Jacqueline Kennedy Entertains: The Art of the White House Dinner



Jacqueline Kennedy Entertains: The Art of the White House Dinner
A Family Guide
Web Sites
Books & Magazines
Diplomacy Challenge
Jimmy Carter Library
& Museum
Cobblestone, Volume 28:
Number 5, Spring 2007
(issue on the life and legacy
of John F. Kennedy).
John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library
and Museum
The White House:
Commander in Chef
(videos on Barney’s Dessert,
State Dinners, Chef’s Hat
and Cooking Disasters)
Tour the White House
Presidential China
The History of State Visits
State Dinner Preparations
Debman, Betty. A Kid’s
Guide to the White House.
Washington, D.C.:
The White House
Historical Association,
1997. (Ages 8-12)
Post, Elizabeth L. and
Joan M. Coles. Emily Post’s
Teen Etiquette. New York:
HarperCollins Publishers,
Young, Bev, Presidential
Cookies, Sacramento, CA:
Presidential Publishing,
World Famous Pastry Chef. Try making a favorite cookie from the Kennedy White
House with your family. Tuiles is the French word
for tiles which these cookies will look like!
Chocolate Almond
Tuiles. (2 dozen cookies)
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup powdered sugar
4 egg whites
½ tsp. almond extract
½ cup cake flour
½ cup cocoa
Young, Bev. Presidential Cookies.
Sacramento, CA: Presidential
Publishing, 2005.
1. Preheat oven to 325*
2. Make a pattern for your cookies by cutting a circle from a thin piece of cardboard or plastic (about 3 ½-inches in diameter).
3. In a bowl, beat butter and sugar into a creamy mixture with an electric mixer on medium
4. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time.
5. Beat in almond extract.
6. Blend flour with cocoa.
7. Add flour and cocoa mixture to butter mixture at low speed until just blended.
Do not overmix it.
8. Chill batter for at least 1 hr.
9. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place your circle pattern on it.
10. Using a small spatula, spread a small amount of batter evenly over the circle. Carefully lift off the circle.
11. Bake only 4 to 6 Tuiles at a time for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are light brown.
12. While the cookies are still warm, bend each one over a rolling pin or glass so that
they resemble curved tiles.
13. Let each cookie cool on the rolling pin for 1 to 2 minutes to harden.
14. Remove and
cool on a wire rack.
15. Serve to your honored guests!
Education Department
Greta Garbo’s Gift
If you said, “a whale’s tooth”,
you’re right! President
Kennedy gave actress Greta
Garbo a “tooth” from his
scrimshaw collection.
It is decorated with a ship
and looks like this:
Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125 617.514.1600
With generous support from:
enned any.
ent an e of your c
The P the pleasu
Jacqueline Kennedy Entertains: The Art of the White House Dinner
When John F. Kennedy was president (1961-1963), he and Mrs.
Kennedy hosted 43 dinners, 113 luncheons and 34 receptions! Many
of these events honored heads of other countries who visited the
United States on diplomatic or state visits.
For each and every occasion, the Kennedys made their guests feel
welcome and at home in the President’s House.
Have you ever been to the White House?
Today you are invited to tour this exhibit as a “dinner guest”
of President and Mrs. Kennedy.
Jacqueline Kennedy Entertains: The Art of the White House Dinner
The Black Watch (the Royal Highland regiment) performs on the South Lawn of the White House.
Exhibit Map
You are invited to join President and Mrs. Kennedy at a state dinner.
The White House Corridor
Jacqueline Kennedy Entertains:
The Art of the White House Dinner
Ace reporter name
As an official ace reporter, you will need your press pass.
Use this map to help you explore the exhibit.
You will find matching numbers in this booklet.
What a great story this
will make for your local
newspaper ~ your visit
to the White House!
As an ace reporter,
you’ll want to keep your
eyes and ears open and
take notes so that you
can share every detail
with your readers back
What will you and your guest wear
to the White House?
Remember this is a special occasion
and you want to look your very best.
Draw yourself and your guest here:
Floorplan of the White House
Welcome to The White House
You arrived by limousine at the North Portico entrance of the White
House. After freshening up, you are escorted to the East Room. A
White House aide announces your name and your guest’s name, too,
as you enter the room.
Are you nervous? Excited? A little bit of both?
Trumpets blare and the Marine Corps Band plays Hail to the Chief.
A color guard marches in followed by President and Mrs. Kennedy.
A White House aide announces, “The President and
Mrs. Kennedy.” A hush comes over the crowded room.
North Portico
State Dining Room
Blue Room
President and Mrs. Kennedy are dressed in formal attire,
he in a tuxedo and she in a gown like the one you see here on display.
(#1 on your map)
They greet you and other guests in a receiving line.
