NET Festival; White House Red Carpet with Julia Child
That's not one white house real one makes. The president and Mrs. Johnson welcome you to the white house. This morning you will enter the east wing passing first through the garden side of the east terrace. And then you will walk along the ground floor corridors into the public rooms. The walls of these public rooms are lined with the unique white house portrait collection of presidents and their wives. Now in spite of the fact that these rooms contain priceless relics of the past they are in constant use by the president and the first lady or entertaining foreign diplomats and to honor high government officials.
Welcome to Washington. I'm Julia Child out here in front of the east gate of the white house every day thousands of visitors go through this historic mansion and today something very special is going on. One of the first signs you have that something special is going on is when you see these flags flying in strategic places. They tell you that an important foreign dignitary is visiting the white house. You always have the flag of the district of Columbia and the American flag. The flag in the middle tells you what country he's coming from in this case Japan. The prime minister of Japan is here on an official visit to the president of the United States. These visits are terribly important and also terribly complicated to handle.
It's really fascinating to see how the white house manages one of them and that's exactly what we're going to see. Not only what goes on in front but what goes on backstage and back stairs we're going to see everything inside and out from the start the official greeting right on through to the great white house dinner. Well the ceremony is about to begin here on the south lawn of the white house with the rolling out of the red carpet. There must be at least a thousand people here this morning. Some of them are terribly important.
When all of the important people are in their places the ceremony begins. This bunch of howitzers is about a quarter of a mile away from the white house but pointing in the opposite direction. They're getting ready to give a nineteen-dong salute to the man in this big black limousine.
The prime minister flew in from Tokyo yesterday and spent last night at Blair House. Our official residence for important guests. Other guards from every branch of the service are here this morning. Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and way down there at the end. The Army and their howitzers. Mr. Prime Minister and Mrs. Sato. I think the objectives of the American people and the Japanese people are very much the same.
First of all we want peace in all the world particularly in that troubled part of the world where we do not have it now. We want education for our children. One of the reasons these affairs run so beautifully is because of people like the men on the right. James Simington, Chief of Protocol. Yesterday at Blair House we asked Ambassador Simington about Protocol. The work of Protocol really is the establishment of a context in which meetings can ensue with the greatest possible communication and effectiveness between heads of state and or their ministers. The fact of a visit is of course as a result of a political decision between the two heads of state or heads of government. The case may be after this political decision is made the two governments begin communicating at different levels as to what is really to be gained from a particular visit.
What are the problems and how best can we work here so as to make the visit a success and achieve its goals. And this isn't merely a conversation between me and the ambassador that's one of many such conversations that occur and little by little with an exchange of cables we zero down on the kind of visit that we think it ought to be with agreements on all sides. How long, where and so forth. I think both recognize the very great responsibilities that... While Ambassador Simington is our man in Washington, our man in Japan was Alexis Johnson as this is called an official working visit. We asked Ambassador Johnson how much meaningful work could be done in the midst of all a ceremony protocol. You know, protocol is only useful when it lubricates relations between between people and the important thing on a visit like this of course is that the two leaders government get to know each other better. This is the personal interchange between them.
And our job as diplomats of course is to lay the groundwork for this so that they don't waste time. This involves a great deal of discussion personally with them and also through the foreign office and through the embassy with the guard to the subjects that they would like to discuss. We tell them the subjects we'd like to discuss. Then we try to define the issues. There's no point in there spending a lot of time on things that we agree on and there's no problems at all. But to define the issues down to the point that they can make their discussion just as meaningful as possible between the two of them. This sounds like a terribly complicated affair to arrange at your end. Oh, it's not too complicated. After all, we've been through the experience before. My first day to visit the experience with Juan was from the Thai King and Queen came here in 1960. I was in Basque in Thailand at that time. And it's, I suppose, like cooking or anything else. When you know how to do it, it looks easy yet.
One man who isn't likely to be here this morning because his duties lie outside the pageantry is Walt Rostow, a system to the president. Mr. Rostow's job is to coordinate the private talks between the president and the prime minister. But the heart of the meeting is the hours that the man who bears the political responsibility in Japan. And the man who bears the political responsibility in the United States talked to one another alone in this case just with their interpreters present. It is out of my experience extremely vivid that those who bear the direct political responsibility must look at the world somewhat differently than the rest of the world. And this is an opportunity for them to open up to each other their minds, their hearts, their problems. I would say that working responsible politicians find it generally easy to communicate with one another.
They have real sympathy for each other's problems. There are two other elements that come in. First, certain specific issues that may at this time be before the two nations. Secondly, a chance for the technicians to catch up and iron out and deal with matters which are on the table between the two countries. Compare notes and move a lot of lesser issues forward on the occasion of the visit. At the basis of a visit like this is the rare opportunity for these highly responsible men. To discuss the problems the two nations face in relationship to the world, in relation to each other. With that special quality that comes when men who bear the political responsibility in their countries address themselves to these matters. And that is a heart of it.
While all the official ceremonials are going on, there's tremendous activity backstage getting ready for the official dinner tonight. Something delightful about the White House is that there are great bouquets of fresh flowers. Beautifully arranged, everywhere. Rusty young head florist told us that he gets some of his flowers from the National Park Service. He's making these big bouquets for all the reception rules. There are 19 centerpieces, one for each banquet table tonight. To pull off a really first class affair, you'll have to draw on the talents of many kinds of experts. Mara Bowman, White House calligrapher, has been here writing invitations to prominent people for 14 years. In addition to hand-lettered invitations, there will be a place card for each one of the 190 guests. Just a short while ago, some 12,000 visitors toured through this state dining room.
Imagine giving a dinner party for almost 200 people and not being able to get out the dining room at all until noon. Mary Kotman has been everywhere in the White House today. Her job is to see that all will go without accident for tonight's banquet. As far as we can tell, she's in charge of everything from White Bob's to Lobsters. Mrs. Kotman is the housekeeper. I supervise the interior in keeping it clean and keeping it neat. And keeping the facilities available for the first family or whoever happens to need them. It is a housewife's job, really. Let's talk about the fascinating and difficult aspect. Many new planning and all the problems that arise with it.
First of all, when we hear about a state visitor coming, we are notified this fine advance as we possibly can be. One of the vital pieces of information is the number of guests, because certainly you can't do for 190 as we're going to have tonight. That you could do for 30. The first thing we do is to eliminate the things we can't have. Any dietary limitations which the visitor would have, or it would be possible that there is a possibility that he may have been an early visitor. And we wouldn't want to do it. So we check out all of these things, and then finally armed with all of this information. Chef Howard comes into my office and we sit down to discuss all of the ideas we have had. So at the minute we feel that we have got the best menu we can possibly get when we put all of his emotions to serve the dinner. Here we are, not only backstage, but downstairs in the basement. That big, state dining room was on the floor above.
This is the domain of Chef Henry Holler, who was born in Switzerland, had his training in Europe, and his manage the kitchens of some of the biggest and best hotels. And what I can know is about the menu tonight, I know you've got 100 and much for the serve. What do you put it out? Well, we have for the first course, we have seafood, seafood in a wallabong shell, and then... That's the shell, that's right. We take this part to shell, we fill it up, piece of wallabong shell, and then we serve it in the... What do you want to fill me with? Yes, I will. Good. See? Ah! Excuse me. See? I made this a seed. What have you got in there? I have lobster scallops, base scallops, craft meat, and tiny shrimps. And then I have top-devil thing with the knell. Sort of a sauce on a very care.
That's a sauce of Americans. And then the touch of cornea. Can I have a little bit? Yes, certainly. It does smell so good, I just... Let's see what he has. That's perfect. It's a good one. Come on. Can I talk the whole thing? See? When I serve it, I put the knell out. Ah! That was too much. Surely give you a chopped parsley. I'm a great man for chopped parsley. Ah! What do you want? I'll try it. No, this is the knell. I think... Very nice.
