The plane set to carry French President François Hollande to California from Washington, DC, taxis into position at Andrews Air Force Base.
We’re getting ready for tonight’s state dinner for France here at the White House. White House Chef Cris Comerford and Pastry Chef Bill Yosses are giving you the inside look — from the (very) locally sourced honey, to a paint sprayer just for chocolate (yum).
Crowds braved freezing temperatures this morning on the South Lawn of the whitehouse to watch the arrival of #French President François Hollande.
The first formal visit by the President of a French Republic to the United States was Vincent Auriol in Spring 1951. The trip sought to convince U.S. lawmakers and the public that France was steadily recovering from wartime destruction, thanks to Marshall Plan aid, and reinforce the Fourth Republic’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance.
President Auriol took daily English lessons to prepare for his visit because, according to the New York Times, he wanted to “speak at least a few words of English in each of the many talks he expects to make in the United States, notably in an address he will make before a joint session of Congress.”1 In March 1951, Auriol sailed for New York from Le Havre aboard the Ile de France with his wife, son, and Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, among others.2 The French presidential party landed in New York then took a train to Washington D.C.’s Union Station on March 28.
Auriol made another notable “first” when he became the first French head of state to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on April 2. He was also awarded the Legion of Merit, Degree of Chief-Commander, by President Harry Truman. Returning to New York on April 2, Auriol received an honorary doctorate from Columbia University. On Wednesday, April 4, the Auriols visited Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park, NY, and presented her with the Order of Commander of the Legion of Honor before sailing for France that evening.
View the video retrospective of French presidential visits to the United States via France’s Institut National Audovisuel (INA).
The White House will be hosting French President François Hollande for a State Dinner that celebrates the best of American cuisine. Go behind the scenes on the White House Blog as they prepare!
Secretary Kerry is on travel to Paris, France to attend the London 11 Ministerial to coordinate with key international partners on Syria in advance of the Geneva II conference.
Learn more about his trip at http://go.usa.gov/ZGpw.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits with French Minister Laurent Fabius before a bilateral meeting on the margins of talks focused on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, Geneva, Switzerland, November 23, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
Secretary Kerry participates in a joint press availability with Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah in Paris, France on October 21, 2013.