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Toast Remarks of President of the United States at 200th Anniversary Celebration (11/9/00)

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                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                  November 9, 2000

                         200TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER

                               The East Room

8:20 P.M. EST*

          THE PRESIDENT:   Mrs. Johnson, President and Mrs. Ford, President
and Mrs. Carter, President and Mrs. Bush, distinguished guests.  It has
been said that an invitation to the White House to dinner is one of the
highest compliments a President can bestow on anyone.  Tonight, Hillary and
I would amend that to say that an even higher compliment has been bestowed
on us by your distinguished presence this evening.  In the entire 200 years
of the White House history, never before have this many former Presidents
and First Ladies gathered in this great room.  (Applause.)

          Hillary and I are grateful beyond words to have served as
temporary stewards of the People's House these last eight years, an honor
exceeded only by the privilege of service that comes with the key to the
front door.

          In the short span of 200 years, those whom the wings of history
have brought to this place have shaped not only their own times, but have
also left behind a living legacy for our own.  In ways both large and
small, each and every one of you has cast your light upon this house, and
left it and our country brighter for it.  For that, Hillary and I and all
Americans owe you a great debt of gratitude.

          I salute you and all those yet to grace these halls with the
words of the very first occupant of the White House, John Adams, who said:
I pray to heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house, and all
that shall hereafter inhabit it.  May none but the honest and wise rule
under this roof.

          Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to join me in a toast to Mrs.
Johnson, President and Mrs. Ford, President and Mrs. Carter, President and
Mrs. Bush for their honest and wise service to the people while they
inhabited this house.  (A toast is offered.)  (Applause.)

                          END         8:30 P.M. EST

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