1965: Memorable Performance for Pakistan

1965: Memorable Performance for Pakistan

On December 14, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson hosted a state dinner for the President Ayub Khan of Pakistan. The guest was treated by the President’s Own to a production called “Music for the White House,” where the band played popular American songs from the earliest days. To make the performance special, the band incorporated two martial sounds using an ancient post horn and an ophicleide – an obsolete bass instrument that was used in military bands.

President Johnson directing Pakistan President Ayub Khan to the west wing of the White House, 1965, Life Magazine

Ophicleide, N.D, Birmingham Conservatoire's Historical Instrument Collection

President Ayub, a veteran soldier and a son of an army bugler, appreciated the martial sounds and the memorable performance. The state dinner was successful, and both presidents agreed on a peaceful resolution for the tragic conflict between India and Pakistan. President Johnson also confirmed the United States’ support for world peace and the independence of Pakistan.

“We want peace. And we shall work every minute, day and night, for peace."

– President Lyndon Johnson, Dec. 14, 1965