The White House Historical Association is a nonprofit educational association founded in 1961 for the purpose of enhancing the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Executive Mansion. All proceeds from the sale of the association's books and products are used to fund the acquisition of historic furnishings and art work for the permanent White House collection, assist in the preservation of public rooms, and further its educational mission.
In 1961, when the National Park Service suggested that such an association be formed, the idea received First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's ready approval. In July 1962, The White House: An Historic Guide was delivered to a public that had already ordered 10,000 copies. The guide is now in its 23rd edition.
The association also sponsors lectures, exhibits and other outreach programs. Thousands of schools, universities and libraries have received free educational materials about the White House. Traveling exhibits and videos are circulated to the presidential libraries and museums.
On January 1, 2010, the White House Historical Association established the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History at Decatur House, a research and educational institute housed at a National Trust for Historic Preservation site. Currently, the center provides ongoing educational programs for students, teachers, scholars, and the general public on the history of the White House and the President's Neighborhood. The center's future plans include a digital library, which will offer unparalleled opportunities for online research and distance learning; lecture programs for public audiences and scholarly symposia for academic audiences; tours for the general public on a scheduled basis; and open houses and family days on focused themes.
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