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President Kennedy Gets a New Rocking Chair from Dominican Foreign Minister

Apr. 4, 1962 - President Kennedy accepted today a rocking chair made of 400-year-old mahogany wood from the Dominican Republic. Then he had to be urged to try it out. The high-backed rocking chair with a cane seat was presented to Mr. Kennedy by Dr. José Antonio Bonilla Atiles, Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic. Dr. Bonilla Atiles promised the President a rocking chair last January when he called at the White House. He said then that he thought the rocking chair the President was using was “not very pretty, in my opinion.” Today, photographers asked Mr. Kennedy to sit in the gift chair for a picture. At first, Mr. Kennedy said “no” but then, looking it over, he said “it’s beautiful” and sat down in it. The new rocker is made from antique wood taken from a castle in Santo Domingo. It has the seals of the United States and the Dominican Republic carved on the rocker’s headrest.

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