Official Somali State Visit to the Kennedy White House (1962)

On November 27th, 1962, 361 days before Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, the Prime Minister of the Somali Republic, Dr. Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, had an official state visit to the White House. We were able to dig up this obscure film footage on YouTube (the Internet is amazing), which features the visit and ceremony on the South Lawn.

Below is the gift that the Prime Minister gave to the President on behalf of his country.

This gift of a carved giraffe was presented to President John F. Kennedy by Dr. Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, Prime Minister of the Somali Republic, during his state visit to the White House on November 27, 1962. (JFK Library)
This gift of a carved giraffe was presented to President John F. Kennedy by Dr. Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, Prime Minister of the Somali Republic, during his state visit to the White House on November 27, 1962. (JFK Library)

Shermarke would also fall victim to an assassination in 1969, shot by one of his own bodyguards.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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