tv The Presidency 200 Years of British Irish White House Relations CSPAN June 16, 2018 11:59am-1:00pm EDT
tv, sunday at 2 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable >> so you are afterwards, television and radio host bill french talks about his book, from the left, a life in the crossfire. he is interviewed. >> what is one of the most persuasive guests you have? >> john mccain. , he was aohn mccain maverick, which i like. honest and was willing to take on his own party . i wrote a book critical about barack obama, called buyers remorse. there were some things that i believe barack obama let the progressive side down.
mccain felt that his party was not living up to what he believed the republican party should be, and he would say so. afterwards sunday night on nine eastern on c-span twos book tv. >> next on "the presidency," the opening session of a daylong symposium focused on the history of british and irish connections with the white house. we hear first from the british and irish ambassadors to the united states, and then kathleen burke from the college of london. the white house historical association hosted this hour-long event. >> thank you for joining us this morning. delighted to welcome you to the united kingdom and ireland in the white house. the white house historical association, as many of you know, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established to enhance the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the executive mansion. it was founded in 1961 by first
lady jacqueline kennedy and since then has pursued an educational mission reflected in public programs, exhibitions, publishing and research. introducing a wide audience to the rich history of the white house requires looking well beyond our nation's capital, and well beyond the borders of united states if self. that's why we have cultivated partnerships to make white house history more accessible to many around the world. in 2016, we held at the first of our internationally themed symposiums, which explored italy's ties to the executive mansion. in 2017, our event focused on the influence of france. today, we look at the enduring legacy of ireland and great britain. in the white house itself, there -- bears witness to the deep connection of our countries. consider the record for the most state visits for any country, 24, is a distinction held by the united kingdom.
this is an impressive statistic and reflects our special relationship, but you cannot ignore the amazing diplomatic feat of ireland, not that there is any rivalry here. [laughter] >> i will note the irish have cleverly found a way to find an official white house visit every year with every president. they are welcomed not only at the white house but also at a celebratory luncheon on capitol hill every st. patrick's day. it turns out the key to access in washington is to arrive with a crystal bowl of fresh shamrocks. these friendships make it particularly exciting to have today's symposium. it will highlight britain and ireland's contributions to the white house's art and architecture, we will explore the fascinating histories between our countries and sample food, music and in the afternoon, spirits will be served. i have not been told if that is afternoon irish time, or
washington time, but we will work it out. [laughter] >> there's also an interactive component. charles jones, a stonemason from edinburgh, is at work carving a double irish rose in the courtyard. it will be sent to the white house visitor center where it will be seen by visitors from around the world. i would urge you, i looked at it already, but i would urge you to check the progress through the day. i hope he finishes before we start serving spirits. [laughter] >> this is done in tribute of the scottish stonemasons, their history is very much part of today's program. i was asked to tell you, i was particularly intrigued in reading a story of a master stonemason from edinburgh, scotland, to oversee the stonework for the capital and the white house feared it turns out for some reason, he and the
irish architect overseeing construction of the building did not get along. in july, 1795, the architect wrote a letter to george washington, complaining, "i have been favored with a site of a letter to the secretary of state in which many things are said foreign to the truth with respect to the work done at the president's house and the capital." i was intrigued because it may be an early example of a leaked document, and perhaps the first time someone called fake news. but they did it so well, or into to the truth. the stonemason wrote to george washington to complain as well, saying "i would not have taken the trouble of writing you is it -- had it not been to show how far ignorance gotten the better
of knowledge and experience." williams was ultimately fired , he managed to get himself paid for several months. there you have it, jockeying for favor, inefficient government spending, it's good to see things haven't really changed. [laughter] >> but there you have it, the captivating real-life details of the men and women over the centuries who left their mark on the white house and our country is what we will celebrate today. to join the celebration, we are honored to have the ambassadors of our symposiums respective country, ambassador of the united kingdom, and accomplished of the men who has served as ambassador to the united states for the last two years. following him, we will hear from the ambassador of ireland to the united states, who has served his country in a variety of roles and ambassadorships, including ambassador to the united kingdom. please join me in welcoming the ambassador to the united kingdom, followed by the ambassador to ireland. [applause]
