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Saying "I Do" at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

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Saying "I Do" at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, June 21, 2024 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0376
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Wedding of Lynda Bird Johnson and Captain Charles Robb, December, 1967 (Yoichi R. Okamoto, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum)

Author Coleen Christian Burke takes a look at weddings of presidential family members that reflected a mix of the private, the public, and the political—as well as traditional romantic spectacle.

She focuses on three presidential daughters: Lynda Byrd Johnson in 1967 and Tricia Nixon in 1971, who were both married at the White House, as well as Luci Baines Johnson, whose White House reception followed her wedding at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1966. Nothing short of national events, they shared the 19th-century spirit of the elaborate White House weddings of President Ulysses S. Grant's daughter Nellie in 1874 and President Grover Cleveland in 1886.

Christian Burke details the grandly elegant style of these three celebrations (and the planning they required) with a look at photos, invitations, and memorabilia and examines how the high-profile events played out against the changing cultural and political mores of the day.

In addition, she talks about White House nuptials through history, including the ceremony of the couple who supposedly presented themselves at the White House to be married by President Lincoln. The weddings of presidents and their wives are also described, although they took place well before the couples’ days in the White House. Christian Burke tells stories about the courtships and ceremonies of couples from the Kennedys to the Bidens, sharing a few surprising facts.

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