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Sep 23, 2022 Washington, D.C. —
The White House Historical Association today dedicated a newly installed garden and sculpture in honor of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who played a historic role in preserving Lafayette Square during the Kennedy presidency. First Lady Jill Biden underscored the importance of Mrs. Kennedy’s legacy in a ceremony that took place in front of the historic Decatur House.
The Jacqueline Kennedy Medallion, the centerpiece of the newly dedicated Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, is a bas relief of Mrs. Kennedy by renowned American artist Chas Fagan, who combines his artistic gifts with his knowledge of history. The medallion features her famous words “The White House belongs to the American people.”
“Mrs. Kennedy laid the groundwork for the protection of the historical legacy of the White House, through the creation of the Association and with her vision and care for Lafayette Square,” said Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “It is an honor to dedicate this new space to one of the most influential contributors to the restoration and preservation of the White House and its history.”
Mrs. Kennedy’s dedication to the preservation of history dates back to the 1960s, when plans were underway to remove all of the historic buildings around the park, including Decatur House. She effectively advocated to safeguard the historic area. The fruits of her labor are what we know today as Lafayette Square.
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.