Paul E. Magloire addresses joint session of congress with Richard Nixon

Paul E. Magloire addresses joint session of congress with Richard Nixon

Haitian President Paul E. Magloire addresses a joint session of U.S. congress in 1955. He is being supported by U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and House Speaker.

In January 1955, Haitian President Paul Eugene Magloire was invited to the United States for an official visit and stayed at the White House with the President and Mrs. Eisenhower. He received a warm welcome and was given a ticker-tape parade, possibly due to his anti-communist stand. On January 25, 1955, Paul E. Magloire addressed at the 84th joint session of Congress where he praised President Eisenhower's civil rights record. He was the third Negro to address a joint session (Liberian President Edwin Barclay in 1943, Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie in 1954). He also praised President Eisenhower's effort to eliminate all sorts of misunderstanding which is a common objective for the countries in the western hemisphere. He visited Washington with Mrs. Magloire on a two week trip as a guest of U.S President. They were welcomed at the airport by Vice President Richard Nixon and State Secretary John Foster Dulles and their wives. Following this trip, the U.S vice president Richard Nixon visited Haiti on March 3, 1955.

During his trip, Nixon had a formal meeting with the Haitian cabinet at the Presidential Palace and a conference where he expressed his concern for a paltry sanction (two million dollars) to Haiti for infrastructural development by International Bank. However, he was hopeful about the negotiation of a loan amount of $7 million by Export-Import Bank for the Artibonite dam and irrigation project (On April 20, 1955, the fund was sanctioned). He remained sincere and attentive all through the conference and admitted the need for a grant-in-aid to rehabilitate the loss caused by Hurricane Hazel in October 1954. During his short trip, Nixon once made a break from Magloire and met a woman with a donkey on the road. He asked the lady through his interpreter what is the name of her donkey? The lady replied, donkey!

There are many unknown facts which if revealed, could open new chapters in history or shed light on the dark side of the characters of great statesmen and politicians. "Walking Through Walls: A Memoir" is such a book written by Philip Smith. Author's father, Lew Philip was the interior designer of the White House. Lew was a psychic healer as well.
Before the visit of Richard Nixon to Haiti, Haitian President Paul Magloire made several phone calls to Philip's father because he needed the guest rooms of his presidential palace freshened up as soon as possible since he was expecting a visit from Nixon to review Haitian troops. However, his over-enthusiastic hospitality could not hide his real motive; it was quite clear to the White House that he wanted to keep the U.S happy because he was wanting to drop a pot of foreign aid on himself, which would never see the light of the day after it landed silently on his Swiss bank account. Next part of the story is truly shocking. When the author's father Lew arrived in Haiti and completed the decoration as was asked for, Mrs. Magloire was very satisfied with his work, but in exchange, she asked her guards to hold Lew at gunpoint and forced him to newly decorate her whole palace before leaving for the U.S. Before Lew, one Italian decorator went missing in Haiti forever. It took Lew about six months to complete the decoration to the most splendid palace imaginable at an astronomical cost and Lew received a single 'glass paperweight with Magloire's portrait' as a price for his service. Lew's family was in complete darkness on his whereabouts in Haiti, his wife, preparing for widowhood, moved from door to door in the U.S. but none cared for a decorator's wife.

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