>> thank you very much for that introduction. good morning, everyone. i'm going to start by thanking the white house historical association for their work in putting together this wonderful symposium that explores the centuries of links between the white house, the u.k. and ireland. and let me just say, we are not in the least bit envious of that extraordinary diplomatic coup of st. patrick's day every year. [laughter] >> not at all, we are thrilled at your success. [laughter] >> i should also say at the outset, i have to acknowledge the history of the u.k. and the white house is not exactly perfect. [laughter] >> there were certain unfortunate events in 1814 which i think were largely down to overenthusiasm. [laughter]
>> i think it is extraordinarily generous of you to be holding an event which effectively celebrates u.k. links with that iconic building. extraordinarily generous. we have all of the appropriate gratitude for the generosity of spirit. moving swiftly on from 1814, i a couple ofght say words about british as others to the white house. there have been hundreds of them from the queen to the beatles and every british prime minister look forward to his or her first white house visit. the first time i got to the white house was when i was working as an advisor for david cameron. four golfers, i guess it is winning an open championship, for actors, it is appearing on the west end or broadway, but for diplomats, it is walking
across the threshold into the white house and even more into the oval office. you feel if you do that, you can die happy. anyway, the british prime minister who i suspect would approve this, who spent the most time in the white house was i think winston churchill, because in 1941, he paid a 24 day visit to the white house. it is impossible in modern diplomacy to imagine a 24 day visit anywhere. a 24-hour visit is hard enough. indeed, churchill thought of the white house as a second home. he said, "we live here as a big family in the greatest intimacy and informality, and i have formed the highest regard and admiration for the president." looking carefully at the record, i am not sure every element of that was entirely reciprocated. [laughter] >> i imagine you have heard the
story of churchill on the 1942 visit, being discovered by president roosevelt's wife, churchill was wandering toward the roosevelt private quarters in the white house with a cigar in hand at 3:00 in the morning. it was apparently at this time the president became convinced the white house needed a guesthouse just a little separate from the main building. [laughter] >> hence, blair house. so we have contributed in many ways to the evolution here. [laughter] >> we have also felt part of the design team. designing the building, a british architect not only worked on the capital, but st. john's episcopal church and white house. i am sure you will hear more about that later today, and
there is british history everywhere you look. from the scottish stonemasons carved double roses into the iconic columns, to the resolute desk, a gift from queen victoria which has been used by pretty much every president in the last century. we are very proud of the role the u.k. has had in building and rebuilding the white house, but we are most proud of the relationships we have built within the halls. from the foundations to the furniture, this collaboration of british and american design has symbolized the special relationship, bringing us closer on every level from global security, trade investment, education, research and culture. we are grateful to this wonderful country for allowing us to play a part in the history of this iconic building, arguably the most famous building in the world. we look forward to many more
years of history and friendship between the united states and united kingdom, and thank you again to the white house historical association for this event. now over to my colleague, my friend and tennis partner. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you all for being here and the interest you have shown in this topic of the u.k. and ireland connections with the wonderful white house. i just want to say this building here reminds me of the fact that the man who had it built was a pupil of commodore john barry, who was the irishman from my neighboring county who was the founding father of the american navy.
there is a connection there with ireland as well in this wonderful place. it's my first time being here, i hope i can come back again, i hope you invite me again. i want to talk a little bit, it is a pleasure to be here of course, and thank you to the white house historical association for organizing this event. it is an organization founded during the presidency of the quintessential irish-american president, john f. kennedy, whose family also came from county wexford, like john barry. i will talk a little bit about james hoban, not that i am an expert, that he is also from the southeast of ireland, about 25 miles from where i grew up in waterford. if you think about john barry and the kennedys and james hoban and myself, we come from the same corner of ireland.
