Very few people are fortunate enough to make the journey to Washinton D.C. and experience our nation's capital first hand. Knowing this, Bud Gordon decided to create the next best thing for the children in his local community.
Every student’s introduction into our government system should be one that leaves a lasting impression of how fortunate they are to be living in our great nation. Naturally, a trip to Washington, D.C. featuring a tour of Capitol Hill, viewing Congress and the Senate in session, along with seeing our Supreme Court in action would be the most desirable. However, few students are fortunate enough to make the jounery to Washionton, D.C. and experience our nation’s capitol first hand. For this reason our founder, Bud Gordon, decided to create the next best thing for our community. We offer a chance at veiwing some of our nation’s great landmarks and monuments without ever leaving Southern California!
Quality West Wing is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. We rely on public and private donations to facilitate the tours and educational experience conducted here. Students and teachers will enjoy an interactive learning experience as they are taken on our tour of the Oval Office, become an elected president in our interactive computer lab, and watch a video about our nation's governement.
Mission: Our mission here at Quality West Wing is simple, to bring to life our Great Nation's history and governement and offer an engaging and meaningful experience to the children in our local and neighboring communities.
We have some amazing volunteers here at QWW!
Tom Gate, 74, recovered from a broken neck and paralysis to complete the grueling swim, bike and run event
Check us out on ABC7 tonight at 6pm!!!
On this day in 1905, future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt weds his fifth cousin once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt, in New York on this day in 1905.
Eleanor, born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York in 1884, lost her mother Anna to diphtheria when she was eight. Her father, Elliot, a brother of Theodore Roosevelt, died as a result of alcoholism when she was 10 years old. As a result, Eleanor was raised by the extended Roosevelt family and met her future husband for the first time when she was just two years old and he was four. They saw each other frequently at dances and parties and over the years became very close. In 1903, a 22-year-old Franklin proposed marriage to the 19-year-old Eleanor; the couple wed two years later on St. Patrick's Day. Former President Theodore Roosevelt gave away the bride. As Franklin pursued a career in politics, Eleanor raised four children (a fifth died in infancy), volunteered in civic organizations and worked for women's suffrage before becoming first lady.
A year after their wedding, Teddy Roosevelt, who was very fond of his niece, wrote to FDR, "you and Eleanor are true and brave, and I believe you love each other unselfishly..." However, their married life proved less than blissful. In 1918, Eleanor was devastated to discover that Franklin was having an affair with her secretary, Lucy Mercer. When Eleanor threatened to leave him, his mother intervened and offered to support Eleanor financially if she would stay in the marriage. After that, Eleanor and Franklin maintained the public facade of a married couple but in reality lived as platonic partners who shared an interest in public service.
When Roosevelt became president in 1933, the shy Eleanor blossomed as she made public appearances on behalf of her husband and pursued a variety of philanthropic activities. She used her celebrity to promote civil rights and humanitarian causes and also published a daily newspaper column called "My Day." Roosevelt valued Eleanor's intellect and viewpoint and often consulted her on presidential matters.
FDR continued to have other affairs, including one with his secretary, Missy LeHand. His son, Elliot, recalled having seen LeHand sitting on his father's lap and, that he, like the rest of the president's family, "accepted it as a matter of course." As for Eleanor, unsubstantiated rumors flourished regarding her alleged lesbian love affair with a female reporter named Lorena Hickok. The two women exchanged letters brimming with sexual undertones. A dear friend and mentor to Eleanor, Hickok moved into the White House in 1940.
After FDR's death in 1945, Eleanor stayed active in public service, becoming a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. She died in 1962.
PETER FISCHETTI: Corona’s replica Oval Office faces uncertain future
Quality West Wing has attracted 200,000 students from across the region, but may have to move due to Highway 91 construction
On this day in 1792, President George Washington signs legislation renewing the United States Post Office as a cabinet department led by the postmaster general, guaranteeing inexpensive delivery of all newspapers, stipulating the right to privacy and granting Congress the ability to expand postal service to new areas of the nation.
