The White House is full of holiday traditions from parties and decorations to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and Menorah. Today we’re looking back on winter holidays for each President in our Presidential Library system. The National Christmas Tree is illuminated on the Ellipse in Washington DC, 12/9/2010. (National Archives Identifier 176553384) Before … Continue reading Winter at the White House
Tim Gunn will be at the National Archives on December 11, hosting “Deck the Halls: Holidays at the White House.” Join us in person or watch live on our YouTube channel. Details at the bottom of this blog post! It was 40 years before his famous catchphrase, but Tim Gunn knew he needed to “make it … Continue reading A Very Special “Make It Work” Christmas Story
Today's post commemorates National Dog Day, which celebrates dogs everywhere on August 26. Bow-wow! Calling all dog lovers—arguably history’s best known Presidential pet was Franklin Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier, Murray the Outlaw of Falahill (Fala for short), who was named after FDR’s famous Scottish ancestor, John Murray. He was given to Roosevelt in 1940 as a Christmas … Continue reading Fala and Barkers for Britain, 1941
Today’s post celebrates the international sporting event that captivates billions of people every four years: the World Cup! Brazilian icon Pele is one of the world’s most recognized footballers. He is one of the few players to appear in four World Cup finals and the only player to win three World Cup titles (1958, 1962, … Continue reading Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!
Today's post comes from the National Archives Office of Presidential Libraries. King David Kalakaua of Hawaii was the first head of state to be honored with a White House state dinner on December 12, 1874, by President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant. In the years that have followed, state dinners have come to signify the utmost respect … Continue reading State Dinners at the White House
In 1836, President Jackson accepted 1,400-pound wheel of cheese from Col. Thomas Meacham, a dairy farmer near Sandy Creek, NY. The cheese was mammoth, and it sat, ripening, in the White House for over a year. Eventually, Jackson invited everyone in Washington, DC, to stop by and help consume the massive wheel. He threw the … Continue reading A big cheese for the Big Cheese in 1837
Today's guest post comes from Susan K. Donius, Director of the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives. Among the gifts from heads of state that are in the holdings of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum is a menorah presented to President Truman by Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. The … Continue reading From the Presidential Libraries: Hanukkah at the White House
Today's blog post was written by Sam Rushay, a supervisory archivist at the Truman Presidential Library. In the late summer of 1945, Frances Sarah Curtis of Mt. Rainier, MD, applied for a White House pass. Curtis, a Treasury Department employee in the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD), had worked in the White House File Room … Continue reading Application Denied!
The Roosevelts had planned for a "more homey" lighting of the National Christmas tree on December 24 in 1941. FDR had directed that the tree be moved from the Ellipse to the White House grounds, just next to the South Lawn Fountain. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, there … Continue reading The 1941 Christmas Tree: A Bright Light in Dark Times
This is what President Harry Truman had for Thanksgiving in 1947. (Click to enlarge.) What dishes are going on your table this year? My favorite holiday is Thankgiving. No dispute. After all, it's a holiday that basically crafted entirely around the consumption of turkey. I'm not entirely sure that this is what Lincoln had in … Continue reading A White House Thanksgiving