With political tensions are running at an all-time high, sometimes we forget all of the rich history of our country and how we got here from a group of settlers traveling to new uncharted land. It is fascinating to take a look at the history of our nation and its capital. Take a slight break from all the political turmoil and travel to Washington D.C. for a more entertaining insight into the most famous house in the county – the White House.
How Big is it Really?
The White House has 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms. That’s quite a house! Aside from bedrooms, ballrooms, meeting spaces and more, the basement has a full dentist’s office, bowling alley, florist, chocolate shop and other boutique offerings. Imagine having your own little mall in your basement with one stop shopping for everything.
The Worst Moving Day Ever
Ever wonder how moving day goes at the White House when a new president is elected? It all takes place in five hours. Once the president leaves for the inauguration ceremony, the clock starts running and movers and staff have five hours to not only move everything out, but change the artwork, paint according to the president-elect’s choices and designs and move in the new belongings as well. Talk about an exhausting hustle.
The Oval Office
George Washington is the reason we have an oval shaped office. While he never lived in the White House, he is the inspiration for the president’s office. Before George Washington moved into the president’s house in 1791, he demanded the walls be rounded into a semi-circular shape which was more appropriate for holding formal gatherings and receptions known as “levees.” It was a heightened gathering of status and grandeur for guests and public meeting the president.
It’s Expensive to Live There
While the president gets to live there rent-free, the expenses and living costs do not come with the job title. The president is responsible for personal food expenses and transportation, toiletries, waiter’s pay, cleaning crews and more. In fact, many presidents have left the White House with significant debt by the time they leave office because of how much it costs to live there and upkeep the lifestyle.
The Haunting of the White House
The capital’s famous house could be inspiration for the next Hollywood haunted scary movie. The White House is incredibly haunted by many ghosts including former presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Imagine the types of seances you’ve have if those walls could talk.
Pets and More
While you mostly see presidents with the standard dogs and cats for pets, the White House has housed some more exotic pets in its history such as an alligator, a turkey – which is the inspiration for the Thanksgiving pardoning ceremony, a badger and a hippo. What a menagerie!
The White House and Washington D.C. have many fun and interesting facts, whenever you need a break from the stress of politics, take in some history to refresh new life into our political system.