not that many immigrants into the united states came from there, most of them came from the west of ireland, the counties on the atlantic aboard, which were the ones who generated the greatest push toward immigration. i find james hoban's story -- he was the man who built and help to rebuild, i wasn't going to mention the thing in between,. i was going to ask you what it might have been. [laughter] >> kim revealed that secret, so i can say that james hoban helped to rebuild the white house. he also was involved in the building of the capitol and was a major figure in the creation of washington, d.c., this wonderful city that i now have had the privilege of living in for the past eight months. i found james hoban's story to be implemented of the story of irish america. he was born in ireland in 1775. the 18th century was not a good
century for the majority of irish people, and many people at that time who had an irish identity or background felt they needed to find opportunities, to go abroad and further themselves. many of them joined the army's of the catholic powers of europe, where they were welcome and played significant roles. i was in new orleans recently and the first spanish governor of new orleans, when the spanish took over from the french in the 1760's was a man called alejandro o'reilly. [laughter] >> born in dublin, joined the spanish service. many irish people at that time had felt the need to go abroad to better themselves. the same was true of james hoban.
he came to america in the 1780's. he found opportunities in america that would not have been available to him in ireland at that time because of his background, because he did not have a privileged background that was essential in 18th century ireland if you were going to rise to the top of the professional and social ladder. so he found opportunities in the united states and he became the architect of the white house, what about that? a man who started his life in an ' cottageral laborers became the architect of the world's most iconic building. that demonstrates the opportunities that irish people were able to avail of in the united states in the 18th century, 19th century and 20th century. the united states became a haven for irish people. of course, for the most part, we
were not involved in the 19th century in the high politics of the united states or the white house. but it is true that gradually, like james hoban, the irish who came here and perhaps entered america at the bottom of the social ladder, climbed the ladder steadily and successfully, and by the 1860's, there was a book published recently by an irish journalist who runs some newspapers in new york called "lincoln and the irish," and he demonstrates just how many irish people lincoln had around him. the people who looked after security in the white house at that time were irishman. his valet. he had people named o'leary and mcgee. some of his non-irish staff
complained that the place had been taken over. [laughter] >> lincoln seemed to enjoy the company of irish. that is the story of irish america, of those who came in conditions of strife and deprivation and who found a way forward for themselves, found good lives and careers in the united states and also made a huge contribution to the life of this country and made it what it is today. we now have some 35 americans who identify themselves in the census as irish-americans, and this is a huge advantage to ireland. it is that fact rather than excellence of irish the policy -- diplomacy that explains our annual visit to the white house. i have had the privilege of a
accompanying our prime minister on his first visit to the white house for st. patrick's day this year, it was my first visit, and we were going through the experience for the first time together. it was a marvelous occasion, one of the highlights of my career to be in the white house and be accompanied our prime minister. but those visits take place on the shoulders of those 33 million irish-americans. and the tens of millions who went before them who gradually established a position for the irish community in united states, and in the 1960's, a man of exclusively irish blood, john f. kennedy, became president of the united states. i can remember john f. kennedy's visit to ireland in 1963, and it really did give ireland a lift because we saw a man who was exclusively irish in his heritage, his eight great-grandparents were all irish.
