A Look Back: Jackson At The White House

(AP Photo/Scott Stewart)
CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller looks back at Michael Jackson's visit to the White House in 1984. This account is adapted from a version that originally appeared on Twitter.

Michael Jackson's visit to the Reagan White House in 1984. "Well, isn't this a thriller," Reagan began his remarks.

So many reporters and White House staff wanted to see Jackson, Reagan said "I haven't seen this many people since we left China."

Reagan called Jackson: "one of the most talented, most popular, and most exciting super stars in the music world today."

Reagan told Jackson he had a message for him from young folks: "They said to tell Michael, Please give some TLC to the PHYs." (pretty young things)

Reagan also urged Jackson to make Washington part of his next tour. "...we want you back," said Reagan. (like the song title. I got that one.)

Jackson had come to the Reagan White House May 14, 1984, to lend support to the White House program against drunk driving and alcohol and drug abuse.

Reagan said: "Michael, you've made it possible for us to warn millions of young Americans about the dangers of drinking and driving."

Reagan commended Jackson saying he's "proof of what a person can accomplish through a lifestyle free of alcohol or drug abuse."

Reagan said with Jackson's help, U.S. can face problem of drinking and driving and "beat it." (another title reference I got).

Jackson's only words at that White House event: "I'm very, very honored. Thank you very much, Mr. President and Mrs. Reagan."

That was it.

Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.
  • Mark Knoller On Twitter»

    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.


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