1902: Maintaining Good Will with Germany

1902: Maintaining Good Will with Germany 

On February 24, 1902, President Roosevelt held a state dinner to honor the arrival of German Emperor Wilhelm II’s brother, Prince Henry of Prussia. Germany and the United States established diplomatic relations in 1871. Prince Henry visited the United States to represent his brother and promote good relations.

White House dinner setup in the East Room, 1902,  J. Paul Getty Museum

Prince Henry of Prussia and President Theodore Roosevelt, 1902, German Historical Institute

The impressive hospitality shown during the state dinner, in accompaniment of the President’s Own, showed the United States’ willingness to maintain good relations between the two countries.

The President’s Own had performed American and German music during the reception, which greatly entertained the prince. The relationship continued on until the United States entered WWI in 1917.

"In no less degree have we to thank the President, the Government, and the people of the United States for the hospitable, chivalrous, and splendid reception which they have accorded to the brother of the German Emperor..."

"It is precisely from such wholly spontaneous demonstrations of friendship from all classes of a proud people that we gather the assurance that the good spirit which has been manifested both in Germany and in America by the visit of our Hohenzollern Prince to the land of George Washington will continue to work to the advantage of both peoples in the politically unclouded relations between the German Empire and the United States."

- A North-German Gazette writing to a United States Embassy, March 11, 1902​​​​​​​