John McCaslin

"What first struck me was Bill's seersucker jacket, which I thought was just great. I told Bill last year I now have three of them," Mr. Shirley notes. "My friend Cess Carpenter went up to Bill and informed him that he was the president of the Bill Buckley Fan Club at our school, to which Bill dryly replied: 'Well, son, I am sure that must be the smallest club in your school.' "


There will be kilts, bagpipes and single-malt Scotch in the House when Scottish-American members of Congress and their guests celebrate the 10th anniversary of National Tartan Day, beginning with a Capitol Hill reception tomorrow evening for visiting members of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish delegation will be led by First Minister Alex Salmond, whose ruling Scottish National Party wants independence from Britain.

A 1998 resolution sponsored by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi declared April 6 as Tartan Day, an annual commemoration of the contributions to this country by Scots and Americans of Scottish heritage, from Patrick Henry to Ronald W. Reagan (The W stood for the very Scottish name Wilson).

The House followed with its own resolution in 2005, when Reps. John Duncan, Tennessee Republican, and Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Democrat, rallied wide support for the measure. They later created the Friends of Scotland Caucus, which claims nearly 50 members.

Mr. Duncan, speaking to Inside the Beltway, recalled President Woodrow Wilson saying, "Every line of strength in American history is a line colored with Scottish blood."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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