This is a combination. Actually, I haven't seen. This is my combination. Oh, that's a mix. It's so interesting. Right. More sauce. Just a touch of sauce on top of it. Just a touch of salt. Tough like that. Okay. Got a bit more. All right. Very important, everything's very hot. You put some fleros around. There are places to grab. No. And then when they serve it, do they cut by their own? They don't need the meat. They don't need the meat. They don't need the fleros. They can eat the fleros. If they don't, that won't be good. All right. Well, that's... Well, that's perfectly healthy. No, that's the color. No, I don't use the color. Because the color is not practical. It is not practical.
The color... You see, now, this is one item. For bread, buts were a first more party for bread. Oh, perfect. You're right. But this cover is not practical. It's practical. Just lovely. Chef, that's a marvelous first course. Now, what are you going to have for the main course? What's the meat? For the main course, we have a noisette of lamb. You like to see how I did the lamb? Well, this is the saddle of lamb. This is actually a whole saddle that's boned out. And then we cut the lamb, first piece we cut off. Oh, so it's really like a boned lamb chop. That's right. But it'd be very careful. I mean, we do that very... It's not my thing, I know, but not my sir. It's a filiminiol of the lamb. This looks beautiful. I'll take all the fat I asked. It's lovely. Very important. Then we sorted a lamb in the pan. You know, we put salt and pepper, seasoning, natural, and then we sorted a lamb rosé.
I could say it's a rosé. It's a pig. Pig, pig. Right, pig. You would like to see the platter, and it's... I'd love that. ...and it'll be... You said you had prepared one, so we... Yes, I have. I was going to look tonight. Yes, I do. What terrible problems, Chef. Well, look at what when we see the patterns. Now, you're going to keep that. You're not overdone. Oh, this is what it's going to look like. This is out of the way. Here are the artichokes. They'll be the sauce showroom, which is the sauce mayonnaise. It's tomato. Mm-hmm. It was tomato sauce, huh? Yes, and then I put the artichokes under the broiler, making brown. No. And then I arrange a monoplar. Here, you have to know what's at the flame. Wait a mushroom. Oh, a turned mushroom. A turned mushroom. I love to see the sauce.
Oh, yeah. Oh, yes. That's lovely. Just enough to... Have a voice now, it makes sense. It's much more appetizing. It gives you that glistening. That's it, that's it. Oh, that's so lovely. The taste has to go up on the present page. We started, for tonight, we started three days ago to prepare our meal. We made the artichokes ready for boiling. First day, we cut all the artichokes for boiling. We made them ready. Next day, we cooked them. Also, the meat, we burned out the meat, and then we tied the meat up. And then yesterday, I already sliced it. Yeah. Today, it's ready. Ready to go. Oh, it's some kind of entertainment during one of these evenings. What it is usually depends on the guests of honor for highly salacious visit.
It was grand opera. For the show, we ran ballet. The Tijuana brass played for the president of Mexico. In summer, it might be a concert on the south lawn. Tonight, it's Tony Bennett, and for good reason. The Japanese are mad about American jazz. Yeah, what about it? What are we going to do? Your golden sun will shine. Your dove ought to be brown. See, I'll adjust it. When he breaks your heart to bits. Come on. Let's see if that puzzle fits. So far. That's when I'll show them. All these people here are members of the press. This is the first time they've seen the guest list.
There's Elizabeth Carpenter, Mrs. Johnson's press secretary. She's the one who gives out all the information for this evening's event. When I come home to you, San Francisco, your golden sun will shine for me. In a few hours, a hundred and ninety guests will be sitting down to dinner. John Ficklin, the head butler, is in charge. The president's chair. This is his table. The color scheme of the room is gold and white. Many of the accessories are gold.
It's called the Armei, or gold on silver. They have dozens and dozens of double-damaged dinner napkins. All of them embossed with the presidential seal. That's them. This place is part of the Truman service. Green border, gold seal. Because so many people are coming tonight, they've had to dip into other patterns for other tables. Mr. Ficklin says they'll wash all the dishes, glasses, and everything by hand. It's going to take three hundred dish towels for the wash-up job tonight. What a beautiful fish knife. Gold blade, pearl handle. It's part of the Monroe pattern, engraved on it is president's house. One of the very nice things about the White House dinners nowadays
is that you don't have one big banquet table, but smaller tables of tin. It makes for a much more intimate atmosphere. One thing that has impressed me is that this White House has an awfully difficult room arrangement. It just grew as a building. You've got mazes of corridors and stairs, making it extremely difficult for the staff to get from one place to another. The White House simply wasn't designed for large-scale events like this, but somehow they managed them, and with great style. The numbers on the tables tell the guests where they're going to sit. When everyone is in, the numbers come off. The seating arrangement is very carefully worked out by the first lady, the social secretary, and the chief of protocol. If they happen to know you're an opera buff, you may be placed next to a baritone.