William Goddard, a Patriot printer frustrated that the royal postal service was unable to reliably deliver his Pennsylvania Chronicle to its readers or deliver critical news for the paper to Goddard, laid out a plan for the Constitutional Post before the Continental Congress on October 5, 1774. Congress waited to act on the plan until after the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Benjamin Franklin promoted Goddard's plan and served as the first postmaster general under the Continental Congress beginning on July 26, 1775, nearly one year before the Congress declared independence from the British Crown. Franklin's son-in-law, Richard Bache, took over the position on November 7, 1776, when Franklin became an American emissary to France.
Franklin had already made a significant contribution to the postal service in the colonies while serving as the postmaster of Philadelphia from 1737 and as joint postmaster general of the colonies from 1753 to 1774, when he was fired for opening and publishing Massachusetts Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson's correspondence. While postmaster, Franklin streamlined postal delivery with properly surveyed and marked routes from Maine to Florida (the origins of Route 1), instituted overnight postal travel between the critical cities of New York and Philadelphia and created a standardized rate chart based upon weight and distance.
Samuel Osgood held the postmaster general's position in New York City from 1789, when the U.S. Constitution came into effect, until the government moved to Philadelphia in 1791. Timothy Pickering took over and, about a year later, the Postal Service Act gave his post greater legislative legitimacy and more effective organization. Pickering continued in the position until 1795, when he briefly served as secretary of war, before becoming the third U.S. secretary of state. The postmaster general's position was considered a plum patronage post for political allies of the president until the Postal Service was transformed into a corporation run by a board of governors in 1971.
On this day in 1957, Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the best-selling “Little House” series of children’s novels based on her childhood on the American frontier, dies at age 90 in Mansfield, Missouri.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born in a log cabin near Pepin, Wisconsin, on February 7, 1867, the second of Charles and Caroline Quiner Ingalls’ four daughters. As a child, she lived with her family in Indian Territory in Kansas, as well as in farming communities in Minnesota and Iowa. In the late 1870s, the Ingalls moved to Dakota Territory, settling in present-day De Smet, South Dakota. Laura Ingalls worked as a school teacher in the area, starting in her teens, and in 1885, married Almanzo Wilder, a local homesteader 10 years her senior. In 1886, the couple had a daughter; their only other child, a son, died shortly after his birth in 1889.
In 1894, after several years of drought in South Dakota, the Wilders traveled by covered wagon to Mansfield, Missouri, in the Ozarks, where they established a farm. Years later, Laura Ingalls Wilder began contributing essays to local newspapers. In 1932, Wilder, then in her 60s, published her first novel, “Little House in the Big Woods,” an autobiographical account of pioneer life in Wisconsin. The book became a success, and she went on to publish seven more novels based on her experiences growing up on the American frontier in the 1870s and 1880s. These books, including “Little House on the Prairie” (1935), “On the Banks of Plum Creek” (1937) and “The Long Winter” (1940), chronicled the joys and hardships (including illnesses, crop failures, blizzards, fires and grasshopper plagues) that Wilder and her family experienced. A ninth novel, “The First Four Years,” (1971) was published posthumously, as were several other books based on Wilder’s journals and letters. Wilder’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, an author and journalist, is believed to have helped edit her mother’s books, although the exact extent of her collaboration is unknown.
The “Little House” books have been translated into dozens of languages and continue to be read by legions of fans. The books also inspired a hit TV series, “Little House on the Prairie,” which originally aired from 1974 to 1982 and starred Melissa Gilbert as the plucky Laura and Michael Landon as her father Charles.
After Laura Ingalls Wilder died in 1957, her longtime Missouri home, Rocky Ridge Farm, became a museum.
On this day in 1789, George Washington becomes the first and only president to be unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He repeated this notable feat on the same day in 1792.
The peculiarities of early American voting procedure meant that although Washington won unanimous election, he still had a runner-up, John Adams, who served as vice president during both of Washington's terms. Electors in what is now called the Electoral College named two choices for president. They each cast two ballots without noting a distinction between their choice for president and vice president. Washington was chosen by all of the electors and therefore is considered to have been unanimously elected. Of those also named on the electors' ballots, Adams had the most votes and became vice president.
