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.
Here is a picture of Vice President Richard Nixon of the United States and his wife Thelma Catherine "Pat" Nixon during a visit to Haiti in 1955. President Paul Magloire was accompanied with his wife, Yolette Leconte Magloire.
When former U.S President Richard Nixon visited Haiti back in 1955 along with his wife Thelma Catherine "Pat" Nixon, he was acting in the capacity of Vice President of U.S and Haiti was under the leadership of ruler Paul Magloire. On March 3, 1955, following the formal presentation of the Cabinet to Vice President Nixon at the Palace, the Vice President attended a conference on the request of Haitian President Magloire. Richard Nixon was accompanied by some dignitaries like Assistant Secretary of State Holland, the American Ambassador, the Haitian Ambassador to the United States and Mr. Robert Newbegin. M. Mauclair Zéphirin, Secretary of State for Foreign Relations, acted as interpreter.
During the conference, Nixon expressed his deep concern because the International Bank had indicated that the maximum loan it could make to Haiti would be in the sum of two million dollars. He also mentioned that before the visit of International Bank representative in Haiti one year ago in 1954, he was very optimistic about the loan amount. He thought that sanctioned amount would be enough to cover the cost of constructing a highway from Port-au-Prince to Aux Cayes at an estimated cost of seven million dollars. He said he is very hopeful on the outcome of the negotiations of a loan from the Export-Import Bank for the Artibonite dam and irrigation project; it is proceeding satisfactorily and expecting a quick announcement (On April 20, 1955, the Export-Import Bank authorized a $7 million additional loan to Haiti for the flood control and irrigation project in the Artibonite River Valley).
Without making any promise, the Vice President remained very attentive in discussion, made some inquiries to clarify statements made by President Magloire, discussed on different dimensions on the program and activities of the FOA in Haiti, appreciated few ongoing Haitian projects such as irrigation projects in the Aux Cayes area, Ambassador Nixon expressed his wish that a grant-in-aid should be provided to assist Haiti in its economic rehabilitation made necessary by the Hurricane Hazel.
Starting with the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, 14 different United States presidents have made a total of 36 visits to the Caribbean. Fourteen (14) Caribbean countries have had at least one visit, with the most visited countries being Bermuda with eight (8) visits, the Bahamas with six (6), Trinidad & Tobago with five (5), and Jamaica with four (4) visits. Franklin D. Roosevelt made the most trips (14) either on vacation or while involved with Allied diplomatic interactions during World War II. Of the 13 sovereign countries in the region, four--Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines--have not as of yet been visited by an American president. Haiti has been visited by 3 U.S. Presidents so far:
Calvin Coolidge, July 5-6, 1934 Haiti Cap Haitien: Informal visit en route to a vacation in Hawaii
Bill Clinton March 31, 1995: Haiti Port-au-Prince Attended transition ceremony for United Nations Mission in Haiti
Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton's first joint visit to Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake