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President Kennedy Meets with General MacArthur at the White House

July 20, 1961 - General of the Army Douglas MacArthur returned to the White House for the first time in seven years. He said it was good "to feel a part of the current scene." The 81-year-old general, who commanded U.S. forces in the Pacific in World War II and later in Korea, had lunch with President Kennedy, Vice President Johnson, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and members of Congress and the Administration. Afterward General MacArthur emerged from the White House wearing a white Panama hat and carrying a Churchillian black cigar. Of the President, he said: "He seems to have changed very little since he was one of my PT boat commanders in the Pacific War. He was a good one, too - a brave and resourceful young naval officer. Judging from the luncheon served me today, he is living somewhat higher now."


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