he was someone who demonstrated to us that the irish could achieve anything, that if someone could rise to the top of the political tree in united states and become the most powerful man in the world, there was no limit to what modern ireland could achieve. the modern irish links we have with the united states are extremely important. they come to the for every year at st. patrick's day, but throughout the year, we have strong economic, political and cultural links with the united states. it is something that i think is going to grow and develop in the future, because these days the relationship between ireland and the united states is a two-way relationship. it used to be that we were relying on the united states for various things, investment, political support, and i have to say that over the years, successive presidents, starting with jimmy carter, ronald reagan, bill clinton, so forth,
all played a role in encouraging the process of peace in northern ireland. that peace process, 20 years old this month, has a strong american stamp on it and irish america as well. i think the future for our relations, i hope we continue to have our annual pilgrimage to the white house for st. patrick's day. it would not be the same really without the white house visit. for the last 40 years, no irish prime minister has been st. patrick's day in ireland, imagine that. [laughter] >> but thank you to the hospitality you have extended to my predecessors and prime s over decades. it was the first irish ambassador to the united states in 1950 who was the chief architect of the irish constitution. the first irish ambassador to
the united states. he was the one who initiated this wonderfully brilliant practice of handing over a bowl of shamrocks to the american president in the early 1950's. that tradition has developed and it is now a mainstay of our diplomatic effort throughout the year. as a final point, i unveiled a monument to john last week, which is in my garden at the embassy residence in washington. the reason i did it is because he was the architect of the irish constitution, and also from my home city. [laughter] >> thank you very much. [applause] >> good morning to you all. i am dr. curtis sandberg, i direct the national center for white house history here. all of us, we are delighted to
welcome you to the white house symposium. as we move through the day, a quick map before we start. you will hear from distinguished speakers, each of whom will share thoughts respectively on 200 years of the united kingdom and ireland and the white house, the central role of james hoban on white house design. you have seen the impact of the scottish stonemasons. this afternoon, influences of decorative arts from the u.k. and the u.s. perspective. at the end of the program after lunch, we will get back together, all of the speakers, including our impressive luncheon speakers, and in a moderated panel, talk, share thoughts and engage with you. the group and the associations historians worked really closely with various experts that you will meet today.
we discussed their respective areas, we consider the flow of history, culture, shared experiences that linked england, ireland and scotland from early times to the present. without further ado, our first speaker is dr. kathleen burke, a professor of contemporary history at university college london, and she will lead us through the 200 years of u.k. and irish connections with the white house. what she will do is set the stage for all of the symposium elements to follow. very briefly, professor burke hails from california, which some of us are very happy about. she settled in the u.k. as a graduate student and liked it and stayed. she has had a distinguished career as a scholar, author, and has a specialization in anglo-american relations. she also brought some sparkling wine from sussex.
please join me in welcoming dr. burke. [applause] >> i can either read my paper or i can see, i cannot do both, so i have opted to take a look at my paper. it is a pleasure to be here in the decatur house, which i had never seen before this visit. he played his own part in the angle american relations in the war of 1812, as did his father in the revolutionary war. may is a nice month to be in washington, unlike some of the summer months for those of us who are not keen on heat and humidity. it was so awful before the advent of air conditioning that the british foreign office humidity. paid slightly more for its officials to be here than in any european capital.
but the weather in washington, whether rain, wind, snow or sunstroke, has not prevented official visitors from visiting washington and the white house. i'm going to see if i can work this now. no. ok. not technologically superior, i fear. the first occasion of an official british visit was indeed, took place on the 24th of august, 1814, when the british, under the command of major general robert ross, burned parts of official washington, including the capital building, naval yard and president's mansion, known after it's repainting as the white house. this was also the first official visit i was aware of by an irishman, because general roth came from county down.
now -- before emotions become too heated, i should point out americans had done precisely the same thing the year before, when on the 27th of april, 1813, they invaded, looted and burned the capital of canada, which is now toronto. during the week the americans were there, they burned the parliament building and the governor's house, the equivalent of the capital and the white house, which would of course not have contributed to british restraint the following year. relations could only get better, although not only to the extent of a full-blown war did not break out. americans invaded canada a dozen times in the 19th century, and conflict repeatedly broke out over the border. american filibusters went over the border to join rebels and -- in the canadian rebellion of
1837 and 1838, and who can forget the lumberjack or pork and beans war of 1838 and 1839? or the great pig war in puget sound? 1872. conflict came close over the oregon territory. remember the cry from senator alan, which would have essentially grabbed british columbia for the u.s. and claims and counterclaims during the u.s. civil war. on the whole, americans were much more anglo phobic during the 19th century than the british were anti-american. it was a habit, and habits don't change unless there is a reason. it is within this context that the first royal visit to the u.s. took place in 1860.
