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Kennedys See Black Watch Regiment

Nov. 13, 1963 - Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr. were among 1,700 children who watched the pipes, drums, and dancers of the Black Watch, Royal Highland Regiment of Scotland, on the White House lawn today. At the invitation of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, hundreds of children from child care agencies in the Washington area as well as a junior contingent from the Kennedy clan arrived on the south lawn and filled the bleacher seats set up for the occasion. Early arrivals on the White House balcony overlooking the lawn were Caroline, 5, and John, 2. A large sprinkling of members of the St. Andrew’s Society — the men in Navy blue Glengarry caps with family crest pins such as “Hold Fast” and “Dread God,” the women appropriately clad for the weather in Scottish plaid rugs — broke into applause when the colorfully clad detachment marched into view. President Kennedy, welcoming the Black Watch, said of it, “This regiment has carried the British colors around the globe for several centuries.” He referred to the regiment’s service at the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1758 as well as at Waterloo, in the Crimea, and in India — “against us on one occasion in the War for Independence, and with us on many occasions, in World War I, World War II, and Korea.” Speaking personally, the President continued, he had been captured by the history of Scotland at a very young age. “The United States, in fact all of us, love, I suppose, lost causes, and on occasion the history of Scotland has been a lost cause, but in some ways they have triumphed, perhaps more today than ever before.” Major Wingate Gray presented to the President on behalf of the Watch an officer’s dirk, which is a short, ceremonial sword.


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