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Attorney General Gives Christmas Party at Justice Department

Dec. 20, 1963 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy gave a Christmas party today, a party that was planned long before an assassin’s bullet killed his brother, President John F. Kennedy. But this was one he didn’t cancel. About 700 underprivileged children descended on the Justice Department building for what must be for many of them the unforgettable highlight of their Christmas season. The fact that the Attorney General was their chief host didn’t mean much to them. And they were too young to understand the sadness that lingered beneath the gaiety. But there many things they could understand and take delight in. There sleighs drawn by mules in the courtyard, where a special roadway of crushed ice had been laid. There was a clown band, and there was good food to eat, and there were gifts which the Washington Redskins football team helped unload from the sleighs. A “good fairy” in white handed out dolls to girls, and a big “tiger” gave out miniature footballs to boys. At one point, Mrs. Ethel Kennedy appeared with three or four of the Kennedy children in tow. A blonde daughter, Kerry, told the gift-giving tiger: “You’re not a tiger — you’re a man. Tigers don’t go like that.” The great hall, where the main party took place, was decked not only in Christmas red and green but with large pictures of the Attorney General’s brother. The pictures bore quotations from the late President’s better-known speeches and showed him in action — at a news conference, inspecting a ship, on the campaign trail.


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