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Roosevelt Creates The Name The White House (1901)

Roosevelt Creates The Name The White House (1901)

The phrase The White House was sometimes used by journalists in the late 19th Century (due to the lime-based whitewash that was painted on the building’s exterior to protect it from weather damage), but it was much more frequently referred to as either the President’s House or The Executive Mansion. It wasn’t until October 1901 that President Theodore Roosevelt asked all of his staff to officially refer to the iconic building as The White House, changing all letterheads and official correspondence between the head of state and journalistic outlets. A few months later, in early 1902, Roosevelt signed off on massive renovations to The White House, which included completely redecorating, improving the foundations and moving the President’s office from the second floor to what is now known as The West Wing. These changes were overseen by the much-admired New York architectural firm McKim, Mead and White. Despite these changes, by 1952, The White House was showing serious signs of damage and had to be renovated again, under the Presidency of Harry S. Truman. Since John Adams, every single President has lived in The White House. There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators in The White House. The address of The White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Learn more about America’s fascinating history with these activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Print off and enjoy our America Activity Book – here 
  • Have fun with our Name That State game – here 
  • Learn more about Roosevelt’s Presidency with this special edition digest – coming soon!
  • Sit down and enjoy this Roosevelt podcast from our partners at History Hit – coming soon!