Mrs. Kennedy says, “It’s nice to see you.”
What will you say to her?
To the President?
Can you find Mrs. Kennedy in the large photograph on the wall?
In this picture, Pablo Casals performs for the President and Mrs.
Kennedy, and their guests, Governor and Mrs. Luis Mu ñoz-Marín
of Puerto Rico. What instrument is Pablo Casals playing?
How will you describe what it was like to meet
the President and Mrs. Kennedy?
Courtesy of the White House Historical Association.
East Room
Giving Gifts at the White House
Before dinner, take a peek at the special gifts President and
Mrs. Kennedy presented to visiting heads of state.
You might find something here to report on for your newspaper.
Look for them in the glass cases along this corridor.
(#2 on your map)
The Kennedys favored giving gifts that reflected American
history and culture.
President Kennedy honored Prime Minister Sean Lemass of Ireland
and another U.S. president with this “sharp” present. What is it?
Jacqueline Kennedy sketched out this idea
for a state gift. She came up with the idea
after visiting the Smithsonian Institution’s
mineral exhibitions.
The President also gave Prime Minister Lemass a set of golf clubs!
Find the real gift.
Can you finish drawing this object?
What is it made of?
Who was it given to?
How might it be used?
Why might she have given this present?
This is the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg with President Kennedy.
What gift did the Kennedys present to her?
The Kennedys also received gifts from
visiting heads of state.
Your readers are sure to be
interested in these presents for a
President and First Lady!
This animal’s tusk tells a story.
Each gift represents the giver’s nation.
Three gifts feature animals.
Can you identify the gifts and match
them to the head of state?
These animals could be worn as jewelry.
Emperor Haile Selassie and President Kennedy
Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia
If you were a head of state, what
might you present to the President and
Mrs. Kennedy?
Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa
Balewa of Nigeria
Prime Minister El Ferik Ibrahim Abboud
of the Sudan
You make a note of the fact that all
three nations are located on the continent
This animal wears a crown.
Perhaps like Prince Rainier and
Princess Grace of Monaco, you’d like
to give them a portrait of yourself .
You can draw it here. Don’t forget to autograph it!
Please Be Seated. Dinner is Served.
Another guest mentions that film actress
Greta Garbo received a very unusual present
from the President when she attended a dinner
at the White House.
Find the case on the left side of the corridor with a table
setting. (#4 on your map)
Take your seat at a small table like the one pictured in
the case. You and other guests will dine by candlelight in
the State Dining Room or in the Blue Room. If you are
very lucky, you might be seated at the President’s or Mrs.
Kennedy’s table.
Something about a tooth!
Can you believe your ears?
As an ace reporter, you need to do some
detective work.
Find her thank you letter in the gallery to
the right of the corridor. (#3 on your map)
What did she mean by “the President’s tooth”?
What did President Kennedy give to her?
At your place is a special name card and souvenir menu.
You can write your name in the box.
Turn to the back page to see a picture of this
unusual gift.
After you’ve unfolded your napkin with the presidential
eagle on it and placed it across your lap, you’re ready to
begin a four-course meal.
With the tooth mystery solved, you’re now
ready for dinner!
Notice the decoration on the china.
President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln had this china service
made when they lived in the White House.
Please do not tuck the napkin under your chin!
There is much pleasant conversation.
As you reach for your glass…
Oops! You drop your salad fork.
What country do you think this dessert comes from?
What do you do?
a. leave it on the floor (unless someone will slip on it)
b. ask for another one
c. eat your salad with a spoon
Oh no! In dropping your fork, you spilled food
on the table. You should:
a. brush it onto the floor with your hand
b. scoop it up with a spoon or knife and place it on
the edge of your plate
c. dab it with a wet napkin
Fortunately, a kind waiter helps you and no one notices.
You especially enjoy the dessert!
Which utensils will you use first?
(Check your answers to dining etiquette at the back
of this booklet.)
Jacqueline Kennedy and the new White House chef,
French-born René Verdon, planned this dinner
especially for this evening’s guests including you!
Mrs. Kennedy liked to feature not only American
recipes, but also cuisine -- food dishes -- from around
the world.
Look at the menu.
President Kennedy rises and clinks his glass with a spoon.
He makes a toast to his guests. He ends by saying, “I am
very glad to welcome here some of our most distinguished
artists. This is becoming a sort of eating place for artists...
But, they never ask us out!”
Which ones will you use last?
Everyone laughs!
You make a note that the President has a good sense
of humor!
White House Chef René Verdon
Dinner turns out to
be not at a horseshoe table,
but many little tables, seating
about ten people apiece,
fires roaring in all the fireplaces
…it’s all like having dinner
with friends.
~ Leonard Bernstein,
Everybody at the table
is having fun.
