Philippe Halsman was a renowned portrait photographer who was particularly active in the 40s, 50s, and 60s and most famous for his iconic photos of Salvador Dali and Albert Einstein. For a period in the 1950s, Halsman ended his portrait shoots by asking his famous subjects to jump. The results were disarming.
When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.
Halsman got all sorts of people to jump for his camera: Richard Nixon (above), Robert Oppenheimer, Marilyn Monroe (above), Aldous Huxley, Audrey Hepburn (above), Brigitte Bardot, and the Duke & Duchess of Windsor (above). He collected all his jump photos into the recently re-released Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book.
In 1968, Richard Nixon, then a candidate for President, used backchannel negotiations to scuttle peace talks that may have ended the Vietnam War. Nixon was afraid an end to the war meant an end to his campaign.
By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks — or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had “blood on his hands”.
The war went on for seven more bloody years, most of them under Nixon’s watch. Shameful.
From the comments about this photo on If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger:
Fred: As amusing as that picture is, Tricky was many things, but not a Dope.
Greg: Fred, you’re right of course but unfortunately there wasn’t an eighth dwarf named “Shifty.”
Early in Frost/Nixon, we meet Irving Lazar, who negotiates on behalf of Richard Nixon with David Frost. He didn’t get that much screen time, but Lazar struck me as an interesting character1 so I looked him up on Wikipedia after the movie. Michael Korda, himself a publishing bigwig, wrote a profile of Lazar for the New Yorker in 1993. Korda was befriended by Lazar early on in his career and went on to do many deals with the legendary agent.
Early on, Lazar hit upon three rules that have stood him in good stead for over fifty years. The first was that he could always reach anyone, anywhere, any time. His secret weapon is the world’s largest address book, full of the private, unlisted numbers of people whom nobody else can reach. Who else can pick up the phone and call Mrs. Norton Simon, Jack Nicholson, Barry Diller, Larry McMurtry, Arthur Schlesinger, Richard Nixon, Cher, Gregory Peck, or Henry Kissinger, and get through immediately? The second rule was always to go directly to the top. Lazar doesn’t deal with underlings. The last rule was to insist on a quick answer. Even now, if I tell Irving that I want to think something over or discuss it with someone else he will snap, “Never mind, I can see you’re not interested, I’ll talk to Phyllis Grann.”
 My first impression was, this guy seems a bit like Truman Capote to me. Well, duh: the actor playing him, Toby Jones, also portrayed Capote in Infamous. ↩
You’ve likely seen the famous photo of Richard Nixon with Elvis Presley in the Oval Office. When Nixon Met Elvis is a site dedicated to that short meeting with materials from The National Archives, including the letter written on American Airlines stationery that Elvis personally delivered to a White House security guard, several more photos from the meeting, and the gift that Elvis brought for Nixon (a gun! to the White House!). It’s a really kooky little story. (via hysterical paroxysm)
William Safire, who now does the On Language column for the NY Times, wrote a speech for President Nixon in 1969 in the event that something happened during the Apollo 11 mission to strand the astronauts on the moon.
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
Photographer Philippe Halsman took portraits of people while jumping (the people, not Halsman), as a way to loosen up. Subjects include Marilyn Monroe, Richard Nixon, and the Dule and Duchess of Windsor. (viabb)
David Remnick on the Bush Administration’s sustained assault on the press. “You begin to wonder if the Bush White House, in its urgent need to find scapegoats for the myriad disasters it has inflicted, is preparing to repeat a dismal and dismaying episode of the Nixon years.”
Identity of Deep Throat finally revealed. Mark Felt, who was second in command at the FBI at the time, helped Woodward and Bernstein with their research into Watergate.