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Sep 16, 2008 09:57 AM

Historical State Dinner Menu

Does anyone know where I could find the menu for the first United States state dinner?


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  1. Interesting question. But, I wonder if it is really answerable. There is a lot of info out there on the first set of china that George Washinton used for his state dinners, however, he first entertained foreign dignitaries in his own residences in NYC and Phila, prior to the White House. I am not sure if there is a record of those events. However, there is a book about the history of state dinners. The author is a presidential historian and has his own website. If you open the link and scroll all the way down to the bottom, he has an email address. If someone might know, chances are it could be this guy. It can't hurt to ask! Good luck, and I would love to know if you find the answer, just what that meal was.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Justpaula

      Thanks so much! I haven't been able to find an answer yet, but if I do I'll update the post.


      1. re: acrowder

        I think Grant had the first state dinner as we think of it today - as in foreign head of state visits the white house and has formal dinner. That foreign state however would go on to become (by bayonet point and then vote) our 50th.

    2. There's a Special Menus section in the White House Cook Book. The first menu is State Dinner at White House, also has General Grant's Birthday Dinner and Mrs. Cleveland's Wedding Lunch. I *think* this link is to the same edition as mine.

      Hope this helps...