Sandro Kereselidze, the founder/president of Art Soiree, known in DC for staging elaborate art parties in unusual spaces, invited BYT to attend a cocktail party on the U.S.S. Sequoia, the yacht exclusively sailed for US Presidents from Herbert Hoover to Jimmy Carter. The Sequoia is now owned by Gary Silversmith, who stopped by on his way to the Triathlon. Silversmith regaled party guests with tales of the Sequoia’s furtive history, the vessel serving as the perfect hideaway for Presidential philandering, setting traps for bootleggers during the Prohibition who would approach the luxurious-looking yacht to hock their premium-priced libations, to hosting JFK’s final 46th birthday celebration. The Sequoia has not exclusively been a pleasure craft, however. On her decks, FDR and Eisenhower planned D-day; Truman decided to drop the bomb on Hiroshima and later conducted the world’s first nuclear arms control summit; Eisenhower entertained Korean War veterans; LBJ lobbied for civil rights legislation and planned Vietnam War strategy; Nixon negotiated the first arms control treaty with the Soviet Union and later decided to resign; and Gerald Ford conducted cabinet meetings on board.
A visit to the Sequoia is like being inside a Smithsonian exhibit, without ropes or glass separating you from authentic relics such as Presidential personal effects and period photojournalism. Unfortunately, our party wasn’t able to set sail due to the brief tornado winds that blew through DC an hour before, but we did catch quite a brilliant sunset upon boarding our docked, but nevertheless lovely, event. If interested in learning more, check out:www.sequoiayacht.com and keep an eye out for future Art Soiree events here!