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Jan 01, 2021 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association, founded by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2021 with a new logo and new publications, events, initiatives, and programming throughout the year. The Association also looks forward to ongoing work with the President and First Lady. In 2021, the Association will begin a collaboration with the 12th President and First Lady over the course of its history. Since 1961, the Association has invested $110,500,000 to maintain the museum-quality standard of the White House.

The Association’s new initiatives to be released in 2021 include:

NEW Association Logo

The Association’s new logo is in the image of the iconic South Facade of the White House as it appeared in 1961, the year the Association was founded. The logo incorporates the typeface Caslon, which was designed by noted engraver and typographer William Caslon I (c. 1692–1766). It was one of the most important typefaces at the time the White House was built and used in the printing of the Declaration of Independence.

When the White House was completed in 1800, the south side was characterized by a protruding half circle made by the interior oval rooms we now know as the Diplomatic Reception Room on the Ground Floor, the Blue Room on the State Floor, and the Yellow Oval Room on the Second Floor. This south wall survived intact the fire set by the British during the war of 1812, which gutted the interior of the House. Following the restoration of the House, which was completed in 1817, President James Monroe called on James Hoban, the original designer and builder of the White House, to build a columned porch around the protruding bay. Completed in 1824, Hoban's South Portico features eight tall Ionic columns capped by the Double Scottish Rose, a recurring motif in the Scottish stone mason who embellished the White House stonework. The uninterrupted shafts of the columns were later altered by the renovations and a balcony that was added during President Harry S. Truman’s time in office.

Quarterly Lecture Series: “White House History with Susan Page”

Biographer and Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, Susan Page, will moderate four lectures about various aspects of White House history. Topics will include:

  • Personal Reflections on President Lyndon B. Johnson (Monday, January 15, 2021)
  • Designing Camelot: A Discussion with the Authors (Wednesday, June 16, 2021)
  • September 11, Twenty Years Removed: A Look Back at the Nation and the White House (Wednesday, September 8, 2021)
  • Sixty Years Later: The Founding and Contributions of the Association (Wednesday, November 3, 2021)

The 1600 Sessions

The White House Historical Association will continue monthly installments of its popular podcast series, hosted by Association President Stewart McLaurin, with new episodes that explore the history, untold stories, and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and office- the White House. Topics will include:

  • Authors of Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration
  • Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and two Kennedy grandchildren
  • National Geographic’s involvement in the Association’s early years
  • The first decades of the Association and its contributions to the White House

New Publications

The Association will release a special 60th Anniversary edition of its White House History Quarterly and release several NEW books related to the 60th Anniversary, including:

  • White House History Quarterly 60th Issue: "The White House Historical Association at Sixty, 1961-2021"
  • The White House: An Historic Guide 25th Edition
  • An Architect for the White House: James Hoban’s Life, Work, and the Influences of His Native Ireland
  • The signature book for 2021, Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration

Observation of Mrs. Kennedy’s Birthday

Since 2015, the Association has hosted a luncheon on or around Mrs. Kennedy’s July 28th birthday. Details for this year’s celebration will soon be announced. The Association will also soon announce details of a special tribute to Mrs. Kennedy at the historic Decatur House.

2021 Presidential Sites Summit

The White House Historical Association will host the Presidential Sites Summit at the historic Adolphus Hotel August 31-September 3.

The Summit is an opportunity for leaders of presidential history to convene to share innovative ideas and discuss insights into the management and outreach of presidential libraries, historic homes, and museums. The theme for the Presidential Sites Summit 2021 is inspired by the words of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, “The White House Belongs to the American People.” The idea that history belongs to all people — inspires presidential libraries, historic sites, private organizations, and museums to tell more inclusive and accessible histories that give greater insight to the American experience. The Summit will incorporate sessions on a variety of topics from fundraising and civic engagement to recognizing inclusive presidential histories.

First Ladies Symposium

The 2021 Annual Symposium will focus on First Ladies and will be a day-long event, hosted by the White House Historical Association in partnership with American University's First Ladies Initiative. This symposium will feature prominent scholars, historians, and professionals who will discuss first ladies and gender; first ladies reconsidered; first ladies and communications; and first ladies and their role in historic preservation efforts. Additional details are forthcoming.

Educational Markers in Lafayette Square

The Association has worked with the National Park Service to construct a wayside exhibit on the North end of Lafayette Square where 16th Street meets H Street. The exhibit will be comprised of three panels that will describe the construction of the White House by free and enslaved laborers living in the park community; uses of Lafayette Park since its creation; and political and social demonstrations in the space. The panels are set to be installed by Spring 2021.

NEW Student Art Competition

From February to May 2021, the Association will accept submissions for its NEW student-driven art competition inspired by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s vision of the White House as a national symbol. The theme of the competition, “The White House: An American Story,” will solicit two-dimensional submissions from K-12 students. The competition will be judged by Simmie Knox, who was the first black artist to paint official White House portraits when he painted the Clintons; Betty Monkman, former White House curator; and Katherine Gilliland, the docent manager at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Winners will be announced in July to mark Mrs. Kennedy’s birthday and receive cash prizes.

White House History Live

The White House Historical Association will continue monthly installments of its Facebook Live program, “White House History Live” with new episodes including:

NEW Features Added to the WHExperience App

The White House Experience app now includes additional features and functions which will enhance virtual visits to the White House and the in-person visitor experience as well as provide teaching tools for K-12 educators.

New features include:

  • Audio and Multi-Language Tours
  • Improvements to the Web-Based Version of the App
  • Enhanced Virtual Tour of the White House with 360 Photography, Integrated Maps, and Video
  • Educational Videos
  • Specialized Tours

For media inquiries, please contact press@whha.org.

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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