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LBJ Welcomes Irish President to Washington

May 27, 1964 - President Johnson welcomed President Eamon de Valera of Ireland to Washington today.

Walter Tobriner, chairman of the District of Columbia Commissioners, greeted the two Presidents later on the steps of Blair House, gave Mr. de Valera a key to the city, and called it “a key to your second home.”

As a matter of fact, the United States is the 81-year-old Irish President’s first home, and the gift Mr. Johnson gave him today reflected that fact. It was a copy of Mr. de Valera’s baptismal certificate, showing that he was born in New York on Oct. 14, 1882. The certificate was issued on Dec. 3, 1882, by St. Agnes Rectory, which still stands at 141 East 43rd Street.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Johnson said that “one man would have been especially proud of this moment: John F. Kennedy.”

He recalled President Kennedy’s love of Ireland, from which his forebears came, and the pleasure he took in his trip to Ireland last summer.

Mr. de Valera replied that it was a “great occasion” for him, putting him in mind of his tour of the U.S. in 1919. He was then seeking assistance for the Irish revolution, of which he was a leader.

Mr. de Valera’s state visit today is more a matter of sentiment than of international importance. State Department sources said there appeared to be no pressing matters to be taken up by the two leaders.



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