JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1966JFK AND JACKIE VISITED PARIS 55 YEARS AGO
Paris, France (JFK+50) Fifty-five years ago today, May 31, 1961, President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy were welcomed here in Paris by President Charles de Gaulle. Air Force One touched down at Orly Airport at 10:30 a.m. local time.
In remarks at the airport, JFK said:
"I come from America 'the daughter of Europe' to pay tribute to France, our oldest friend.
Your land has been...the well-spring of western philosophy and ideas--so much so that Benjamin Franklin could say 'every man has two countries: France and his own.'"
JFK and the First Lady then were driven to Quaid d 'Orsay for a luncheon and diplomatic reception.President Kennedy also attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.
In the evening, the President of the United States and Mrs. Kennedy were the honored dinner guests at the Elysee Palace.
At the dinner, JFK said...
"Although I have visited France many times, my preparation for the Presidency did not include acquisition of first hand knowledge of France through diplomacy. I acquired it through marriage instead.*
*Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was of French descent.