MONTCLAIR, NJ -- The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association recently held a gala and reenactment of the president’s 1893 inauguration here at the Woman’s Club of Upper Montclair.
CBS New York’s John Elliott, who served as the Master of Ceremonies, said, “There’s nothing more fun than history, so we’re going to have a good time, good food and great music too.”
The event not only raised money for the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site, located in nearby Caldwell, it also benefited the Montclair Orchestra. The orchestra, now in its second year, also performed during the gala, playing music of the era as well as pieces written expressly for the Cleveland inauguration.
The gala marked the second inauguration of Grover Cleveland, when he became the 24th president of the United States. Grover Cleveland was also the 22nd president of the U.S., and is the only president to serve for two non-consecutive terms.
“Grover Cleveland was the only president actually born in New Jersey,” said U.S. Ambassador Thomas Robertson, who is also Grover Cleveland’s great-grandson. “It’s a time for people from all over the state to congregate and celebrate one of their favorite sons.”
Cleveland's grandson George portrayed the president while Miss New Jersey, Jaime Gialloreto, played the role of first lady Frances Folsom Cleveland. Ambassador Robertson played Vice President Adlai Stevenson, and Maryellen Elliott, wife of John Elliott, portrayed Mrs. Adlai Stevenson.
An auction was held, with items relating to presidents and the White House up for bid. Former White House Chef, Roland Mesnier, also delivered remarks about his interactions with the five presidents he served.
“We are all here tonight to try to encourage appreciation and development and understanding of the White House,” said Bruce White, former staff photographer at the White House and board member of the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Memorial Association.
“It is important to go to the birthplace of President Grover Cleveland,” said Miss New Jersey, Jaime Gialloreto. “It’s important to learn about the history of not only President Grover Cleveland, but the State of New Jersey as well.”