“My father wants to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding and the baby at every christening.”
-Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth
The fifth White House wedding of a presidents' child
Alice Roosevelt and Representative Nicholas Longworth
Feb. 17, 1906
When the couple announced a White House wedding for noon on February 17, 1906 the American newspapers went into a frenzy. Speculation over details and other non-news items pushed the ground breaking construction of the Panama Canal off the front pages. Reporters competed furiously for scraps of information, pursuing secretaries, caterers, florists and seamstresses.
There was a huge stampede for tickets and invitations. The president’s announcement that it would be a small family affair did nothing to dampen the demand. Alice belonged to the people, and the people seemed to be driving the wedding plans as much as the family.
After several rounds of invitations had gone out great political battles developed for the remaining seats, with senators and diplomats weighing in with their arguments in behalf of key constituents or foreign representatives.
Even those lucky enough to have an invitation could not settle down. Great questions of protocol arose. Should diplomats and veterans wear their uniforms? What about their medals?
The local flower market was wiped out. One couldn’t find an orchid in the city of Washington.