Resolute Desk

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TAKE YOUR PHOTO SITTING AT THE PRESIDENTS DESK!RESOLUTE DESK- The Resolute desk is a large, nineteenth-century partners' desk often chosen by presidents of the United States for use in the White House Oval Office as the Oval Office desk. It was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880 andwas built from the timbers of the British Arctic Exploration ship Resolute. Franklin Roosevelt had a small door built for the gap to prevent people from seeing his wheelchair. Many presidents since Hayes have used the desk at various locations in the White House, but it was Jackie Kennedy who first brought the desk into the Oval Office in 1961 for President John F. Kennedy. It 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, where Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush used it. It is currently in use by President Donald Trump.

After the Resolute was broken up, Queen Victoria asked for several desks to be built from her timbers. Four desks were designed and made by William Evenden. A large partners desk was presented to President Rutherford B. Hayes on 23 November 1880, while a smaller lady's desk was presented to the widow of Henry Grinnell; this desk is now in the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Finally, the queen had two desks made for herself: one similar to the one given to the president and people of the United States, currently in Windsor Castle; and a writing table, which she had made for her private yacht, the HMY Victoria and Albert II. This writing table is in the collection of the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth. 

A plate on the front of the desk presented to President Hayes bears the following inscription: 

H.M.S. RESOLUTE forming part of the expedition sent in search of SIR JOHN FRANKLIN IN 1852, was abandoned (74°N 101.367°W) in latitude 74 degrees 41 minutes N longitude 101 degrees 22 minutes Won 15th May 1854. She was discovered and extricated in September 1855 in latitude 67 degrees N (67°N 58.7°W) 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 has been modified three times. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a hinged front panel for the key hole opening in order to hide his leg braces. The panel features the presidential seal—one of only four in the White House that have the eagle's head turned towards the 13 arrows in the eagle's left talon, as opposed to the now-official arrangement with the eagle turned towards the olive branch in the right talon with the 13 leaves. The second modification was done to raise the desk by adding a separate. uniform base to the desk. called a plinth. The first time a base was made for the Resolute Desk was during the John F. Kennedy Administration. The third modification was to add two inches to the base... Ronald Reagan's knees where to high!

 

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