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Image: President James A. Garfield on his deathbed, 1881.
Image: Winston Churchill with Diana Hopkins, 1941.
When you first go to work at the White House, you are all eyeballs. Honestly, for the first month, your eyes are as big as teacups. . . . You’re actually drinking in history and current events.

Russell Free, engineer, 1964–86
President James A. Garfield on his deathbed, 1881. After President James A. Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, he lived for 80 days while doctors tried to save his life. Valet Daniel Spriggs (far left) remained at Garfield’s bedside for most of this time. Spriggs later served in the home of Garfield’s daughter, Mollie, and subsequently worked at the Government Printing Office.

Kiplinger Washington Collection


Winston Churchill with Diana Hopkins, 1941. During the Second World War, Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited the White House so frequently that staff members learned to anticipate his likes and dislikes. In late December 1941, Churchill posed on the lawn with Diana Hopkins, daughter of presidential aide Harry Hopkins, and Fala, the president’s Scottie.

Photograph by Harris and Ewing, courtesy The White House Historical Association



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