james buchanan, president from 1857 until 1861 had spent the years from 1853 until 1856 as the american minister to great britain. while in london, he and his niece were often entertained by queen victoria and her family, and the relationship was reportedly friendly. therefore, when president buchanan learned the queen was sending the prince of wales, later king edward the seventh, to tour canada, he wrote to her, inviting the prince to come to the u.s. the queen was happy to accept, and on the third of october 1860, he arrived for a three-day visit to washington, accompanied by older, sensible men. his duty was to keep the rebellious, independent prince under some control. by the time the prince of wales reached washington, he had
already visited seven american cities where he had been received with curiosity and goodwill. the prince himself and five members of his entourage stayed in the white house while the remainder stayed in the british embassy. the prince stayed in the north room over the small dining room. it was later named the prince of wales bedroom. five years later, president lincoln's body was laid out there. during the kennedy administration, it was transformed into the president's dining room. on the second day of the visit, a large public reception was held in the east room at 12:00. according to the correspondent of a new york newspaper, "into
that room, heard pelmell, children, rowdies and drivers. no telegraphic statement can do justice to the inexcusable lack of prearrangement for the preservation of decency. all bow to the prince and he returned their salutation. the president shook hands and heard everybody a as quickly as possible. another newspaper took a different view saying that the prince was able to form a good idea of the form of presidential receptions. the freedom from stilted adequate -- etiquette that allowed a freedom of the quality from social distinctions. this showed enthusiasm and curiosity. nice took --'s niece took the prince to an all
girl school for tennis. this was followed by a firework show. that, thee -- after english party was allowed to retire and fall into their beds. the final event took place the following day and this was replicated more than once. a trip down the potomac to visit mount vernon. at the president's order the press is to be suppressed. the englishmen were taken on a tour of the house which the prince did not find impressive as he wrote to the queen, "the house in itself is unfortunately in very bad repair and is rapidly falling into decay." oh dear me. there is the east room. --t is the problem, best
this does not seem to be working. this is the prince at the grave. graveisited washington's and, at the request of the president, the prince planted a horse chestnut tree although it the one that he is not who actually got his hands dirty. that he was off to philadelphia, boston, and new york where an ball had a all -- floor collapsed. cheering crowds pushed and shoved to catch a glimpse. the duke of newcastle compared the crowds to madness. a popular humorist compared -- said that "he would consider himself a lucky lad if he escapes a nomination for president." the next royal visitor was another prince of wales, this time the future kid at -- king edward the eighth. his tour came after a tour of
canada and he reached the u.s. in mid-november and 1919. -- mid-november 1919. he too visited washington's grave and planted -- and placed a wreath. the prince came to the white house to have tea with mrs. wilson and her daughters. since wilson was recovering from found himthe prince propped up in the same bed that father,ce of wales, his had slept in and in 1860, a coincidence that delighted him. he asked about wilson's health. the two of them discussed the prince's experience in the u.s.. wilson's doctor stated that wilson's had been improved as a result of it. before continuing with the visit
century, i would like to make some general comments. first, the visits of british royalty were taken as a type of propaganda and to mobilize american public republic -- opinion for the united states. the royals do not negotiate. -- britishrison prime minister's work for policy reasons including to establish a personal relationship with a new president and are used to discuss issues with the president or relevant officials. seldom theouse is host institution, that is frequently the venue for negotiations. the irish free state and and prime presidents ministers combine public opinion and policy discussions. , theu might imagine
unification of ireland, until the negotiations leading to the good friday agreement on the 10th of april, 1998, a prime topic for both. the visitor of prime minister ramsay macdonald is a quintessential example of a policy visit. during the 1920's, anglo-american relations were at their most hostile of any period . the crux was the two navies. that theyh believed needed a large navy in order to protect the sea lanes of the empire and their trade routes. while she had the largest merchant navy it was almost twice the size of the merchant marine. largestalso the world's importer, needing to import all of her oil and much of her food. vulnerable to a blockade
as the germans had nearly 1418eded in doing in the war, strangling her with submarines. e u.s., self-sufficient -- self-sufficient in oil and food were not dependent on imports. the u.s. navy was smaller than the royal navy, but the americans believed that they could use their potential and threatening power to compel the british to recognize america's right to neighborly quality. sawu.s. board of the navy the 1927 arms limitation conference called by calvin coolidge as an opportunity to reinvigorate the public's interest in building ships. they and the british navy interest group believed that america deserved the navy as large as great britain. the american navy saw great
britain as a likely and formidable foe. they wanted the size of the royal navy cut down. there was a strong party believing in the limitation of armaments. at this july 1920 seven congress, the british behaved in a manner, first conceiving parity and then withdrawing their agreement which convinced a manic it -- americans that the built the- had out royal navy. it called for congress to authorize 71 new battle cruisers . on armistice day he publicly condemned the british and called for american naval safir it -- the. already. the british government -- and called for american naval supremacy. the british government reeled. the british government decided to sort out anglo-american
antagonism. is faced with a phenomenon for which there is no parallel in our modern history. a state 25 times as large, five times as wealthy, three times as ambitious ande as almost invulnerable and are equal in prosperity, technical equipment and industrial science." because war was not unthinkable between the two countries. on the contrary "there are present all the factors that have made for war between states." prime minister baldwin spencer dropping private and public hints that he would like to visit the u.s. and heat lost the what -- the next general election. it was prime minister may donald it was crocker -- it
was prime minister mcdonald who came to the u.s.. the president wanted to spend as little money as possible on the armed forces and the two sides came to an agreement. interestingly, the 90 guests included the minister of the irish free state and i wonder if they met. this was the first visit of a british prime minister to the white house, the first of nearly 100 since then. this meeting cemented an emerging american -- anglo-american partnership. during the 1930's, the u.s. increasingly turned inward. one reason, was that the americans had been disappointed from their experience -- by their experience from the first world war. at least as important was that
the -- that they were suffering a depression. the 1930's the u.s. hardly had a foreign policy. the british could not withdraw from the world, they were alarmed by the rise of japan and tried to convince the u.s. that their interest were threatened. ity were ignorant, whether was the warnings over the manchurian crisis or the crisis in 1930 seven, when the japanese shot up an american ship and machined gunned the americans in the water. of -- theecretary comment from the undersecretary was that it was university -- universally assumed that the americans would never use force. the member of a british cabinet said "you'll get nothing out of washington but words." darkened, the
urgency to only can the americans increased. preparedsh were not for war and the imperial general staff had told the cabinet that they urgently had to hold off war in till september 1939 when the radar system would be in radar systeml the would be in plate. armament had not per mike -- provided enough guns, ships or ammunition. canadian prime minister mackenzie king mentioned to president roosevelt that king george the sixth was to canada.ng a visit roosevelt wanted to improve public opinion towards the british. many americans were isis late -- isolationists and default into anti-british. anticipated war and the u.s. had to be in alliance with the british.
