers on their canvas berths, from the troopship General Walker, which ferried draftees during the three-week voyage to Vietnam, will demonstrate the personal side of soldiers as they headed toward war.

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Detail. Tran Huu Chat, Spring in Tay Nguyen, 1962 and 2016. Lacquer engraving. New-York Historical Society. Hanoi art student Tran Huu Chat received high marks in 1962 for his lacquer engraving that depicted Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh organizing among the people to depose the French colonialists. Fellow Vietnamese would have understood that the artist was using the heroism of the Viet Minh to symbolically refer to the National Liberation Front, organized in 1960 to oppose the Diem regime and its U.S. backers. The original artwork hangs in Hanoi’s Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts. The 84-year-old Tran Huu Chat made an exact reproduction for this exhibition.

With this escalation of U.S. military involvement, the exhibition moves into a section that examines the conduct of the war and its repercussions both in the field and among American civilians. Two large, illustrated murals by noted artist and illustrator Matt Huynh, titled War Front and Home Front, depict key aspects of the years 1966 and 1967. War Front depicts the four combat zones in South Vietnam to show differing types of combat and highlight significant moments and battlegrounds. Home Front illustrates activity in the United States, including the Spring Mobilization, the largest antiwar demonstration to that date in American history, in which hundreds of thousands marched through midtown Manhattan on April 15, 1967.

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71st Evacuation Hospital patch belonging to Barbara Chiminello (left) and 57th Medical Detachment patch belonging to Thomas Chiminello (right). Courtesy of Barbara, Philip, and Eugene Chiminello. Siblings Thomas and Barbara Chiminello served alongside one another in Vietnam—Tommy as a Medevac helicopter pilot and Barbara as a nurse. These are their unit patches. In October 1967, Barbara received devastating news. Tommy and his crew had all been killed while responding to an urgent evacuation request.

The mural also shows a pro-war demonstration from May 1967 and other scenes of the war’s impact on national life. Interactive kiosks placed next to both murals bring them to life, allowing visitors to explore the events depicted through videos and photographs. Notable objects displayed in this section include a poster of a woman fighter in support of the southern insurgents, recreated by Tran Thi Van; helmets worn by U.S. and South Vietnamese government soldiers, dog tags, military patches, and field implements; letters from soldiers to their loved ones back home; a condolence letter on the death of a son; period magazines; posters and buttons both demanding an end to the war and urging support for the military effort; and a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s April 1967 speech against the war. Continue reading

Trump Polling Numbers Drops To New Low Across the Board, With Close To 2-1 Disapproval

Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; 71 Percent Say President Is Not Levelheaded

President Donald Trump plunges to a new low as American voters disapprove 61 – 33 percent of the job he is doing, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. White men are divided 47 – 48 percent and Republicans approve 76 – 17 percent. White voters with no college degree, a key part of the president’s base, disapprove 50 – 43 percent.download

From July 27 – August 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,125 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, including the design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

Today’s approval rating is down from a 55 – 40 percent disapproval in a June 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. This is President Trump’s lowest approval and highest disapproval number since he was inaugurated.

American voters say 54 – 26 percent that they are embarrassed rather than proud to have Trump as president. Voters say 57 – 40 percent he is abusing the powers of his office and say 60 – 36 percent that he believes he is above the law.

President Trump is not levelheaded, say 71 – 26 percent of voters, his worst score on that character trait. Voter opinions of most other Trump qualities drop to new lows:

  • 62 – 34 percent that he is not honest;

  • 63 – 34 percent that he does not have good leadership skills;

  • 59 – 39 percent that he does not care about average Americans;

  • 58 – 39 percent that he is a strong person;

  • 55 – 42 percent that he is intelligent;

  • 63 – 34 percent that he does not share their values.

It’s hard to pick what is the most alarming number in the troubling trail of new lows for President Donald Trump,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“Profound embarrassment over his performance in office and deepening concern over his level-headedness have to raise the biggest red flags.

“The daily drip drip of missteps and firings and discord are generating a tidal wave of bad polling numbers.

“Is there a wall big enough to hold it back?”

American voters give Arizona Sen. John McCain a 57 – 32 percent favorability rating, with a 74 – 18 percent positive score from Democrats and a 60 – 28 percent positive rating from independent voters. Republicans give McCain a negative 39 – 49 percent rating.

Trump gets a negative 34 – 61 percent favorability rating, with a 79 – 17 percent positive score from Republicans. All other groups are negative, with white men at 47 – 48 percent. That Russian Thing

The president “has attempted to derail or obstruct the investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election,” American voters believe 58 – 37 percent.

Voters believe 63 – 31 percent that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election. Republicans don’t believe it 61 – 30 percent, while every other group believes by wide margins that the Russians interfered.

Trump did something illegal in dealing with Russia, 30 percent of voters say, while 30 percent say he did something unethical, but not illegal and 32 percent say he did nothing wrong. These numbers are similar for Donald Trump Jr. and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

American voters give Trump negative approval ratings for handling key issues:

  • 41 – 52 percent for handling the economy;

  • 36 – 59 percent for foreign policy;

  • 46 percent approve of his handling of terrorism and 47 percent disapprove;

  • 38 – 59 percent for immigration;

  • 28 – 65 percent for health care. Trump’s Tweets

Trump should stop tweeting from his personal Twitter account, American voters say 69 – 27 percent, the biggest no-tweet vote so far. 

Frequently cited by journalists, public officials and researchers, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll regularly surveys residents in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and nationwide about political races, state and national elections, and issues of public concern, such as schools, taxes, transportation, municipal services and the environment.

Known for its exactness and thoroughness, the Quinnipiac poll is featured regularly in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and on national network news broadcasts. In 2010, respected public opinion polling analyst Nate Silver ranked the Quinnipiac University poll as most accurate among major polls conducting surveys in two states or more. The Quinnipiac poll was also called “the standout performer” by City and State for the most accurate prediction in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor in 2013.

The Asbury Park Press wrote, “The Quinnipiac University Poll is considered the gold standard in the business, frequently lauded by USA Today and other national media organizations for its information and accuracy.”

For a typical public opinion survey, a randomly selected sample of about 1,000 registered voters age 18 and over is interviewed over five or six days. The polls are conducted by the Polling Institute on West Woods Road, close to the Mount Carmel and York Hill Campuses.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys nationwide, and in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.