WILSON ATTENDS BALFOUR'S SPEECH TO MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, May 5, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson attended a speech delivered by A.J. Balfour*, former British premier and head of the British mission to the U.S., to the members of the House of Representatives. Mr. Balfour was the first British official to speak to the body.
President and Mrs. Wilson, in a precedent-breaking move, "slipped in" the executive section of the House gallery.
The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that the audience, which also included the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, "were in constant applause....at times breaking forth into cheers." Mr. Wilson was seen applauding many times during Mr. Balfour's speech.
Mr. Balfour said...
"We all...feel...that this is one of the great moments in the history of the world and that what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic represents the drawing together of great and free peoples for mutual protection against the aggression of military despotism."
*Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) was born in Scotland & educated at Eton, Trinity College & Cambridge. AJB served as Prime Minister of the UK 1902-1905 & Foreign Secretary 1916-1919.
"Balfour Given Wild Applause in House Talk, President Sits in Gallery to Hear Address by British Leader," The Chicago Daily Tribune, May 6, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/
"Arthur James Balfour, 1st earl of Balfour, Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com/