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Jul 28, 2021 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association (WHHA), in partnership with the National Park Service, today unveiled historical markers in Lafayette Square and commemorated the birthday of its founder First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. These events were the latest in a series of programs marking the Association’s 60th anniversary since its founding by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961.

“We are proud to commemorate the vital history of Lafayette Square and celebrate our founder Jacqueline Kennedy’s 92nd birthday with this exciting day of events,” said Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association. “Our goal is to uphold her legacy by continuing the Association’s long-standing tradition of promoting accessibility, understanding, and appreciation of the Executive Mansion.”

Situated at the northern entrance of the park, along H Street, the Wayside Exhibit markers recount the history of the involvement of enslaved labor in the construction of the White House, the preservation and commemoration of the White House and Lafayette Square – including Jacqueline Kennedy’s actions to save the neighborhood from development – and the history of Lafayette Square as a site for demonstrations and protests. The markers include an audio-description tool for people who are visually impaired.

The Wayside Exhibit unveil was followed by a livestream conversation with the authors of the Association’s NEW book, Designing Camelot, James Archer Abbott and Elaine Rice Bachmann. Hosted by USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, this conversation focused on the White House restoration spearheaded by Mrs. Kennedy, celebrating the sixty-year legacy of one of the most influential interior design projects in American history.

Winners of the Association’s National Student Art Competition were also announced. The competition, which spanned from February to May 2021, allowed K-12 students to submit two-dimensional art pieces that depicted the White House, its collection, and its diverse history.

Photographs from the day’s events can be viewed here. To schedule an interview with Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, please contact press@whha.org.

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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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