Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, 1863.
50 years ago today the White House hosted Jazz for the first time: Paul Winter and his group, in the JFK White house of 1962. Doesn't that seem amazing in retrospect? That it took all that time for jazz to be American enough to enter those historic halls?
To me, these two anniversaries are not unconnected. Lincoln's Emancipation earlier in 1863 allowed all that enslaved creativity to explode a generation or two later, making a popular culture that united the world musically, a cultural expression that began to develop in the great churn of the interstate slave trade.
But of course, you notice, when Jazz did first come into the White House, it came in white ....