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A Garden Party: 1929

June 27, 1929. "President and Mrs. Hoover greeting their guests at White House reception for veterans." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

June 27, 1929. "President and Mrs. Hoover greeting their guests at White House reception for veterans." National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.


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80 Years Ago Today

A remarkable photo of the president honoring racially diverse WWI veterans, 80 years ago today.


I like the second brother's hairdo, very "In Living Color" circa 1990.

God bless them

God bless them every one.

And the Band Played On

Like Nature, Stanton Square abhors a vacuum. I can't let this Veterans Day pass without adding a comment for the honorable vets at Hoover's garden party. My grandfather served during WWI and was injured by poison gas in the trench warfare in France. He returned home and suffered from the physical trauma for the next 60 years, never once getting to visit the White House.

Hoovers Hold Garden Party for Veterans

Annual Fete on Lawn of White House Draws Officialdom.

Put off from the day before because of inclement weather, the White House garden party for the disabled veterans was given yesterday afternoon. The day had been cloudy, but the grounds had dried out sufficiently for comfort and the sun broke through just as the guests were assembling to etch long shadows on the grass and paint rainbows in the fountain.

There were new hosts in the President and Mrs. Hoover this time, and new groups of officials to help make welcome the special guests. But for the rest this might have been a veterans' garden party in President Wilson's day - or President Harding's or President Coolidge's except that it was smaller. From year to year the pitiful line of war casualties grows shorter, as some pass beyond suffering and more and more are rehabilitated to resume their active place in the world. And there seemed to be rather fewer guests from the official world than in previous years.

However, there were the same men in uniform and hospital blue, with Red Cross workers in crisp white, nurses in blue, ambulance drivers in smart uniform, the famous Gray ladies of Walter Reed Hospital and representatives of other groups of women who have done their bit for the men in hospitals through the long years since the war. The Grand Army of the Republic had sent a large delegation and there were numerous representatives of the American Legion and other patriotic organizations.
The Marine Band played through the afternoon, its stand tucked away behind the shrubbery, specializing in soldier songs and such martial hymns as "Onward Christian Soldiers." Sandwiches, ices, cake and lemonade were served from gayly striped marquees set under the trees. And groups of pretty girls wandered about bearing trays of cigarettes for the soldiers.

Washington Post, Jun 28, 1929

What a group. What a tie.

The first thing to catch my eye was the wounded vet in the wheel chair. Next was the fact that there are not one but two African-Americans in the reception line. But the wildest thing has to be the necktie of the legless vet. I have (and on occasion wear) a few ties from the 1920s. Most photos of the era are black and white and have a stark, drab, depressing look about them. However, ties of the day were quite colorful and abstract, bordering on "mod."

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