My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House
Overview - This is the combined biography of two domestic servants, a mother and her daughter, each of whom worked for thirty years in the White House. In 1909, he mother was hired by President Taft, who was the first president ever to allow a Black person to enter the White House. Read more...
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More About My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House by Lillian Rogers Parks; Frances Spatz Leighton; Sam Sloan
This is the combined biography of two domestic servants, a mother and her daughter, each of whom worked for thirty years in the White House. In 1909, he mother was hired by President Taft, who was the first president ever to allow a Black person to enter the White House. She worked in the White House until 1939. Her daughter was hired by President Hoover in 1929 and she worked there until the final days of the Eisenhower Administration in 1959. This book should be required reading for every serious student of American history. The authors were eye witnesses to some of the great events of history and offer different prospectives from that found elsewhere. For example, we learn that when Calvin Coolidge announced in 1927 that he did not intend to run for re-election, he was playing hard-to-get. He believed that the people would insist that he accept a third term of office. He expected to be drafted. He actually wanted a third term in office. Coolidge was disappointed when Herbert Hoover was nominated as he disagreed with Hoover's ideas and policies. We learn that in the last year and a half of the presidency of President Woodrow Wilson, he had to be wheeled around the White House in a wheel chair and was often engaged in "sickbed rambling." When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as president, he was an invalid, confined to a wheelchair. Few Americans knew this and elaborate means were devised to make it appear that Roosevelt was robust and healthy. Whenever he was to speak, railings were created beside where he was to be standing. This was done so that it would appear that FDR was walking, taking a few steps up to the speaker's podium, when in reality the handrails were holding him up and he was dragging his feet a short distance to create the illusion that he was walking. Also, Roosevelt was dependent on his mother, Sara Delano, who had all the money and controlled his finances.