The Press Correspondents Dinner

Sheraton Park Hotel

Washington, D.C.

May 24, 1963

JFK and Streisand

The annual Press Correspondents Dinner is a gathering of the White House Correspondents Association members—the press corps that works daily reporting news about the U.S. president.

Merv Griffin arranged for Streisand to participate in the Press Correspondents dinner in 1963. Griffin told Larry King, “I took Streisand with me and a couple of people, and we did a show.”

The variety show was performed in the very large Sheraton Hall of the Sheraton-Park hotel. Performers featured that evening were comedian Guy Marks, Edie Adams, piano team Ferrante & Teicher and the cast of Chicago's Struts and Frets. Merv Griffin served as emcee.

Streisand with Kennedy

(Above-left photo: Custom satin shell dress, having wool jersey over skirt and bodice, short cuffed sleeves, scoop neck and empire waist. It is decorated with buttons in ascending size down the front of the gown, with corresponding faux button holes. There is a zipper in back. The dress sold in auction in 2004 for $7,200. Above programs: Martin Erlickman [sic] was seated at Table 6; The show program makes sure to thank “the management of Basin Street East for making possible Miss Streisand's appearance tonight”—Streisand was in the middle of her gig there and left for one evening to perform for the President.)

Barbra sang for the crowd. Variety reported her songs were “Cry Me A River,” “When The Sun Comes Out,” and her closer, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Peter Daniels conducted the orchestra for Streisand.

Kennedy signs for Streisand

(Photo, above: Kennedy signs for Streisand as Marty Erlichman, left, and Peter Daniels, right, look on.)

Barbra Streisand, manager Marty Erlichman, and pianist Peter Daniels met President John F. Kennedy that evening after the show. Barbra, ignoring protocol, asked JFK for his autograph. She recalled, “After the dinner I met him. He said, ‘You have a beautiful voice. How long have you been singing?’ I said, ‘As long as you’ve been President’. I never get autographs for myself, but my mother had asked me to get his. He signed a card for me and I said, ‘You’re a doll.’”

Streisand waits for Kennedy in reception line

Click the button below to hear a 1964 interview with Streisand in which she describes meeting Kennedy:

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