Although Washington's overwhelming popularity prevented problems in 1789 and 1792, this procedure caused great difficulty in the elections of 1796 and 1800. In 1796, Federalist supporters of John Adams cast only one of their two votes in an effort to ensure that Adams would win the presidency without giving votes to any of the other candidates. This led to a situation in which the Federalist Adams won the highest number of votes and became president, but Thomas Jefferson, the opposing Democratic-Republican candidate, came in second and therefore became his opponent's vice president.
In 1800, the system led to a tie between the Democratic-Republican candidates for president and vice president, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. This sent the vote to the House of Representatives, where Federalists voted for Burr instead of Jefferson, whom they despised. As a result, the Congressional vote ended in a tie 35 times before the Federalists decided to hand in blank ballots and concede the White House to Jefferson.
In 1804, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution ended this particular form of electoral chaos by stipulating that separate votes be cast for president and vice president.
Trivia Question of the day:
At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." Which President officially gave it the name the "White House"? and in what year?
On this day in 1861, Kansas is admitted to the Union as free state. It was the 34th state to join the Union. The struggle between pro- and anti-slave forces in Kansas was a major factor in the eruption of the Civil War.
In 1854, Kansas and Nebraska were organized as territories with popular sovereignty (popular vote) to decide the issue of slavery. There was really no debate over the issue in Nebraska, as the territory was filled with settlers from the Midwest, where there was no slavery. In Kansas, the situation was much different. Although most of the settlers were anti-slave or abolitionists, there were many pro-slave Missourians lurking just over the border. When residents in the territory voted on the issue, many fraudulent votes were cast from Missouri. This triggered the massive violence that earned the area the name "Bleeding Kansas." Both sides committed atrocities, and the fighting over the issue of slavery was a preview of the Civil War.
Kansas remained one of the most important political questions throughout the 1850s. Each side drafted constitutions, but the anti-slave faction eventually gained the upper hand. Kansas entered the Union as a free state; however, the conflict over slavery in the state continued into the Civil War. Kansas was the scene of some of the most brutal acts of violence during the war. One extreme example was the sacking of Lawrence in 1863, when pro-slave forces murdered nearly 200 men and burned the anti-slave town.
On this day in 1973, former President Lyndon Baines Johnson dies in Johnson City, Texas, at the age of 64.
After leaving the White House in 1968, L.B.J. returned to his beloved home state, Texas, with his wife, Ladybird, and immersed himself in the activity dearest to him: ranching. Although ostensibly retired, L.B.J. kept up a busy daily schedule reminiscent of his days in the White House. His biographer, Doris Kearns, observed Johnson going about ranching duties with the same intensity he had once displayed at work in the Oval Office. At morning meetings on the ranch, Johnson instructed each hand to make a solemn pledge that you will not go to bed tonight until you are sure that every steer has everything he needs. We've got a chance of producing some of the finest beef in this country if we work at it.and if we treat those hens with loving care we should be able to produce the finest eggs in the country. Each night he found not presidential briefings on his bedside table, but reports he had ordered on the ranch's daily production of eggs. To Kearns, Johnson's obsession with his hens' inability to produce as many eggs as he expected contained a hint of the frustration he had once experienced in trying to win an apparently un-winnable war in Vietnam.
Beneath the bustle, Johnson remained, in his own words, miserable. For a man who had wanted to carve out a legacy as the creator of a Great Society in America, his disappointment that his part in escalating the Vietnam War overshadowed his other accomplishments was immense. Johnson's record included successful social and economic reforms such as the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, improvements in housing and urban development and strong support for America's space program, but these seemed to be forgotten as public criticism of the war dogged L.B.J. into retirement and even beyond the grave.
On the day of Nixon's second inaugural celebration, Johnson watched sullenly as Nixon announced the dismantling of many of Johnson's Great Society social programs and, the next day, that he had achieved the ceasefire in Vietnam that had eluded Johnson. Johnson had reportedly predicted that [when the Great Society] dies, I, too, will die. The following day, while Ladybird and their daughters were in Austin, Johnson suffered a fatal heart attack at his ranch in Johnson City.
