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President Ronald Reagan with General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev (1987)

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum/NARA

Many guests have traveled to the White House to meet and dine with the president. Some of these visitors were leaders of foreign countries who came to manage international relations. These encounters at the Executive Mansion, combined with different presidents' agendas and goals, have helped shape the international position of the United States over the centuries. From the young nation with its first allies, to gifts of friendship and State Dinners, the Executive Mansion continues to play a role in managing international ties around the world. Explore various moments in United States history when the White House was a site for diplomacy.

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