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The White House has had two different pools since the 1930s. The indoor swimming pool opened on June 2, 1933, after a campaign led by the New York Daily News to raise money for building a pool for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who suffered from poliomyelitis and often swam at therapy pools at his Hyde Park home in New York or at a rehabilitation center in Warm Springs, Georgia.

The rectangular pool, encircled by arched ceilings and high rows of half-mooned windows, was built inside the west terrace between the White House and the West Wing.

President Richard M. Nixon arranged for the construction of a press briefing room above the old pool to accommodate the growing demand for television news. Since April 1970 the White House press corps has assembled in a small theater to listen to the White House press secretary's briefings and reports. The doors opening to the Rose Garden allow the members of the media quick access to outdoor events.

President Gerald R. Ford, an avid swimmer, installed an outdoor pool on the White House grounds in 1975.

FDR's swimming pool was completed in 1933. The pool has been covered but remains beneath the floor of the press center.

National Archives

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