Jimmy Carter photo

White House Promenade Remarks at the Reception for Members of Congress and Their Families

May 20, 1978

While you're getting settled, let me say the napkins and tablecloths were designed by Calvin Klein, and they are yours to take with you. We want you to remember this evening, and we'll remember it, too.

First of all, let me say that for Rosalynn and for Amy and for me, this is a wonderful occasion. We have the advantage as a family, along with Chip and Caron and Jeffrey and Annette and James, to live very close to where I work, which is over here in the Oval Office.

Many Members of Congress, however, don't have that easy a time being close to your families. And we thought it would be a very appropriate thing to have a family evening. God gave us beautiful weather and an almost full Moon that's coming up at the right time, and we are very delighted to have you here.

I might say that the evening has already been memorable because of the weather and the companionship. But the most exciting part of it is still to come.

A man who has played more good music for more Americans than anyone who's ever lived is here to conduct the finest music for us tonight. The Marine Band and representatives of the bands of the Army and the Air Force are being conducted by him.

This wonderful maestro came to our country from Russia in 1922. He's fallen in love with the United States and vice versa. He has sold more than 52 million records, which means that everybody in our country only has to share one of his records with three other people. And as you know, most of the time when Andre Kostelanetz starts to play, more than four people gather around to listen to the music.

This is the first time that Maestro Andre Kostelanetz has been to the White House to perform. And I'm especially glad that it's tonight for American families who are the leaders of our Nation and who represent not only the political structure of our Government but also try to exemplify for political and other reasons a fine and a solid and an exemplary family interrelationship.

This is a good time for us. He has shown his leadership already in getting perfect harmony from three different military services, which is something that I have not always been able to achieve myself. [Laughter] And I think that when you hear the last selection, which is the 1812 Overture, it will remind you of the kind of leadership breakfast that I have with the congressional leaders every 2 weeks. [Laughter]

So, welcome to the White House, to our home, and we're glad that you brought your families to hear Maestro Andre Kostelanetz and superb musicians from our military bands.

Maestro Kostelanetz.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 8 p.m. on the South Grounds of the White House.

Jimmy Carter, White House Promenade Remarks at the Reception for Members of Congress and Their Families Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244886

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives