Luci Baines Johnson, the 18-year old daughter of the President of the United States has commented.. "We're not royalty...
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Background: Luci Baines Johnson, the 18-year old daughter of the President of the United States has commented.. "We're not royalty...it's not a state occasion...we don't want this wedding to be a spectacular."
Nevertheless, when Luci walks down the aisle of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Church to marry Patrick Nugent, Washington will be witnessing what will undoubtedly be the social event of the year and the capitol's marriage of the decade.
The National Shrine church...the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States...has been financed, in part, by contributions from Roman Catholics from all across the nation. Sections of the massive structure are still under construction.
The President's daughter converted to Roman Catholicism after being brought up as an Episcopalian. Her fiancee is a Roman Catholic.
Seven hundred guests, ranging from Vice President and Mrs. Hubert Humphrey to Luci's childhood pediatrician, are expected to attend the service.
There will be 26 members in the wedding party...including Luci's sister Lynda. The size of the party will require Patrick to stand for about 15 minutes as it file down the long aisle toward him, with his intended bride at the end.
Many of the guests are childhood friends of the bride from Texas and friends of Patrick from his school and college days in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Recently, Pat and Luci took time out from the wedding preparations to stroll together across the White House lawn. It has not been easy for them to court and fall in love, while living the goldfish-bowl existence that befalls the children of heads of state.
One of the minor problems has the need for Secret service agents to accompany them on any trips outside of the White House grounds.
Through the whole courtship, friends say Luci has remained the girl next door, but one transplanted to grand surroundings. They describe her as still unassuming, warm and friendly.
Her fiancee has been called one of life's "ambling" men, quiet and unpretentious. He occasionally talks somewhat wistfully of how nice a small wedding would have been.
For most American brides, the weeks before the wedding are filled with small ceremonies called bridal showers, at which friends give them the little necessities needed to set up house-keeping. Luci is no exception, with the difference that for her there are more showers and gifts that are more lavish. One of the biggest showers was given for her by Mrs Robert McNamara, wife of the Secretary of Defense.
This affair was attended by the wives of members of the President's cabinet and other officials' wives. Among the gifts she received was a gold and diamond nose ring worn by Pakistani brides as a symbol subservience.
Behind the couple are hometowns and friendships that will remind many Americans of their own experience.
The Nugent's live in a middle class section of Waukegan, Illinois, which up to now has been famous as the birth place of comedian Jack Benny.
Pat's father, Jerry Nugent is a district manager for a Mutual Investment fund, and long ago could have moved the family to a more wealthy area. But he chose to remain near the family's friends.
At the local Catholic Church and around the neighborhood, old friends of Pat's see no big change in him. At the Elks Club a loan-company employee, a barber and a lab technician, who all will be in the wedding party, say he has been left fairly non-plussed by all the fuss being made over the occasion.
His ex-classmates at Marquette University in nearby Milwaukee concur. It was at Marquette that Pat met Beth Jenkins, one of Luci's girlhood friends from Texas, and through her, he met the President's daughter, on a trip to Washington.
Patrick Nugent..is still one of life's ambling young men. Unconcerned with appearances, yet a person who can take charge of a situation, friends say he's incapable of manuvering himself into a marriage with the daughter of the President.
It just happened... but for Waukeegen, and his family and friends, it's one of the biggest events in their lives.