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Famous Guests Attend 1976 State Dinner for Queen Elizabeth

In this photograph by Ricardo Thomas, Willie Mays and Telly Savalas pose with other guests in front of the South Portico of the White House on July 7, 1976. Mays (center), considered one of the greatest Major League Baseball players of all time, and Savalas (second from the right), an actor, were among the guests at a State Dinner held that night in honor of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. The State Dinner was held under a tent in the Rose Garden on the South Grounds of the White House and followed a State Arrival Ceremony held earlier in the day. Queen Elizabeth, along with her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited the United States from July 6 to 11 in celebration of the American Bicentennial. First Lady Betty Ford invited guests to the State Dinner that embodied the best and brightest Americans, including Mays, Savalas, Dorothy Hamill, and Cary Grant. Savlas' television show, "Kojak," was reportedly a favorite of Queen Elizabeth's.
Ricardo Thomas
Date of Work
July 7, 1976
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum/NARA