I thought it would be appropriate to do a post on our nation's capital in honor of our Independence Day. The White House symbolizes more than just a capital building but a symbol of freedom around the world. Many people come to the United States in hopes to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. This country, even during the turmoil that we are currently living in, does provide opportunity for those who would never have a chance. It's not a given right for success but an opportunity to work hard at the possibility.
The White House has been home to many presidents and their families. Can you imagine calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home? That must be quite an experience to grow up at The White House. Or just imagine being a First Pet, LOL. Did you know that the first capital was located in Philadelphia and for a brief time, in New York? It's true. The nation's capital was in New York while the construction was completed.
President Washington signed an Act of Congress in order to declare a district (10 miles) that would be on the Potomac river to serve the United States Government. In 1790, Washington D.C. came into existence. The White House began construction the following decade, however, Washington died in 1799 and never had the opportunity to live there.
The White House has survived two fires. The first fire at the hands of the British in 1814 during the war of 1812. The second fire, 1929 during President Hoover's term (West Wing). If you ever have the opportunity to visit our nation's capital you can look very close and see the discoloration of some of the bricks due to the 1814 fire. Incredible!
President John Adams became the first President to take residence in The White House. It was November 1, 1800, and on his second day in the house, he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, containing a prayer for the house. He wrote:
"I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this House, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."
Theodore Roosevelt had Adam's blessing carved into the mantel in the State Dining Room.
It was 1814, two years into the War of 1812, when the British troops set fire to The White House. Sadly much of Washington D.C. was affected by these fires and many artifacts lost forever. The exterior walls were all that remained so much of the original capital had to be torn down.
Not only did the British set fire to our capital but the troops ransacked it. First Lady Dolley Madison managed to rescue a painting of George Washington and in 1939, a Canadian man returned a jewelry box to President Franklin Roosevelt. He claimed that his grandfather had taken it from Washington.
The White House has been surrounded by much of our nation's history. She is truly a grand place to visit. She is filled with 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 6 floors, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators. I've been told that there are secret passageways that lead under the White House as quick escape routes. Supposedly President John F. Kennedy used a few of them.
John Travolta dancing with Princess Diana. This is a very famous picture. I read that Princess Di desperately wanted to have a dance with Travolta (she was a big fan).