1921 Film of Italian General and Ambassador Visit to White House

We found this great old film footage at the Moving Image Research Collection at the University of South Carolina. It shows Italian Army General Armando Diaz and Italian Ambassador Rolando Ricci in front of the White House entrance during their visit in 1921.

New York Times headline
New York Times headline

We dug up an article from The New York Times, printed on October 24th, 1921, detailing Diaz’s visit to Washington.

Washington, Oct. 23.–Fresh from their reception in New York City, three of Europe’s most distinguished officers of the World War–Diaz, Beatty and Jacques–arrived in Washington at 2:30 o’clock this afternoon as guests of the American Legion and received a big popular welcome.

Buglers greeted them with a fanfare as they stepped from their train at Union Station and a uniformed escort of the American Legion with music and colors escorted them through the train concourse, where a large crowd had gathered. After marching through a lane of honor composed of legionaires, the Italian, British and Belgian parties were greeted with their national anthem, played by the marine band at the e astern porte cocnere of the railway terminal, the plaza in front of which was thronged with people.

Under separate escorts of cavalry from Fort Myer, the visitors were taken by way of Pennsylvania Avenue to their quarters at hotels or private residences. Washington is seldom demonstrative on such occasions, but there was a large crowd along the avenue, and its greeting to the visitors was enthusiastic.

General Diaz received baskets of roses from Italian societies and others. He does not speak English, but through his aide, Captain Carlo Huntington, declared that his mission was to bring the Italian and American peoples closer together.

“To all the people of the United States,” said General Diaz, “I wish to express my enthusiasm over the reception and treatment extended me. In New York my emotion was very deep, not only because of the manner in which the Italian colony greeted me, but on account of the warm reception from the American citizens there.

“This has brought me to the conviction that the American and the Italian people, on account of their common feeling, their temperament and aims and needs, must work together. I am very much pleased to see how much the Italian who are here love America, and find themselves as in a new beloved home. In going through the Italian quarter in New York I saw always tow flags in the hands of the people–the American flag and the Italian flag.

“Not in vain is Italy a nation that has come down through the centuries from Rome, the mistress of civilization. And in the Italian people, after 2,000 years of life, always are vibrating those feelings which bring us to remember Rome with sympathy and respect, and make everybody remember and respect the Roman civilization.

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.

Check Also

ct004537-featured

Great 1922 Aerial Mosaic of Washington, D.C.

This great photo of Washington was taken from the air in 1922. Click on it …