Monday, March 9, 2009

Quote du jour

British prime minister Gordon Brown thought long and hard about what gift to bring on his visit to the White House last week. Barack Obama is the first African-American president, so the prime minister gave him an ornamental desk-pen holder hewn from the timbers of one of the Royal Navy’s anti-slaving ships of the 19th century, HMS Gannet. Even more appropriate, in 1909 the Gannet was renamed HMS President.

The president’s guest also presented him with the framed commission for HMS Resolute, the lost British ship retrieved from the Arctic and returned by America to London, and whose timbers were used for a thank-you gift Queen Victoria sent to Rutherford Hayes: the handsome desk that now sits in the Oval Office.

-Mark Steyn

1 comment:

  1. I've seen that desk, btw. Along with a statue that stands in the West Wing hall as you leave of Nathan Hale. When you first see the statue it just looks like a soldier standing at attention, but if you look closely, you see the hands bound and the noose and the famous quote. The White House is full of history, I just wish its current resident was worthy of it.


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