President Eisenhower, at his Newport vacation headquarters, has welcomed the gift of a Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby trophy, a Vineyard bluefish hauled from the ocean at the South Beach by Arthur W. Ben David, and presented through Benjamin F. Morton, executive secretary of the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, and of the derby. If the baked bluefish served on the presidential table was not of succulence and fine flavor, the Newport cooks ought to be sternly disciplined.

Such presentations do not just happen – they take a good bit of arranging. In this case Mr. Morton called a presidential secretary to make sure that the Vineyard bluefish would be acceptable, he then enlisted the aid of Bill Hagerty of the Railway Express, and then the crated fish was quick-frozen for transit and shipped to New York for transfer to the air line for Newport.


Greetings From the Vineyard


Here is the letter to the President accompanying the Island gift:


Dear Mr. President:

Greetings from the Island of Martha's Vineyard.

Since the press has not reported any salt water fish in your creel, the fishermen of this Island would like you to have this eleven pound four ounce bluefish taken from these waters in the Southern New England Seas during the early hours of the 12th Annual Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.

This bluefish was caught off the South Side of Martha's Vineyard Island by Mr. Arthur Ben David who hopes both you and Mrs. Eisenhower will enjoy this delicacy from our New England waters.

It is also a pleasure to enclose Registration Button No. 1 in our annual fishing classic for our Nation's No. 1 fisherman.

We sincerely hope both you and Mrs. Eisenhower will have the most pleasant of vacations.


The letter is signed “yours for fair tides and tight lines” by Mr. Morton for the derby committee.


From the September 29, 1957 edition of the Vineyard Gazette: 


The President Sends Thanks for Bluefish


Although he dd not say whether he had eaten it, President Eisenhower acknowledged the receipt of the bluefish caught by Arthur Ben David of Oak Bluffs, sent to him last Tuesday as a gift from the Martha's Vineyard striped bass and bluefish derby committee. Benjamin F. Morton, secretary of the committee, received the following letter at the end of the week:


Newport, R.I., Sept. 17, 1957.

Dear Mr. Morton:

I am indebted to you and to the members of the Martha's Vineyard derby committee for your thoughtfulness in sending me one of the fine bluefish from the catch in the twelfth annual Martha's Vineyard striped bass and bluefish derby. Additionally, I hope you will convey my special thanks to Mr. Arthur W. Ben David who, I understand from your letter, caught the fish in the early hours of this morning.

Thank you, too, for sending me Registration Button No. 1, together with an official badge, for the event and thus allowing me to participate by remote control in an event that I hope was both enjoyable and successful.

Mrs. Eisenhower joins me in warm appreciation to all of you for your kindness.

With best wishes,


Dwight D. Eisenhower