the occasion for the visit was provided by the 1939 world's fair. in june, king george the sixth and queen elizabeth paid the first visit to the united states by a reigning monarch. it is -- it illustrates propaganda and mobilization themes. and queen were greeted by president roosevelt in union station on the ninth of june. they traveled to the white house where they were to stay the night in the rose bedroom. the queens'-- bedroom. now which bedroom is that. sorry, i have my reading glasses on. does that look like a nice bedroom? [laughter]
they attended a reception at the british embassy, and that is the british ambassador. they visited the capital and were the guests of honor in this state dining room. as it normally. ands it normally appeared, as it was set for a dinner -- a state dinner in 1961 is the best i could do. for this dinner we have the menu, clam cocktail followed by terrapin, with cornbread followed by cram -- boned capon with cranberry schauss -- cranberry sauce followed by simple salad and dessert courses, on which history appears to be silent. the following day they sailed down the potomac to mount vernon. they did not visit washington's
grave. they went to arlington cemetery where the king later date -- laid a wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier. --y traveled by train to you new york where they briefly fair andhe world's were driven to hyde park. they had an informal dinner after which the king and the president stayed up late discussing the crisis in europe. apparently the president thought that war was inevitable while the king thought it might be averted. sadly, the president was the better forecaster because, fewer than three months later, the united kingdom and empire were at war with germany and with italy and japan. the following day, the two couples, the president's mother and 150 guest enjoyed a hot dog
picnic. it occasioned the 1939 equivalent of a media frenzy. after which the president drove the two couples around hyde park. this is a memorable drive who later claimed that the president did not look at the road while driving at high speeds and it was more frightening than the blitz. that evening he drove them to station way -- railway and -- which took them back to canada and thence to the boat where they sailed back home. , if notfficult impossible, to ascertain the importance of this visit. it was a roaring success in establishing personal relationships and stimulating .avorable media coverage
but did it influence of votes or make it easier for americans to eschew neutrality? wasw months ago i interviewing a former british impact -- ambassador and i asked what impacts anglo-american visits had. he felt silence and then talked about how the american people like the royals and that this interest and affection can only help to support the alliance. it is clear that, without public support, any alliance is weekend -- weakened. royal visits increase and america -- increase american supports it is only good. the royals seem to enjoy their visits. prince charles has visited more than 20 times. the second british prime minister to visit the white house did not other to wait for an invitation.
of december, 1941, churchill decided that he would -- across the land tech in order that he and roosevelt could decide -- that he could -- across the atlantic in order that he and roosevelt could set things in motion. it was a surprise considering that the north atlantic was infested with u-boats. roosevelt made the trip and docked at hampton roads on the 25th of december. secretrney had been kept . there was some surprise when his arrival was announced. few were more unpleasantly eleanord than roosevelt. in an article that she wrote she said that her husband had been told to ash had told her to expect guests but not who they when they were arriving. according to her butler, in a
story that is probably too likely -- two good to be true, the president had known about the visit. couldaction was to say i -- you should have told me. if only i had known. roosevelt's response was to turn to the butler and tell him, fields, we have to have dinner ready for 20. mr. churchill and his party are coming to stay with us for a few days. they would be there for over three weeks. mrs. roosevelt put churchill in .he rose suite he rapidly made his personal arrangements clear to the butler, a tumbler of sherry before breakfast, scotch and soda is before lunch, french champagne before dinner and brandy after dinner.
as the prime minister and the president talked, drank brandy and smoked into the small hours did bond them together. fortunately, only his aid and secretary of state at the white house. the other 84 members of the entourage stayed in the british embassy and were their responsibility. unlike theme and -- white house they had had advanced notice. --rchill used the monro room four churchill's -- for roe room wasthe mon made into a map room and the lincoln room was used for his aides. secretaries race back-and-forth from the embassy to the white house. churchill seldom got out of bed before 11:00 a.m..
e breakfasted their -- there and took a nape after launch. his hours were 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. often ranhouse staff into him in his night close. then late nights board roosevelt -- the late nights wore roosevelt out and worried eleanor. their son, eleanor would rage and make hints about going to bed. over the three weeks much was accomplished. the 26th of december, he spoke to a joint session of 19 --ss, but this is the this is the 1940 31. he spoke with such fluency that standing ovation.