Husbands and wives don't sit together. While the president and the prime minister's wife are here in this room, the first lady will be with the prime minister in 48 other guests in the adjoining blue room. We're now in the private part of the White House, where the president and his family live. This is the yellow oval room. We're looking at some of the gifts that will be exchanged tonight. The president is giving the prime minister a Tiffany desk set. Gold on silver. Very elegant. Here again, as with the seating arrangements, a great deal of thought goes into the selection of the most appropriate gifts. Mrs. Johnson is giving Mrs. Sato a stubborn glass bowl for her flower arrangements. An exchange of gifts is part of the tradition of these visits, a tradition that goes back many centuries whenever heads of state meet. Along with the photograph of his family,
Prime Minister Sato is giving the president a portable television camera and a videotape recorder. Things are really heating up in the kitchen now. The chef has made his straws of sauce. He's filling up those 190 freshly cooked artichoke bottles. The garnish for those luscious noisets of lamb. The Bishop in the town. He's on fire. 太匀! For any animal sauce or anything. There's still might be little tricks to do. The value of the saint, as he hunts bananas in nervecaps, puts them to the symphonic symbol. See if he wins. You owe him. Go back to school!
At last, the party's beginning. The guests are starting to arrive. This is the diplomatic reception room. Just off the south lawn where we were this morning for the ceremony. At the same time on the other side of the White House, at the front door under the North Portico, the official guests are also arriving. This is where vice presidents, ambassadors, and of course the guests of honor arrive. The diplomatic reception room is filling up with all kinds of people. Business types, political, socialites, diplomats. Anyone who might have an important connection with Japan. The diplomatic reception room is filling up with all kinds of people. Business types, political, socialites, diplomats.
Anyone who might have an important connection with Japan. Plus a scattering of humanaries to make the evening glitter. Word has been passed from Blair House at the guests of honor is on this way. Here's the excellency, the Prime Minister of Japan. A Sakusato and Mrs. Sato. After posing for photographs which will be shown
all over the world tomorrow morning, the official party now goes upstairs for the exchange of those gifts we saw earlier. Everything in the kitchen is time to the minute from now on. And it's all key to what's going on upstairs. Hmm, there's that seafood filling for the big, beautiful hall of Oz. First course, how proud the lobster celebrated the scallop who finds his way into this marvelous melange. The shop and this staff have given at least a hundred lunches and dinners in the past year. They work together like a team. They're not there, they don't work here.
I'm busy. I'm scared. Oh boy, boy. Okay, you stand by. You stay right over here. No, no, no. Right over here. No. Right over here. Right over here for a minute and a second. See that? All right, here. No in business. No, you got to go fast. Chop parts and out. This is first lady. First lady, out. Sure, sure, put it on the fly.
Yes, surely. Put the butter on the fire for the breadcrumbs. Pricely out. Next. Oh, it's wetling. It's getting sick now. This is president. In a few seconds, the president's party will come down these stairs and pose for another official photograph. Then they will greet their guests in the East Room. Ladies and gentlemen,
the president from the United States of America and Mrs. Johnson, his excellency, the prime minister of Japan, the president of the United States of America. The receiving line has formed.
Every one of the guests is presented to the president, first lady, the guests of honor. It's beautifully have them. They all seem to know who you are. Because there's a military aid unobtrusively whispering names into each dignitaries' ear. First to go through the line are cabinet ministers, senators, ambassadors, and other officials. The rest of the guests are lined up in roughly alphabetical order. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.
Good. Good, Good, Good. Don't have much time to lose. But he's collating on a wire. Why, Slake? Help? Nope. That's another beauty. Okay. Wait a minute. I need water for the president. What about this? This is a beauty? Who messed that up? I like this one.
President, this is a beauty cop. Wait a minute. President, I need water. This is an absolutely delicious dinner. Very, very much impressed with it. Seafood is hot. Fresh. Sausage is a real poem. It's first class all the way through. Now it's hot. It's rosy inside. Artichokes in their so-so hot delicious. I don't know how they managed it. A salad so good.
Beautifully seasoned dressing. Just right. That's an unusual thing. The cheese is every one at its peak. The tables are elegant, beautiful, softly lighted by candles. The service is impactful. Something you rarely see around any more. Perfect service. This is really one of the best dinners I've eaten anywhere. I'm delighted with it. Particularly because it's here. If I could serve it for six people, I'd be proud indeed. They're doing it for a hundred and a bite. Don't get the elevate. The man ever again.
Very, very nice. The fedatic decides to jump out. You took time with a great deal of patience. But like in one piece at home and saved you. All man must know what it is to be emancipated. To be emancipated from hunger and sickness from war. And from fear of aggression. We must look beyond the dangers that we all face in age and now. To the day when our trust in each other. When our common sense of responsibility to all human time. We'll finally open the road to peace. And the stability and prosperity for all humanity. The President has just given a toast to the Prime Minister.
And here's Prime Minister Sato responding from the blue room. This is one of the reasons these officials. I hope the President likes it. I hope he likes it too. One of the reasons these official evenings go off beautifully is that they're so highly organized. Things happen right on cue.
Yet as a guest you're never aware of in mechanics at all. We've been received, presented, died, coffee. And now we're about to be entertained. Again in this ever-changing East Room. And it's all been so gay, so friendly. Only a few hours ago we saw Mrs. Coffinor, Mrs. Johnson's press secretary in this very room. She was awfully busy then, briefing everybody. But she said they'd come on down to the library during the entertainment, and we could talk. Well, it's very glamorous evening, but I'm trying to help a core of about 12 or 14 newspaper women do their job. Well, Liz, you have to give the press all kinds of information or brief them as they say. How do you go about that? In brief the press, we generally back up about five days before the party and announced the entertainment that will be served up to the King of the Prime Minister. Then on the morning of the party, we will put out a guest list.
We will put out what we call a fact sheet that tells them some of the principal things that go into the event. Things that have to be exchanged, the decorations, the flowers that are being used, the menu, and so often in a menu. We give the name to edition honor of the Head of State or his home province, something that ties. It's a little salute to his home. And other aspects of the dinner. There are loads of phone calls that day. The phones ring all day with lots and lots of questions. Then what happens during the dinner when the press isn't there? Do you have another briefing for them? The newspaper women who are not seated at the dinner come into the library, this very room. And you might be interested, Julia, because this room, I love dearly, it is where we hold our briefings. But during the days of Abigail Adams, it's where she kept her milk cows.
And so we laughingly say, we've moved from meals to news. Then the job is complicated, as yours, there must be times when things come sort of unglued. Can you remember any nice instances of that sort? Well, I think of course anyone who's giving a dinner has a slight problem if 12,000 people have been through their house that morning. And that is true at the White House, the parade of visitors to the White House, ends at 1230. Then everything gets set in motion for the event that evening, which may be a dinner for 140 to 190 people. I remember one day Mrs. Johnson was going out on the south lawn to greet the head of state who was arriving by helicopter. And it was pretty, we were moving on very much of a clip schedule because the last tourist had been shuttled out the front, the rugs had been rolled down, the vacuum cleaners had gone over them, and suddenly we could hear the helicopters.
And so we started out, and just as we did, she looked up and in the hall sat a vacuum cleaner. And we looked furtively around because we knew in a moment we would be bringing the head of state in to see if there was anyone who could pick that up and there was it. So in one swoop, she picked it up, put it in the china room and quietly closed the door and just continued on. So you have to be prepared for anything like that. I think the great thing that you feel in this house is the sets of continuity from John Adams, 167 years to Lyndon Johnson. Tony Bennett sang himself right out of his jacket during the final number, and is struggling it on again while the presidential party thanks him. When we remember the rather careful formality of the official party during the arrival ceremony this morning, and look at them now, they really seem relaxed, friendly and happy together.
And that's the point of his whole affair. Well, it's a new day here in Washington, and it all begins all over again this morning. Already there are thousands of people touring through those historic rooms that doesn't happen to be a great dinner scheduled for tonight, but there could be, and very often there is. We know that the White House staff is already working on the next great big event. When the new flags will go up all over the city and those great big guns and the silver compass will announce the arrival of another foreign dignitary to be received and entertained in the president's house. Ever since that day, 167 years ago, when only a handful of foreign countries even recognized our existence, and President John Adams wrote from this much smaller and still unfinished house, I give a feast today to Indian kings and aristocrats.
That's the way it's always been here at the White House, dinner and diplomacy. This program was made possible by a grant from Hills Brothers Coffee. If you are an American, the White House is a part of your heritage, decisions that have shaped the nation's destiny for almost 170 years have been made here. You will leave the White House by the North Portugal, looking out over the green and spacious north lawn of the president's 18 acre estate. You will be standing for the chief executives and their ladies have greeted a long procession of famous guests.
On such occasions, the president speaks not for himself, but for the nation. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, I will never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people.
- NET Festival
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- Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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- Episode Description
- Julia Child, television's well-known "French Chef," takes viewers behind the scenes at a dinner given by President and Mrs. Johnson at the White House honoring Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and Mrs. Sato of Japan. In an engaging and personal way, Mrs. Child describes the preparations for the dinner, and the event itself, and also traces the long tradition of entertaining at the White House and its important role in diplomacy. Through her eyes, viewers will witness the "out-front" formalities underlining the importance of Prime Minister Sato's visit. Backstairs, where preparations for the official dinner in his honor are underway, Mrs. Child points up the human values how the White House chef faces many of the same problems as the housewife does in her kitchen when she entertains - not enough room, difficult serving conditions, and in this case, the challenge of serving food to 190 guests. Mrs. Child talks to the housekeeper Mrs. Mary Kaltman, "a sort of super housewife" who is in charge of the entire edifice "from lightbulbs to lobsters." She visits the domain of Chef Henri Haller, discusses with him the preparation of the carefully planned menu with his recipes for vol-au-vent of seafood, noisettes of lamb with artichokes and asparagus, and strawberry mousse. She also has a "little taste" of the food. Mrs. Child describes the entertainment planned for the evening -- singer Tony Bennett -- the arrangement of the dining room, and then the proceedings of the dinner itself, summing it up as "one of the best dinners I've ever eaten; if I could serve it for six people I'd be very proud indeed." In addition, Mrs. Child discusses with other White House staff members their roles in the event. She talks to Walt Rostow, special assistant to the President; Ambassador James Symington, Chief of Protocol; and Mrs. Elizabeth Carpenter press secretary to Mrs. Johnson. The Hon. U. Alexis Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, also discusses his role in the preparations of Prime Minister Sato's visit prior to his arrival in the United States. "I suppose, like cooking or anything else," he says "if you know how to do it, it looks easy." We then see Mrs. Child and her husband as guests at the dinner, which is held in the State Dining Room, and at the entertainment that follows in the East Room until the President says goodnight. Through all these activities, the program emphasizes the "lived-in" quality of the White House, and reveals its triple function as a historic site, as the executive office of the President, and as official residence. NET FESTIVAL -- "White House Red Carpet with Julia Child" is a production of WGBH-TV, for National Educational Television, recorded in color on film. White House Red Carpet with Julia Child runs approximately 48 minutes in length, a filler entitled "Improvisations," running approximately 10 minutes in length has been added. The total running time is now approximately 58 minutes. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
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- NET Festival is an anthology series of performing arts programming.
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Identifier: 118398 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: 3/4 inch videotape: U-matic
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- Chicago: “NET Festival; White House Red Carpet with Julia Child,” 1968-04-14, WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 24, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-ft8df6mf00.
- MLA: “NET Festival; White House Red Carpet with Julia Child.” 1968-04-14. WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 24, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-ft8df6mf00>.
- APA: NET Festival; White House Red Carpet with Julia Child. Boston, MA: WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-ft8df6mf00