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President Kennedy Upstaged By Toddler

Apr. 23, 1963 - President Kennedy was upstaged today by a 17-month-old girl from the United Arab Republic who chattered, waved her arms, and made faces during a Presidential speech. The occasion was a ceremony in the White House rose garden outside Mr. Kennedy’s office in which he greeted 100 Fulbright scholars from abroad. Included in the group were 40 wives and 50 children. One of the youngsters, Karima Khalil, stood behind Mr. Kennedy on the steps leading from the covered portico outside his office. Once she clamored for “Mommy, Mommy” while Mr. Kennedy was saluting “some of the brightest minds from abroad.” The President concluded his tribute by turning to her with a broad grin, indicating he was not excluding her from his reference to “the brightest minds.” The President said the Fulbright program, which was begun shortly after World War II, was a recognition of expanding horizons by a United States that had long lived in cultural isolation.


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