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  • Christmas Party for Children of Diplomats, 1965
    James P. Blair
    winter holidays
    parties
    military
    State Floor
    State Dining Room
    Christmas
    Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
    This photograph was taken during a Christmas party held for the children of diplomats on December 29, 1965. Here, army musicians from the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps entertain young guests in the State Dining Room. The party was attended by hundreds of children; many dressed in traditional clothing from their native countries. During the party, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps also performed in the East Room.
  • Blue Room Christmas Tree, 1975
    Joseph H. Bailey
    State Floor
    Christmas
    Blue Room
    Blue Room Christmas Tree
    winter holidays
    This photograph of the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room was taken by National Geographic photographer Joseph H. Bailey on December 16, 1975. In 1975, First Lady Betty Ford selected the theme "An Old-Fashioned Christmas in America," also referred to as "A Williamsburg Children's Christmas" as the theme for the Christmas tree. Colonial Williamsburg staff and volunteers contributed a majority of the nearly 3,000 ornaments that decorated the Douglas fir, using materials such as dried flowers and fruit, acorns, pinecones, straw, and yarn. The Museum of American Folk Art lent the White House ten antique portraits of children to place on the walls of the Blue Room, as well as an assortment of old toys, dolls, cradles, a train, rocking horse, and a wagon to place around the base of the tree.
  • Christmas Party for Children of Diplomats, 1969
    Joseph J. Scherschel
    winter holidays
    State Floor
    State Dining Room
    Christmas
    parties
    This photograph was taken by National Geographic photographer Joseph J. Scherschel on December 23, 1969, during a Christmas party hosted by First Lady Pat Nixon for children of the Diplomatic Corps. The party was coordinated by THIS (The Hospitality and Information Service) for Diplomats, a volunteer organization established in 1961 to support newly appointed diplomats and their families transition to life in Washington, D.C. Approximately 400 children between the ages of four and eleven attended the party. The children were treated to a reception of cookies and punch, and a performance by students from the Washington School of Ballet of selections from Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Here, children enjoy the playful antics of a clown in the State Dining Room.
  • Excerpts from Embassy Youth Concert, November 19, 1962
    Cecil Stoughton
    Cross Hall
    East Room
    State Dining Room
    State Floor
    arts & culture
    parties
    performing
    This black-and-white, silent film contains excerpts from a concert hosted by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the East Room of the White House on November 19, 1962. It also includes scenes of the reception in the Cross Hall and the State Dining Room. The concert was the fifth installment of Mrs. Kennedy's Musical Programs for Youth by Youth. She invited the children of diplomats, Cabinet members, and State Department officials living in Washington, D.C. The concert featured performances by pianist Han Tong-il and the Paul Winter Jazz Sextet. Following the performance, Mrs. Kennedy received guests alongside Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. This was the second program hosted at the White House by Mrs. Kennedy for children of diplomats. For over 25 years, subsequent administrations carried on the tradition of holding a party for the children of diplomats during the holiday season. These parties were coordinated by THIS (The Hospitality and Information Service) for Diplomats, a volunteer group organized by Eleanor Israel in 1961. Israel worked as a special assistant to Angier Biddle Duke, who served as chief of protocol of the United States during the John F. Kennedy administration. Early members of the group included the wives of President Kennedy's Cabinet. For full footage, please see 1130281.
  • Excerpts from Entertainment at Diplomatic Children's Party, 1987
    White House Television Office
    Christmas
    East Room
    State Floor
    parties
    winter holidays
    This film shows excerpts from the entertainment portion of a Christmas party hosted by First Lady Nancy Reagan for the children of diplomats on December 14, 1987. The party was organized by THIS (The Hospitality and Information Service) for Diplomats, a volunteer organization established in 1961 to support newly appointed diplomats and their families transition to life in Washington, D.C. The event featured entertainment by "ALF," the titular character performed by puppeteer Paul Fusco on the American television comedy series that aired on NBC from 1986-1990. This video includes remarks by Mrs. Reagan and was moderated by "Santa Claus," portrayed by NBC "Today" show weatherman Willard Scott. For decades, Scott appeared as Santa Claus for White House holiday parties and the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. For full footage, please see 1130289.
  • Christmas Party for Children of Diplomats, 1975
    Joseph H. Bailey
    State Floor
    Christmas
    Blue Room
    Blue Room Christmas Tree
    parties
    winter holidays
    This photograph was taken by National Geographic photographer Joseph H. Bailey on December 16, 1975, during a Christmas party hosted by First Lady Betty Ford for the children of the Diplomatic Corps. Approximately 463 children from 84 countries were invited to the party, where they enjoyed entertainment by television puppetry personalities Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, clowns from the Social Security Clown Club from the Baltimore Social Security Administration, and an appearance by Santa Claus. The party was coordinated by THIS (The Hospitality and Information Service) for Diplomats, a volunteer organization established in 1961 to support newly appointed diplomats and their families transition to life in Washington, D.C. Here, children are greeted by clowns from the Social Security Clown Club as they admire the official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room. During the 1970s, the Social Security Clown Club also entertained children at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
  • Pat Nixon at Diplomatic Children's Party, 1969
    Joseph J. Scherschel
    winter holidays
    parties
    State Floor
    East Room
    Christmas
    In this photograph, taken by National Geographic photographer Joseph J. Scherschel on December 23, 1969, First Lady Pat Nixon sits with an audience of approximately 400 children during a Christmas party she hosted for children of the Diplomatic Corps. The party was coordinated by THIS (The Hospitality and Information Service) for Diplomats, a volunteer organization established in 1961 to support newly appointed diplomats and their families transition to life in Washington, D.C. During the party, Mrs. Nixon and the children were treated to selections from Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" ballet, performed by 40 students from the Washington School of Ballet.