JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1833SINATRA PRESENTS JFK'S INAUGURAL GALA AT THE NATIONAL ARMORY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago this evening, Frank Sinatra presented the Inaugural Gala for President-elect John F. Kennedy at the National Armory* here in the Nation's Capital.
Mr. Sinatra described his assignment to produce the Gala as the "most exciting...of his life." Actor Peter Lawford assisted "Old Blue Eyes" in the production.
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 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" and Mahalia Jackson, sang the National Anthem.
Jacqueline Kennedy wore Oleg Cassini's "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's cast included...
Laurence Olivier, Ethel Merman, Bette Davis, Frederic March, Sidney Poitier,
Anthony Quinn, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Gene Kelly, Nat King Cole,
Jimmy Durante, Harry Belafonte and Milton Berle.
*United States Army National Guard Armory, located at 2001 E. Capitol Street adjacent to RFK Memorial Stadium, is a 10,000 seat arena which opened in 1941 & has been the site of inaugural balls from Truman to Obama.
The Armory was designed by Nathan C. Wyeth.
"The Inaugural Gala That Was," CarlAnthonyonline.com, January 18, 2013.
President and Mrs. Kennedy