Abraham Lincoln addresses a celebratory crowd at the White House (April 10, 1865):
“I see you have a band of music with you.
[Voices, `We have two or three.’]
I propose closing up this interview by the band performing a particular tune which I will name. Before this is done, however, I wish to mention one or two little circumstances connected with it. I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it.
I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize.
[Laughter and applause.]
I now request the band to favor me with its performance.”
In accordance with the request, the band struck up `Dixie,’ and at its conclusion played `Yankee Doodle,’ the President remaining at the window mean-while.
SOURCE: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln