Some time ago, I watched a former assistant to Lyndon Johnson interviewed on C-Span. He made several references to the “Filipino Mess Boys” who staffed the White House as kitchen help and waiters in the Kennedy and Johnson years. One caller even tried to take him for task on this, but the man insisted that as they were Filipinos, and also were “Mess Boys”, there was nothing factually wrong in his statement.
Anyway, I sort of wrote it off as a relic of a time when the White House, as well as many other high government offices or private clubs, still relied exclusively on ‘colored help’. I was quite surprised yesterday when I read an item from a 1976 edition of Playboy (which I just now noticed had articles) that mentioned President Ford’s “Filipino Stewards” (a step up from “Mess Boys” I presume). How long did the White House have mostly Filipino help? I don’t imagine it still does. Also why Filipinos? And were these people civilian employees or naval personel.