Richard Nixon plays "Happy Birthday" for Duke Ellington

Return to search

Media

Description

Duke Ellington was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on April 29, 1969 at the White House. The occasion happened to coincide with Duke's 70th birthday, so at the conclusion of Nixon's formal remarks, he asked those in attendance to join him in wishing Duke a Happy Birthday by singing along with the tune while President Nixon performed the piece on piano.

There is a great write-up on the event with White House research Historian Evan Phifer at https://www.whitehousehistory.org/.

The University of North Texas Library has archived the audio and it can be listened to in full here: https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc939206/?q=white%20house


Other entries you may enjoy:

Follow Jazz in Pop Culture on our social media pages: