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Apr 27, 2022 Washington, D.C.

Today the White House Historical Association released a new issue of its award-winning magazine, White House History Quarterly, titled, “Every President Has Walked These Grounds."

On November 21, 1800, after moving into the barely finished President's House in the emerging City of Washington, First Lady Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her daughter describing the site of her new home: "It is a beautiful spot, capable of every improvement, and, the more I view it, the more I am delighted with it." Incredibly she saw the promise of the future in what remained a muddy construction site littered with a decade of debris. With this issue of the Quarterly, we feature a few of the many ways Mrs. Adams's inspiring vision for the White House Grounds has been fulfilled.

More than 100 photos in this issue offer readers a glimpse of historic trees, the Kitchen and Rose Gardens, annual events, wildlife, and seasonal landscapes.

In this issue:

  • Dale Haney, Superintendent of White House Grounds, who has now devoted fifty years to caring for the presidents' 18.7 landscaped acres, shares memories of Garden Tours, Easter Egg Rolls, ceremonial tree plantings, and the improvements and changes he has witnessed.
  • Heath Hardage Lee takes us back to 1972 to share the story of a fleeting transformation, when the Rose Garden was filled with thousands of white flowers for the June wedding of Tricia Nixon to Edward Cox.
  • Elizabeth Hope Cushing, landscape historian, details the story of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.'s 1935 Report to the President of the United States on Improvements and Policy of Maintenance for the Executive Mansion Grounds. The preservation of historic trees, the placement of new trees, the privacy the landscape now affords the first family, and the iconic vistas enjoyed by the public today can be credited to Olmsted’s concepts.
  • Christy Bowe, photojournalist and member of the White House Press Corps, has documented history unfold during five presidencies. With the President’s Garden among the most beautiful of the backdrops in her portfolio, she shares an album of her work with the Quarterly.
  • Arthur Chadwick's account of the cultivation of orchids named for the first ladies provides an example of a way in which the beauty of the White House Gardens inspires growers beyond the White House fence.
  • Matthew Costello, White House Historical Association historian, tells the story of a legendary oak tree planted by President Theodore Roosevelt on the White House Grounds in 1904. The sapling, reputed to be descended from a venerable tree near George Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon, soon perished, but was not forgotten.
  • Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust, takes us back to a spring day in 1973 when First Lady Pat Nixon visited the historic Stephen Decatur House Garden on Lafayette Square. Like the President’s House, its garden continues to provide a stage for gatherings of many kinds, and it welcomes brides each spring.

This 104-page issue of White House History Quarterly retails for $9.95. To subscribe or purchase a single issue, visit shop.whitehousehistory.org.

To request an advance copy of White House History Quarterly #65, or to interview the individuals listed above, please contact press@whha.org.

Read more about the White House Gardens and Grounds.



About White House History Quarterly

White House History Quarterly
, published by the White House Historical Association since 1983, is now in its sixty fourth issue. The Quarterly presents the broadest view of this personal American subject—the White House—featuring memoir, biography, history, and cultural context as it opens the doors of “America’s House” to America. Issues are thematic, shaped to tell a story from a particular angle, and the themes—from music, theater, fashion, art, entertaining, flowers and gardens, kitchens and cooking, presidential journeys and travel, memoir, and presidential kin and presidential sites—suggest the broad scope of the content. With editorial offices in Washington, D.C., at the Association's row house facing Lafayette Park across from the White House, White House History Quarterly is published four times each year. One, two, or three-year subscriptions, single copies, and bound collections of back issues are available.

P.D.F. Resources

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About the White House Historical Association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit WhiteHouseHistory.org.

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