Letter to President Valery Giscard d'Estaing of France Accepting the Gift for the American Bicentennial.
Dear Mr. President:
I was greatly pleased to receive your letter of June 20 informing me that the people of France will present the people of the United States with a Sound and Light Spectacle for Mount Vernon in commemoration of the Bicentennial of the United States. It is especially fitting that this particular art form, which has been perfected in France for the purpose of dramatizing your country's great historical treasures, be utilized to dramatize one of America's most cherished symbols of its struggle for independence.
In acknowledging this generous gift on behalf of the American people, I join you, Mr. President, in a tribute to the bonds of friendship which have joined our two nations since the 18th Century, and which will continue to link them as we act together to. forge a structure of peace in the years to come.
Note: On the same day, the White House released a fact sheet on the French gift for the American Bicentennial.
President Giscard d'Etaing's letter, dated June 20, 1974, and released with the President's letter, read as follows: My dear President,
The forthcoming celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States stirs in France a popular and loud echo.
We treasure the memory of the historical events which associated closely our nation to the birth and the independence of the United States of America. The friendship which links our two peoples and which has been sustained and strengthened by so many ordeals we have been through side by side originated on the land and sea battlefields of the War of Independence.
As a token of this friendship, I am pleased to let you know that we have decided to offer to the American people a "sound and light" spectacle which would take place from the year 1976 onwards, in Mount Vernon, on the site of the historical mansion of George Washington, which numerous French people, including myself, have visited.
Please accept, my dear President, the assurances of my very high consideration.
VALERY GISCARD D'ESTAING
Richard Nixon, Letter to President Valery Giscard d'Estaing of France Accepting the Gift for the American Bicentennial. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/256092