The History Of The White House

A hidden story

The History Of The White House Uncovered

As an iconic symbol, the home of U.S. presidents and the scene of numerous momentous decisions, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is America’s most famous address. The first cornerstone of this imposing historical building was laid in 1792, and it was built by labourers from Scotland, Ireland and other European countries. Designed by Irish architect James Hoban, there is speculation that the striking facade was based on the charming mini White House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Since then, it has been the host of many historic events and entertained world presidents and their families for over two hundred years.
The real allure of the White House lies in its remarkable memoirs which extend far beyond its construction. The history of the White House continues to unfold – and it’s fascinating.
The History of the White House

The White House Historical Association

The White House Historical Association was founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Her vision was to increase appreciation of the fabulous building and make the history and art available to everyone.
The White House now collects and exhibits the best furnishings, artefacts and artwork of American history and culture. Today, it is also renowned for its annual White House Christmas Ornaments, which have become rare collectables. It is tradition to hang the new ornament on the Blue Room Christmas tree each holiday season.

The Myth Of Why The White House Is White

During the war in 1814, invading British troops set fire to the White House, which gave rise to the belief that it was painted white to camouflage the damage. However, the truth is that the building was first painted white in 1798, using whitewash as a way to protect the stone from freezing.
The whitewash was refreshed periodically until 1818 when white lead paint was introduced. It takes 570 gallons of it each time to maintain the building in lustrous condition. The White House nickname remained informal for a further 80 years until President Theodore Roosevelt finally made it official in 1901.

Overflowing With Historical Intrigue

Every year over 1.25 million visitors are guided through some of the White House’s 32 rooms to experience history first hand. The elaborate artefacts and ornate decorations recount some compelling stories. Many of these are lesser-known as the White House has been home not only to Presidents but to many surprising facts. Richard Nixon, for instance, had a bowling alley built in the basement, which also has a flower shop and a dentist’s room.
Over the years, ten people have unfortunately died in the White House. Staff, guests and residents have all recounted stories of paranormal activity, and it is said that the ghost of Abraham Lincoln still haunts the house. The history of the White House is simply packed with interesting trivia and amazing facts to read up on to impress your friends!