On June 14, 1994 the White House hosted an elaborate state dinner for the Emperor and Empress of Japan—the first state dinner of the Clinton administration. Below are two excerpts from Washington Post articles about Streisand and Peter Jennings attending, followed by Streisand's own recollection.

Streisand in gorgeous Donna Karan gown

Barbra Streisand, dressed in Donna Karan, looked wounded—crushed in her pewter taffeta and big diamonds. "That's what you want to know about—my dress?" said the singer, clutching her evening wrap to her bosom. "Not my politics?" Considering the haste with which she swept into the White House last night on the arm of ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, a discussion of East-West relations hardly seemed feasible. As it was, Streisand was nearly across the marble floor, heading for a bank of potted plants, when suddenly she pivoted and faced the moaning press corps, there to cover the Byzantine rite of state dinner arrivals. The better gig was upstairs, in the Grand Foyer, where President and Mrs. Clinton were greeting guests with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. Streisand, understandably, was in a hurry to discuss more stimulating things than the cut of her Seventh Avenue creation. This was a big deal, as Washington dinners go. White tie. Decorations and ribbons. George Ariyoshi, the former governor of Hawaii, was fairly beaming as he paused under the photographers' strobe lights to display his tails and ecru sash with canary racing stripes. "This," he noted of his sash, "is the Order of the Sacred Treasure." He smiled. "First Class."

Streisand and Peter Jennings

There was no "B" list, of course. Whether it was government or academia, the media or Hollywood, everybody seemed to be a star from some galaxy. Barbra Streisand came with ABC anchor Peter Jennings; Oprah Winfrey brought Quincy Jones. Ted Turner was with his wife, Jane Fonda, and actress Jessica Tandy was with her husband, actor Hume Cronyn. There were authors such as historian David McCullough; publishing magnates such as Samuel I. Newhouse and Katharine Graham; and Hollywood moguls such as Michael Ovitz of Creative Artists Agency, who brokered the purchase of Lew Wasserman's (another guest) MCA Universal by Sony (whose American CEO was also on the list).

[...] Winfrey was escorted by producer Jones, because her fiance, Stedman Graham, was hosting his annual charity benefit. But at least she stopped to chat with reporters. Streisand and Jennings simply ignored the cameras, while Turner and Fonda posted an impressive time dashing past them.


Barbra Streisand, in 1998, told Mirabella Magazine about her “date” with Peter Jennings.