The photo is real and it is not the first time
President Obama or an American President has been caught with his feet on the famous Resolute
Desk which is currently in use in the Oval Office of the White House.
In the United States, the putting of feet on a desk is not automatically
interpreted as a sign of disrespect but placing feet on an American
historical landmark in the most important executive office in the land
is interpreted by many as an entirely different matter.
Etiquette advisor and
expert, Gloria Starr, told
TruthOrFiction.Com that she would view this as inappropriate behavior
and a sign of disrespect of an item valued as part of American history.
The White House
photo below also sparked controversy when it was taken as President Obama was
on the telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
according to a June 10, 2009 Huffington Post article.
Click for article.
President Obama on phone in the Oval
President George W. Bush also put his
feet on the Resolute Desk.
The eRumor refers to the Presidential
desk as the “Resolute Desk,” which is how the famous desk is known.
The desk got its name because it was made of the wood from the
HMS Resolute, a British sailing ship.
In 1852 the HMS
Resolute set off on a 2 - 3 year mission along with four other ships to
the Arctic. This was a mission to investigate the
disappearance of two ships, the Erebus and Terror, which left England in
1845 in search of the North West Passage. As planned, the rescue ship
became trapped by ice twice which carried them closer to their
destination. Eventually, the crew protected the vessel from the
elements and continued on their mission on foot.
The abandoned British
ship that was found 1200 miles from where her crew left her by the U.S.
whaling ship George Henry in 1855. The George Henry crew managed to free the
entrapped Resolute and sailed the salvaged prize back to New England
where she was sold to the American government. As a gesture of peace and
esteem Resolute was repaired, refitted and eventually returned to England.
In 1878 the ship was decommissioned and Queen Victoria ordered a desk to
be fashioned from the wood of the Resolute. She presented this
desk as a gift
to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880.
According to the White
House Museum web site, every president since Hayes has used the Resolute
Desk either in the Oval Office or a private study in the Executive
Mansion with the exception of Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. President
Franklin Roosevelt requested that a panel be installed at the front of
the desk to hide his braces and wheelchair but the panel project was not
finished until after he died. President Truman was in office
when the panel was installed.
Click for White House Museum page on
the Resolute Desk.
The best known photo
of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office shows John F. Kennedy
sitting at the desk with his son, John Kennedy Jr., peeking out from a panel that
was installed to hide President Roosevelt's leg braces and wheelchair.