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Roosevelt’s party too saw gatecrashers

world Updated: Dec 03, 2009 00:42 IST
Betwa Sharma
Betwa Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Virginia couple Michaele and Tareq Salahi are not the first to crash a White House party as a group of teenagers also gave a slip to the US Secret Service way back in 1938 to get autographs of President Franklin D Roosevelt and the First Lady during a New Year bash.

This was stated by noted TV producer and writer Henry Morgenthau III, whose father Henry Morgenthau Jr was Secretary of the Treasury for President Roosevelt.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Morgenthau III, now in his 90s, recalled a New Year’s Party in 1938 where “around 11 pm, escorting Eleanor Flood and young Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady’s niece, Robert and I headed to the White House after a night on the town to join our parents to see in the new year.”

On that wintry night, wrote Morgenthau III, a 16-year-old high school student named Joe Measell, his date Beatrice White and his 14 year-old brother Donald had been dared to get autographs of the President and the First Lady.

The Secret Service mistook Measell for a Morgenthau son and led the group upstairs into the White House.

While Measell was caught and ushered out before he could take the President’s autograph, his girlfriend managed to get the First Lady’s signature although Mrs Roosevelt warned the mischievous couple about entering the White House uninvited.

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