Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Toasts of the President and the President of Argentina

January 20, 1959

Mr. President, Senors Frondizi, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Something over ninety years ago, there was a very distinguished son of the Argentine who visited President Andrew Johnson. His name was Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. He was a scholar, a statesman, and a patriot. He came to this country as our friend, and we are proud to say that he went back as our greater friend. There was forged between him and between those whom he met a very strong friendship that lasted throughout his life. Subsequently he became President of Argentina, your distinguished predecessor.

Now you, Mr. President, come to meet us as the already freely elected President of the Argentine, and we devoutly hope that you, your lovely Senors, and your party, will go back with the same feeling that Sarmiento had--that you go back better friends of the United States than when you came here.

We feel that the historic friendship between your country and ours cannot fail to be strengthened by this visit, and we very much hope that you already have the feeling, here in this country, that feeling that is so graciously expressed in your language, "en su casa."

So, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you will rise to drink with me a Toast to Dr. Arturo Frondizi, President of the Argentine, and Senora Frondizi.

Note: The President proposed this toast at a state dinner at the White House. President Frondizi responded (through an interpreter) as follows:

Mr. President, Mrs. Eisenhower, Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is with great emotion that I recall the memory which the President has just recalled of the visit to this country of the great Argentine, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. He was a great educator. He was a great statesman. He left here to return to Argentina to preside over the destiny of our country at a time when the whole shape of our nation was in formation. He was a great son of Argentina. He was a great Democrat, and a great Argentine.

It is a particular source of emotion for me to hear President Eisenhower recall the memory of this very great man. I would like also to say at this moment that during my trip to the United States of America--and I believe I am speaking for my wife and all the members of my party--that we have felt here in the United States this warm spirit of friendship which exists between our two peoples.

We at the present time in Argentina are working to consolidate the democratic and free basis of our government, so that people may say of the American continent that it is a continent of brother nations, that it is a continent of freedom of justice and of respect for human dignity.

I would like to say, Mr. President, that the warmth of the welcome that we have received here in the United States--and this is a feeling that we will all carry away with us on our return to Argentina--has been of such a nature that during our visit to this great country, we have not felt that we are in a foreign country, but rather in a sister nation, to which we are joined by closest relations. And we will continue to work for these to be ever closer.

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to join me in Toasting the health, the prosperity, and the happiness of the great American people, and of President Eisenhower and his charming wife.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Toasts of the President and the President of Argentina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235140

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