The White House in Photographs & History

Americana,Featured Article,On the Road,Traditions,Travel Destinations,Trivia
October 23, 2012

Pennsylvania Avenue residence is America’s most famous home

Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., the White House is the most famous home in America and a symbol of the U.S. presidency.The earliest known photograph of the White House was taken in 1846 by John Plumbe Jr.Lucy Hayes, wife of Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81), with children in the White House conservatoryThe White House draped for mourning in 1881 after the assassination of James GarfieldA 1929 Christmas Eve fire damages the West Wing attic during the presidency of Herbert Hoover.Excavation and modernization of the North Portico in 1950 during the Truman administrationJohn and Jacqueline Kennedy host Nobel Prize winners in the East Room in 1962.Lyndon Johnson dances with actress Carol Channing in the Entrance Hall in 1967.First lady Lady Bird Johnson before a 1968 state dinnerGerald Ford meets with Emperor Hirohito of Japan during a 1975 visit.Ronald Reagan calls the space shuttle Columbia from the Oval Office in 1982.Bill Clinton and family pose with resident staff in 2004 during a return visit to the White House.George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the Oval Office in 2001.First lady Michelle Obama and schoolchildren work in the White House vegetable garden in 2009.
Library of Congress
White House Historical Association/William Phillips
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
The White House
William Seale Collection
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
The White House
George W. Bush Presidential Library
The White House
Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., the White House is the most famous home in America and a symbol of the U.S. presidency.
The earliest known photograph of the White House was taken in 1846 by John Plumbe Jr.
Lucy Hayes, wife of Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81), with children in the White House conservatory
The White House draped for mourning in 1881 after the assassination of James Garfield
A 1929 Christmas Eve fire damages the West Wing attic during the presidency of Herbert Hoover.
Excavation and modernization of the North Portico in 1950 during the Truman administration
John and Jacqueline Kennedy host Nobel Prize winners in the East Room in 1962.
Lyndon Johnson dances with actress Carol Channing in the Entrance Hall in 1967.
First lady Lady Bird Johnson before a 1968 state dinner
Gerald Ford meets with Emperor Hirohito of Japan during a 1975 visit.
Ronald Reagan calls the space shuttle Columbia from the Oval Office in 1982.
Bill Clinton and family pose with resident staff in 2004 during a return visit to the White House.
George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the Oval Office in 2001.
First lady Michelle Obama and schoolchildren work in the White House vegetable garden in 2009.
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Since John Adams moved in on Nov. 1, 1800, the White House has been the residence of every sitting president except George Washington. And while its occupants are subject to change every four years, the stately stone structure at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., remains the permanent symbol of the U.S. presidency—and the most famous home in America—both as a worldwide stage for government business and a private refuge for its prominent occupants.

Built on a site selected by the nation’s first president, the first White House was burned by the British during the War of 1812. America’s rebuilt Executive Mansion has undergone numerous expansions and restorations so that, today, the president’s home is about five times as large as the original designed by architect James Hoban.

During the last two centuries, the property has been the site of top-level negotiations, news conferences, protests, state dinners, Easter egg rolls, family weddings and presidential funeral processions. Its famous East Room, the largest room in the house, is where Calvin Coolidge renounced war in 1929, John F. Kennedy met with religious leaders after the Birmingham, Alabama, bombings of 1963, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Ronald Reagan joined Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to sign an arms treaty in 1987. The room also is where Abraham Lincoln’s son, Tad, played with his pet goats, Theodore Roosevelt’s children roller-skated, and Abigail Adams hung her wet clothes to dry.

One of the most photographed homes in the world, the White House and its residents are chronicled visually in “The White House: The President’s Home in Photographs and History” (Little, Brown and Company, 2011) by Vicki Goldberg, in cooperation with the White House Historical Association. Together, these images offer a snapshot of a symbol of the American presidency.

White House photographers pose in 1918 on the South Lawn of the White House, one of the most photographed homes in the world.

White House Facts & Trivia

Fun facts about square footage, paint, gardens and more

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