Welcome to My Yeah! Desk blog. I’m Tony Doan. Nice to meet you.
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.
In this article, I introduce you one of the most wanted desk over the world – The desk of The United States President – The Resolute Desk.
The Creation Of The Resoluter 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
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 Resolute 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:
The Resolute plaque in 2009
“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.
I think the below paragraphs which I took form The White House Museum shows overview about this great desk.
The Resolute Desk – 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 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.
Since this was prior to Truman’s decision to turn the head of the eagle in the presidential seal to face the olive branch of peace, the eagle in the Resolute‘s modesty panel faces the arrows of war.
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.” (Source and Read More: The White House Museum)
I give you an extra video clip of David Newton. The video clip is The story the Resolute Desk – the story of why it was given by Queen Victoria to the President of the United States.
David Newton decided to make this video after looking at the brass plaque and researching the latitude and longitude of where the HMS Resolute was abandoned, and where it was found.