On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.
In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Still others hid inside the United States. In addition to those who avoided the draft, a relatively small number--about 1,000--of deserters from the U.S. armed forces also headed to Canada. While the Canadian government technically reserved the right to prosecute deserters, in practice they left them alone, even instructing border guards not to ask too many questions.
For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were formally accused of violating draft laws, while government officials estimate another 360,000 were never formally accused. If they returned home, those living in Canada or elsewhere faced prison sentences or forced military service. During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon draft dodgers as a way of putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past. After winning the election, Carter wasted no time in making good on his word. Though many transplanted Americans returned home, an estimated 50,000 settled permanently in Canada, greatly expanding the country's arts and academic scenes and pushing Canadian politics decidedly to the left.
Back in the U.S., Carter's decision generated a good deal of controversy. Heavily criticized by veterans' groups and others for allowing unpatriotic lawbreakers to get off scot-free, the pardon and companion relief plan came under fire from amnesty groups for not addressing deserters, soldiers who were dishonorably discharged or civilian anti-war demonstrators who had been prosecuted for their resistance.
Years later, Vietnam-era draft evasion still carries a powerful stigma. Though no prominent political figures have been found to have broken any draft laws, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Vice-Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney--none of whom saw combat in Vietnam--have all been accused of being draft dodgers at one time or another. Although there is not currently a draft in the U.S., desertion and conscientious objection have remained pressing issues among the armed forces during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On this in 1981, Ronald Reagan, former Western movie actor and host of television's popular "Death Valley Days" is sworn in as the 40th president of the United States.
More than any president since the Texas-born Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan's public image was closely tied to the American West, although he was raised in the solidly Midwestern state of Illinois. In the 1930s, Reagan moved to California, where he became a moderately successful Hollywood actor. Thereafter, he always considered himself a true westerner in spirit.
Reagan's image as a westerner was reinforced by his acting career. Although he acted in other genres as well, many of Reagan's movies were B-grade Westerns like "Law and Order," in which he played a sheriff who was the only law "from Dodge City to Tombstone!" When his movie career waned, Reagan made the transition to television as a host of the hugely popular showcase for western stories, "Death Valley Days."
Reagan's film and TV career not only won him public-name recognition but also helped establish his enduring "good-guy" reputation. A few of Reagan's roles in non-western movies included men of questionable character, but in Westerns he usually played the brave and wholesome sheriff or cowboy who killed the outlaws, saved the school marm, and brought justice to the Wild West. Though it is difficult to estimate exactly how important such positive roles were for his subsequent political career, surely Reagan's "white hat" movie image helped win him some confidence and votes.
Reagan's politics also increasingly reflected the mythic western image of rugged independence and self-reliance. Although he had been a liberal New Deal Democrat as a young man, by the 1950s, Reagan had become a hard-line conservative. As president of the Screen Actor's Guild (1947-52, 1959-60), he won national attention as an outspoken anticommunist, and he began to view even the mild federal socialism of the New Deal as destructive to individual initiative and freedom. Switching his allegiance to the Republican Party, Reagan won two terms as governor of California (1967-75), where he gained a devoted national following that helped him win the presidency.
During his eight years as president of the United States (1981-89), Reagan redefined the center in American politics, moving it away from the liberal Democrats and towards the conservative Republicans. Though his days as a western movie star were long past by then, Reagan continued to celebrate the mythic independence of the western pioneer as a parallel to modern conservatism. To drive home the point, Reagan made frequent and highly visible retreats to his California ranch, where he rode horses, fixed fences, and cut firewood for the TV cameras. This president, Reagan's actions seemed to say, was a self-reliant cowboy at heart and only a reluctant politician.
After a long struggle with Alzheimer s disease, Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004. He was buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
1705 W 6th St
We offer commnity tours one saturday a month for anyone interesting in visiting our Quality West Wing Museum. If you or your class or community group is interested, please make inquiries on our website. We have a gift shop on site as well as a small patio for children's lunch time.
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