White House trivia - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Commentary

White House trivia

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Posted: Monday, December 1, 2008 12:00 am

President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration is set for Jan. 20, and between now and then the Ahwatukee Foothills News will offer some insights into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


- The White House tennis court, first built in 1902 behind the West Wing, was moved to the west side of the south lawn in 1909 to make way for the expansion of executive office space.

- A heated indoor swimming pool was built in 1933 for Franklin D. Roosevelt's therapy as he was disabled by poliomyelitis. During President Nixon's first term, this space in the West Wing was converted into the White House pressroom. The Ford administration installed an outdoor pool on the South lawn in 1975.

- Bowling lanes were first built in 1947 in the basement of the West Wing, but were moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955. In 1969, President and Mrs. Nixon, both avid bowlers, had a one-lane alley built in an underground workspace area below the driveway leading to the North Portico.

- A small movie theater, converted from a long cloakroom, was installed in the East Wing in 1942.

- A game room with billiard and ping-pong tables was constructed in 1970 on the third floor of the White House.

- A jogging track was built around the driveway of the South grounds during President Clinton's first term.

- President Eisenhower had a putting green installed outside the Oval Office with a small sand trap on one side. A new practice green was located on the south grounds in 1996.


Source: White House Historical Society


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