|The White House (Photo by: Phil Roeder)|
The WHITE HOUSE!
And this week everybody’s attention is on this stately mansion because we all wonder who will be living there for the next four years. Will it be President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney?
Regardless of who will live there, the White House itself is a Spectacular Star Spangled MUSE!
Did you know that every President of the United States has lived in the White House except President George Washington? That’s right.
George Washington chose the land where the White House would be built, but he never lived there. Instead, he lived at his estate called Mount Vernon. Here is a link to the Mount Vernon website if you are curious to learn more about the first presidential estate.
President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into unfinished White House in 1800.
During the War of 1812, the British set fire to the White House. It was not completely destroyed since the house is made of stone, but the inside of the house would have to be rebuilt. Take a look at this video and see traces of this fire left on the White House today.
The White House has been renovated, remodeled, and added-on-to by almost every President. Some of the White House’s most interesting features include a bowling alley, added by President Richard Nixon. In 1944, a cloak room was transformed into a home theatre by President Franklin Roosevelt. This theatre can hold 44 people.
The White House currently has 6 levels, 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators. WOW!!! Can you imagine living in a home that BIG?
Take a look at these White House floor plans to get a better idea of what is inside. Here is the Ground Floor. Here is the First Floor. Here is the Second Floor where the First Family (The President and his family) actually lives. And here is the Third Floor.
The basement of the White House is where most of the food is cooked. Five chefs run the White House kitchen. Take a look at this video to see the chefs preparing for the first ever state dinner for KIDS! That’s right. Not until 2012 has there ever been a formal state dinner served especially for CHILDREN. I think there should be at least one a year, don’t you think so too?
And for those who can’t get enough of the “spooky” side of life, many believe that the White House is haunted by the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln. Even the late Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, said that he saw President Lincoln’s ghost in the Lincoln Bedroom. If you would like to see a picture of the Lincoln Bedroom click here.
And we can’t forget about the Nation’s First Bees. For the first time in White House history, Michelle Obama invited a hive of honey bees to work their magic on the White House gardens. Take a look at this video to meet them.
And if we are going to meet the Nation’s First Bees, we must meet some of the Nation’s First Pets. Take a look at this slideshow and meet the Obamas’ dog, Bo. Also meet, President Bush’s dog, Barney and President Clinton’s cat, Socks!
With this new knowledge, what kind of story could you write? Maybe these WHAT IF questions will help you get started.
WHAT IF your main character is the first kid to be the President of the United States?
WHAT IF your main character is a mouse who is part of a mouse family that has lived in the White House since it was built? They even lived through the fire!
WHAT IF your main character met the ghost of President Lincoln in the White House?
The possibilities are endless, and please leave your own what if questions in the comment section below. I’d love to see what you come up with.
So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, a pencil and a piece of paper, and let’s begin. With your imagination, we can go anywhere. I look forward to seeing where you take us.
The word of the day is “estate”. Here is the definition: a piece of land property, especially one of large extent with an elaborate house on it.