the public responded to his charm. he was able to count on the support of american public opinion throughout the war. militaryreed that the would be under the control of a combined chiefs of staff rather the the soldier -- the soldiers of a particular nation what have separate national centers of command. it was agreed that germany would be the initial focus despite pearl harbor. a general military strategy was decided upon. civilian and military, met each other which facilitated working together. the closing cantors pondered the two -- the close encounters bonded the two leaders together that, even when relations were
under stress, they would accommodate each other. churchill and roosevelt visited george washington's grave on new year's day, where churchill laid a wreath. earlierreturning to the custom of official visitors visiting his tomb. the war.during this is the president of liberia in 1943. wide-ranging, interesting and full of ideas and stories and annoying in so many ways. he was always demanding space and staff. in the white house, he appears to have acted no differently. if you were the staff or mrs. roosevelt, you got the short end of the stick. she was a bit frightened of him.
she became so fed up with churchill's wandering in his silk road and one piece suit day and night and running into staff and with feelings intensely annoyed that she had lost control of the running of the house. she wrote that she was an automaton during that period. u.s. purchased the nearby blair house as the official guesthouse. thereafter the white house, with few exceptions was a place for meeting andd official conversations. it was no longer a bed and breakfast. prime ministers margaret thatcher, tony blair and david cameron all stayed in a blair house. queen elizabeth ii stayed at the white house during her state visit in 1957, sleeping in the queens' bedroom.
in 1976, 1991it she stayed at blair house. these four visits were all commemorative. in 1957, it was the focus of the anniversary of the first english-speaking settlement in jamestown. the 1976 visit was a goodwill tour during the bicentennial celebration -- celebrations. we are still at liberia, blair house. you should tell me when this doesn't click. yes, the queen. this is a whole screen shot from c-span. she has just finished speaking and does not look her normal happy person. but she looked her normal, happy
person when she was speaking. the 1991 visit saw the queen giving a joint session of congress. she was the first monarch to do so. the 2007 visit seven ash celebrated the fort hunt -- the 400 visit of the -- the 400 anniversary of jamestown. irish presidents and prime ministers have made more than 50 official visits. in first appearance was 1956, when john costello was in the state over st. patrick's day and gave a similar poll filled with shamrocks -- a similar -- a silver bowl to president eisenhower. it became a tradition, although not necessarily i a visiting head of state -- by a visiting the irishate but by
ambassador. march 1959 saw the first visit by an irish head of state, president o'kelly. he presented eisenhower with shamrocks or did he spent the 19th of march in washington. he was a big hit. mrs. eisenhower and charmed his host with jokes. eisenhower told a rat -- told the jokes around washington for weeks. he was to attend the traditional dinners and, to everyone's amazement, eisenhower insisted on going with him. a tour of america up he drove up broadway with mayor wagner. it was a shock when the iris consulate received a bill for the paper. both presidents and prime
ministers came frequently, and the shamrock ceremony was partially responsible. particularly with reagan, clinton, but with other presidents as well, the ceremony was often combined with a private meeting which gave ireland repeated opportunities. visits to take part in st. patrick's day celebration helped keep the republic's rishaad's -- with it -- wishes in full view. the power and influence of the united states in the relation of u.k. and ireland was manifested by the good friday agreement of 1998. negotiations took place going hips and --inisters
minister -- two prime ministerships. becausehat one striking this was a problem that two sovereign nations seemed unable to resolve and it took the diplomatic and financial aid of a third nation to enable its resolution. i must be the only person who hopes that brexit does not cause the whole thing to unravel, because if it does it is difficult to see what the u.s. could or would do about it. the white house and its various --upants sit in a positioned in a position that is unusual. unlike the united kingdom, ireland, france, or germany, the president is the head of state and government.
in the u.k., visitors go to 10 downing street to meet the head of government and buckingham palace to meet the head of state. in the u.s. they go to the white house for both. it is a beautiful building. it can be a welcoming building. fundamentally it is a powerful building that represent and reflex the american people. thank you. [applause] our nine week series is available as a podcast. you can find it on a website www.c-span.org/history. tv onlyamerican history on c-span3. >> next, joint forces staff college professor keith dixon talks about the early military career of dwight d. eisenhower,