President Bush and his wife Laura exchanged warm greetings with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as he arrived for a White House dinner at the beginning of his landmark US visit.
Mr Sarkozy, who is seeking warmer relations with the US, spoke in glowing terms about his hosts, putting disputes over the war in Iraq firmly in the past.
The dinner menu, for more than 100 guests, included Maine lobster bisque, lamb, tomato fondue, green bean ragout, and sweet potato casserole.
There was also a cake honouring the 250th anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette, the French soldier and statesman who played a key role in America's independence.
The dinner guests were treated to some historical drama. Here President Bush and his wife watch the actor Dean Melissa, cast in the role of Gen George Washington.
Earlier in the day, Mr Sarkozy addressed business leaders and awarded medals to US WWII veterans.