Diana Trilling,
After Dinner Entertainment
Perhaps you’ll mention this event in your article, too!
You can make a sketch here so you’ll remember all of
the details.
Look for the slideshow on the far side of the
gallery. (#6 on your map) Listen.
Do you hear music playing?
You overhear someone say, “Tonight’s entertainment is very special,
but quite different from the outdoor event the Kennedys had for the
King and Queen of Afghanistan.”
Isaac Stern performs for you and other
honored guests.
What instrument is he playing?
What could these guests be talking about?
Can you hear it?
Who else is in the audience this evening?
Walk towards the gown on display in the large case at the end of
the corridor. Along the way, notice the photographs of other special
evenings at the White House. (#5 on your map)
That’s André Malraux, the Minister of
Culture of France, and Mrs. Malraux in the
front row.
How did President and Mrs. Kennedy honor King Zahir and Queen
Homaira of Afghanistan?
This evening’s dinner honors them.
He and Mrs. Malraux gave the President the
ship model, La Flore, on display in the case
nearby. He knew President Kennedy loved
boats and the sea.
Hint: This was a “spectacular” tradition of welcome for important visitors
to Afghanistan.
Your readers will be excited to find out
who else attended this dinner.
Let the U.S. Air Force Strolling Strings serenade
you as you return to the East Room for the evening’s
entertainment. Mrs. Kennedy took great care in
planning tonight’s program. She and the President
hope you and your guest enjoy it!
Someone mentions that the famous aviator
“Lucky Lindy” -- Charles Lindbergh, the
first person to fly solo nonstop across the
Atlantic Ocean in 1927 -- is here, too.
I’ll never forget... the Marine
Band was playing waltzes...
people were kicking up their
heels... just so delighted to be
there...finally recognized as
honored artists of the Republic.
You know, I’ve never seen so
many happy artists in my life.
~ Leonard Bernstein, Conductor
As an ace reporter, you can check the large
seating charts on the wall to either side of the
Is his name here?
Do you or your guest recognize others
at this dinner?
What might you say to them?
After the performance, everyone dances.
No one seems to be dancing the latest dance
craze, the Twist! You hear that at some less
formal evenings, even Mrs. Kennedy, Vice
President Lyndon Johnson, and Secretary of
Defense Robert McNamara danced the Twist.
Do you know how to dance the Twist?
Does your guest?
You may need to ask an older person
to show you how.
A Souvenir for this Evening
Check Your Dining Etiquette!
• Which utensils will you use first? Which ones will you use last?
Use the silverware farthest from the plate first. With each new
course, use the next piece working inward from the far side
towards the plate. The last piece you might use ~ your dessert
spoon ~ may be placed above the plate.
Mrs. Kennedy wanted to capture the spirit of the evening with a memento.
In the case around the corner, find the book she titled Nobel dinner.
(#7 on your map) At a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners ~ international
achievers in science, medicine, and literature, and contributors to world peace
~ she invited guests to sign this blank book that became an autograph book.
She and guests at her table also exchanged autographs on their name cards.
Do you recognize anyone’s name on Mrs. Kennedy’s card?
Hint: A famous astronaut dined at her table. You can see an authentic replica of
his spacesuit in the space gallery. (#8 on your map)
Would you like to add your name to her collection? You can sign it here.
Here are name cards for you with the President’s and Mrs. Kennedy’s
autographs. Maybe your guest would like to sign them, too, as a souvenir of
your visit.
Your host and hostess bid you goodbye and safe travels.
What might you say to them?
As an ace reporter, your day is not over yet!
You scoot back to your hotel to write your story!
• If you drop your salad fork, you should (a) leave it on the floor
unless someone will slip on it, and (b) ask for another fork.
• If you spill food on the table, you should (b) scoop it up
with a knife or fork and place it on the side of your plate.
Activities to do at home:
Ace Reporter. Now you can
write your story. How will you
describe your visit to the White
House? Who was there? What
did you do? What did you
notice about other guests?
Did people have fun?
Will you include drawings or
photographs to help tell your
Mrs. Kennedy’s name card
World’s Best Events Planner.
Choose a president from
history or the future. Create a
state dinner for him or her and
his or her guests. Who will you
invite? What dishes will you
serve? Who will entertain your
guests? Perhaps you’d like to be
President for a Day. Who would
you like to invite to the White
House from another country?
Top Diplomatic Gift Designer.
Create a gift for the leader of
another nation. What natural
or manmade materials will you
use? How will this gift represent
the U.S.?
Chief Designer for White
House China. Create your
own design for a White House
dinner plate. What symbols
and decorations will you use?
You can begin with a heavy
duty paper plate, glue, ribbons,
stamps and other materials. Be
sure to check first with a parent
or adult for help
in collecting the materials
for your plate.