Thursday, March 27, 2014

King of Morocco


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty one years ago today, March 27, 1963, King Hassan II* of Morocco was welcomed to the United States by President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy at Union Station here in the Nation's Capital.

*King Hussan II (1929-1999) was educated at Imperial College at Rabat and  earned his law degree at the University of Bordeaux. 

 He was King of Morocco from 1961 until his death in 1999.  He survived two assassination attempts in the early 1970s.

King Hussan II of Morocco 
Andrews Air Force Base (1983)
Photo by Felicia L. Wilson

King Hassan was accompanied by his sister, Princess Lalla Nezha.

The King was 33 years old when he made this visit.

He and the Princess brought gifts for the President's and Mrs. Kennedy's children, Caroline and John Jr.

In a brief welcoming ceremony, President Kennedy said...

"Your country was the 1st to recognize the United States in the most difficult days of our revolution (and) President Washington sent (a copy of) our Constitution to your country in 1789.  From that day...(our) ties have been intimate."

Later a dinner was held in honor of the King in the State Dining Room at the White House.

In a toast to King Hussan, the President read the following excerpt from a letter written by George Washington to the King of Morocco in 1789...

"It gives me pleasure to assure Your Majesty that while I remain head of the nation, I shall not cease to promote every measure that may contribute to the friendship and harmony...between your Empire and this Republic."

After the dinner, the film Brigadoon was screened in the East Room.