Menu

International Adam

Where Knowledge Meets Fun!!

The White House

History

It was not until after the American Revolution that the Founding Fathers needed a place for the president to live in. The 1790 Residence Act stated that Philadelphia would be the temporary capital for 10 years, in order for a White House to be built in Washington D.C to be the President’s residence. In 1800, construction was complete, and President John Adams moved in. But in 1814, during the War of 1812, the British burned the White House, retaliating against the American’s move in Ontario. The reconstruction of this landmark was finished in 1817. Ever since then, numerous amounts of renovations to update the structure of the White House have been made. One of the biggest took place when President Truman was in office; he commissioned a total reconstruction of the White House which was facing the danger of collapsing. After that, President Kennedy and First Lady, Jacqueline, restored it. Since then, every president has only made some changes to the furniture and design of this historic building.

Importance

The White House is the office of the President of the United States of America. It is important because it is where the president makes his executive decisions and meets with other world leaders to discuss global issues. It has been home to 44 presidents and their families (John Adams was the first president to move in). Each president contributed to the evolution of the White House, and in the process making significant improvement to the world and the building. The White House has been the birthplace of several executive traditions, such as the Annual Easter Egg Roll and Lighting the Christmas Tree. This house is not only home to a president and their family but also the symbol of world power and global leadership.

Interesting Facts

  • At the end of the month, the president receives a bill from the staff showing the food they ate, the items they bought, and the total sum of those expenses is taken out of their salary.
  • The White House employ enough chefs to serve 140 guests and serve hors d’oeuvres to 1,000 people
  • Until Franklin Roosevelt took office, there were no ramps or inclines to help a disabled person move around
  • The White House was not called the White House until 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt named it such. Before, it used to be called the Executive Mansion
  • The basement is practically an underground mini-mall; It has a dentist office, flower shop, and more.
  • During Inauguration Day, White House staff only have 12 hours to move in a new President’s belongings.

Additions to the White House

  • Oval Office: added to the White House when President William Taft to expand the executive wing
  • Pools: After a fire during Hoover’s presidency and as renovations were continuing on, architect Eric Gugler built Roosevelt an inside pool in the West Wing. It was replaced by Nixon and is now the Press Briefing Room. President Gerald Ford, an avid swimmer, had an outside pool built.
  • Movie Theater: The cloakroom of the old East Wing was changed after the fire and the creation of a new East Wing. It can seat up to 42 people.
  • Bowling Alley: During Truman’s presidency, a temporary bowling alley was constructed, but he did not play in it that much. When Nixon came into office, he had one constructed and loved to play there whenever he was not working.

Is the White House Haunted?

People living or visiting with the President may have witnessed ghosts and spirits roaming in the White House. For example, many people in the East Room have seen the ghost of Abigail Adams, First Lady of John Adams, hanging up laundry (back when John Adams moved in, the East Room was where Abigail hung the clothes up to dry). The most-sighted ghost is that of Abraham Lincoln. First Lady Grace Coolidge saw his ghost, looking out across the Potomac River at the Civil War battlefields. Lady Bird Johnson saw Lincoln’s ghost while watching a documentary about his death. Winston Churchill saw his ghost at the fireplace, and Eleanor Roosevelt would feel Lincoln’s presence while in the Lincoln Room. The most powerful office in the country might certainly be one of the most haunted.

 

Sources

History and Additions to the White House: https://www.history.com/topics/white-house

John Adams Quote: https://www.whitehousehistory.org/photos/adamss-blessing-was-carved-into-the-state-dining-room-mantel-in-1945

Interesting Facts: https://www.thrillist.com/home/11-things-you-didn-t-know-about-the-white-house-interesting-facts-about-the-white-house

Is the White House Haunted? : https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/ghosts-in-the-white-house