Take a look at these photos from the 86th Annual Diplomatic Ball in Washington Life Magazine (2011).
The theme of the 1976 Diplomatic Ball was “Evening of the Americas” since it was hosted by the Organization of American States in the Hall of the Americas. The Hoya praised the event as “Elegance Rediscovered.”
The Georgetown University News Service reports that the 1968 Diplomat’s Ball was held on Copley Lawn and expected 1,000 guests. Guess which U.S. Supreme Court Justice attended?
In 1963, the Foreign Service Courier looked back on the highlights and traditions of past Diplomatic Balls in Diplomat’s Ball A History, including “The Great Waiter Crisis” of 1950.
“The dance was dubbed the Diplomat’s Ball, not because of the fact that it hosted a large number of career diplomats who responded to an invitation, but perhaps simply because it was a dance of the School of Foreign Service-the home of prospective diplomats.”~ Dale Dean, 1963
The Diplomats Ball, as it was known in 1954, lasted a whole weekend and included a faculty-student softball game: The Foreign Service Courier, April 1954.
According to The Hoya, the 1927 Diplomatic Ball provided “distinctive and attractive” party favors and the dancing lasted until 2am.
This 1926 article from The Hoya chronicles the difficulties of the committee in planning the newly-established Diplomatic Ball. Despite organizational mishaps, the event was a resounding success as noted in the 1926-1927 yearbook. Ambassadors and representatives from Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, France, Panama, and Switzerland attended.
The first known Diplomatic Ball in 1925 was held as the Junior Prom and Diplomatic Ball of the School of Foreign Service. This event established an international precedent because no school had ever given a ball in honor of the diplomatic corps. Here’s a great picture of the event from the 1925-26 yearbook: