JFK WELCOMED FRENCH STUDENTS TO WHITE HOUSE 50 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy spoke to a group of faculty & students of the French Institute of High Studies for National Defense at the White House Rose Garden 50 years ago today, March 25, 1963.
JFK began his talk by referring to a model of the La Flore*, a French ship which was part of the fleet of Charles Henri d'Estaing** & which took part in the American War for Independence.
The President said that he had received the model from Andre Malraux, French Minister of Cultural Affairs, the previous week & the model was on display in the Oval Office "as a welcome reminder of our oldest alliance."
La Flore Model Sent to JFK
by Andre Malraux
JFK Library Image
"We welcome you...as allies & as friends who stand with us...in defense of freedom."
*La flore was a 28 gun frigate with 3 masts which had been built in the U.S. but bought by France in 1784. Mr. Malraux had the model made by the Naval Museum for JFK.
**Admiral Charles Henri d'Estaing (1729-1794) took part in the unsuccessful sieges of Newport, R.I. in 1778 & Savannah in 1780. He returned to France & was executed as part of the Reign of Terror.
Charles Henri d'Estaing
Presents a Palm Frond to 'America'
Library of Congress Image (1780)