Truman Capote’s
Black and White Ball

"The Party of the Century"

Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, which occurred in 1966, was so big and incredible that it is still talked about today, over 40 years later!

Here are the facts:

Guests Invited: 540 of the most important, fashionable and famous people around. Invitations to this event were so sought after, one woman threatened suicide if she couldn’t come!

Where: Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel, New York City, New York

Why: In honor of Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham and to promote his new book “In Cold Blood.”

When: November 28, 1966

The cost: $16,000 (which was a lot of money back in 1966, still is today…too!) In today's dollars, the cost would be $114,949.63!

The decorations: White and Black of course, with red table linens

Attire: Men – black tie, women – black and/or white

Fun Facts:

  • All guests were told to wear masks, and women were also told to carry fans
  • The Museum of the City of New York made an archive for items from the party: invitations, costumes, masks.
  • The press named the event "the Party of the Century", "the Last Great American Party" and "The Last Gasp"
  • The Guest List included (a partial list):
    Charles Addams
    Lauren Bacall
    Tallulah Bankhead
    Harry Belafonte
    Irving Berlin
    Leonard Bernstein
    Candice Bergen
    Richard Burton
    Claudette Colbert
    Walter Cronkite
    Sammy Davis Jr.
    Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
    Mia Farrow
    Henry Fonda
    Joan Fontaine
    Henry Ford II
    Samuel Goldwyn
    William Randolph Hearst, Jr.
    Elizabeth Hilton
    Lynda Bird Johnson
    Senator and Mrs. Edward M Kennedy
    Mrs. John F Kennedy
    Mrs. Joseph P Kennedy
    Senator and Mrs. Robert F Kennedy
    Walter Matthau
    Roddy McDowall
    James Michener
    Arthur Miller
    Vincente Minnelli
    Gregory Peck
    Oscar de la Renta
    Nelson A. Rockefeller
    Frank Sinatra
    John Steinbeck
    Gloria Steinem
    Andy Warhol
    Billy Wilder
    Tennessee Williams


    Plan your own version of a Black and White Ball!

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