Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The National Armory was the site of the Inaugural Gala for President-elect John F. Kennedy 53 years ago tonight, January 19, 1961.
The show was produced by Kennedy friend and political supporter, Frank Sinatra, who described his role as "the most exciting assignment of my life."
The President-elect had stayed at Mr. Sinatra's Palm Springs home after being declared the winner of the presidential election of 1960 the previous November.
Frank Sinatra was assisted in the production by JFK brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford.
Carl Anthony says that the 1961 Inaugural Gala...
"featured not only a wide variety of types of entertainment but performers more diverse than ever before."
The cast included....
Nat King Cole
The Gala, which was delayed in starting because of a snowstorm that hit the Nation's Capitol that day, included the music of Leonard Bernstein's Orchestra.
The President-elect and Vice-President-elect entered the Armory to the strains of "Anchors Aweigh." The great gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, sang the National Anthem.
Jacqueline Kennedy wore the unforgettable Oleg Cassini "ivory double-faced silk satin" gown with cockade trim. The dress established Mrs. Kennedy's style on the eve of becoming First Lady.
The cockade expressed pride in her French ancestry and love of history. During the American Revolutionary War, General George Washington's soldiers wore black cockades and French General the Marquis de Lafayette wore a black and white cockade.
"The Inaugural Gala That Was," CarlAnthonyonline.com, January 18, 2013.