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Tuesday, July 11, 1961

President John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy hosted a state dinner at Mount Vernon in honor of President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan and his daughter, Naseem Akhtar Aurangzeb.

It was First Lady Jackie Kennedy's idea to host the dinner on the east lawn of Mount Vernon. The heads of state and guests dined under a tent overlooking the Potomac River. This was the first state dinner ever to take place outside of Washington, D.C.

On the evening of July 11, 1961, guests traveled the Potomac on a fleet of four boats, including the President’s yacht. After docking, they were driven by limousine to the Mansion. Francis Beirne, Regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, presented President Khan with a bust of George Washington. There was then a military drill by the U.S. Army’s Colonial Color Guard and Fife and Drum Corps.

Jackie Kennedy wore a sleeveless white organza and lace evening gown, with a chartreuse silk sash. President Ayub Khan's daughter Naseem Akhtar Aurangzeb wore a white silk sari.



The dinner was held in an elegant 30-by-50-foot tent decorated by Tiffany's of New York. White House Chef Rene Verdon and his team whipped up avocado and crabmeat mimosa as an appetizer, while the main course was Poulet Chasseur—hunter-style chicken. Twenty-two White House butlers served the guests this gourmet meal.

Mr. President, we feel a special satisfaction because you are our guest tonight and because we feel that what Mount Vernon stands for is understood by you. Mount Vernon means to us not merely a beautiful home, but it also is, we hope, the symbol of the United States—in the past, the present, and we hope the future.

- John F. Kennedy's Toast to President Ayub Khan of Pakistan

Read the Entire Toast

Mount Vernon State Dinner

Letitia Baldrige, Social Secretary of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, recounts the day's events of the official state dinner with John F. Kennedy and Ayub Khan, the President of Pakistan.

Presidents at Mount Vernon

Many Presidents of the United States have visited Mount Vernon before, during, and after their time in office. Explore some of the most notable visits from our Commanders in Chief.

Learn more