Christmas Party for Children of Diplomats, 1975
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.