White House

An Interview With the President and the First Lady

A novelist who has just spent several years with them tells a moving story of love: public and private, given and withheld

In the FDR Library in Hyde Park, among the effects of Anna Roosevelt Halsted, the only daughter of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, there is a scrap of yellowing paper, about four inches by five. Read more >>
For generations, Americans reserved their most fervent “landmark reverence” for those rooms that could boast George Washington— not Abraham Lincoln—slept here. Read more >>

The great emancipator and the liberator of Kuwait get together in the newest White House portrait

  From the moment he was first inspired to paint it, George Peter Alexander Healy harbored huge ambitions for the canvas he entitled The Peacemakers . The artist longed for it to be universally embraced as “a true historical picture,” cherished as the emblem of sectional reconciliation following the bloody Civil War.   Read more >>

Jack Kennedy came into the White House determined to dismantle his Republican predecessor’s rigid, formal staff organization in favor of a spontaneous, flexible, hands-on management style. Thirty years Bill Clinton seems determined to do the same thing. He would do well to remember that what it got JFK was the Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam War.

In early October of 1963, Rep. Clement Zablocki, a Wisconsin Democrat, led a House Foreign Affairs Committee fact-finding delegation to South Vietnam. Invited to the White House when he returned, Zablocki told President John F. Read more >>

An hour and a half of growing astonishment in the presence of the President of the United States, as recorded by a witness who now publishes a record of it for the first time

On an otherwise unremarkable evening early in September 1965, when, for the fourteenth time, I was preparing lectures for the start of the fall term at Columbia University, the phone rang, and I heard an unfamiliar woman’s voice saying, “This is the White House.” I knew any num Read more >>

From Fort Ticonderoga to the Plaza Hotel, from Appomattox Courthouse to Bugsy Siegel’s weird rose garden in Las Vegas, the present-day scene is enriched by knowledge of the American past

On June 2 the first and last presidential wedding took place in the White House: President Grover Cleveland, a rotund forty-nine-year-old bachelor, married the statuesque Frances Folsom, twenty-three. Read more >>

A noted historian’s very personal tour of the city where so much of the American past took shape—with excursions into institutions famous and obscure, the archives that are the nation’s memory, and the haunts of some noble ghosts

The only one of our Presidents who retired to Washington after leaving office was Woodrow Wilson, and for all his celebrated professorial background he certainly did it in style. Read more >>

The ground rules have changed drastically since 1789. Abigail Adams, stifled in her time, would have loved being First Lady today.

ONCE AGAIN the candidates gear up for a national election; not only the candidates but their wives too. And pity the ladies! Read more >>

Secret recordings made in the Oval Office of the President in the autumn of 1940

INTRODUCTION BY ARTHUR SCHLESINGER, JR. Read more >>

From the End of the Earth to the Oval Office

“To be President of the United States,” wrote Harry Truman, “is to be lonely, very lonely. Read more >>
Historians are still puzzling over the discovery of an official White House portrait of President Roger Darcy Amboy, who appears to have held our nation’s highest office somewhere between Van Buren and Buchanan. Read more >>

LBJ AND VIETNAM

He was an old-fashioned man by the purest definition. Forget that he was enamored of twentieth-century artifacts—the telephone, television, supersonic airplanes, spacecraft—to which he adapted with a child’s wondering glee. Read more >>

It’S rough to be around a rider when he’s the President

In little more than seven weeks the Rough Rider would be leaving the White House. Read more >>
Perched on Mount Falcon as the mist rose and the cloudcapped towers caught the first rays of the morning sun, it would seem a dream palace, the residence of the Great Khan or a Dalai Lama, remote, unapproachable, yet somehow the center of the world. Read more >>
At 4:30 A.M. on a cold, drizzly day in the spring of 1944, there came a knock on the guarded door of the top-secret White House Map Room. Read more >>
Few places are more unpleasant ban Washington in the summer, and the summer of 1930 was worse than most. Read more >>

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter That Herbert rushed out to see what was the matter

On Christmas morning of 1929 Fire Marshal C. G. Achstetter of Washington, D.C., commenced the tedious paperwork that follows a $135,000 fire. Read more >>

Back from France with an epicure’s knowledge of haute cuisine , our third President served the most lavish dinners in White House history

I dined a large company once or twice a week, Jefferson dined a dozen every day,” remarked the frugal New Englander John Adams in recalling early hospitality in the “President’s House” in Washington. “I held levees once a week. Read more >>

Only a lucky rainfall put an end to our humiliation