ANSWER: Pierre Mendes-France - Prime Minister of France, 1954-1955 -- drinking a glass of milk.
On November 21, 1954, French Prime Minister Pierre Mendes-France was the first head of government to be interviewed on Meet the Press. The interview was watched by an audience of 10 million people, but the biggest reaction in the Prime Minister’s own country came after MTP aired. When photographs of the appearance were released in France they caused a public outcry because French wine makers and the general public were deeply offended to see their Prime Minister drinking a glass of milk on the set of an American television show.
Mendes-France spoke with the Meet the Press panel about the economic and psychological issues in his country following World War II. He acknowledged that the French youth were frustrated with their government and worried about their future. But the Prime Minister said that he understood the country’s fears and that “The last months have shown that it is possible to count on the young boys and girls in my country, because when they were called, when I called them it was a tremendous and most encouraging response.” Lawrence Spivak ended the interview on a lighter note, asking Mendes-France how he had managed to get French taxi drivers to stop using their horns, a recent French government reform. Watch the clip below to find out the Prime Minister’s answer.
Every Monday, Betsy Fischer - the Executive Producer of Meet the Press - poses a trivia question on Twitter about the 63 years of history making moments and guests on Meet The Press. Check back every Tuesday for answers and video clips!