When the president gives an address, not only does what the president say matter, but also where. Given the iconic nature of the White House, the president uses certain rooms to demonstrate the nature of the speech. Two of the most popular locations for president speeches and addresses are the Oval Office and the East Room.
The Oval Office serves as the president’s office. The room symbolizes the power and responsibility of the presidency. Oftentimes the president speaks to the nation from this room on issues of national importance, perhaps most notably on October 22, 1962, when President John F. Kennedy spoke directly to the American public during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
This elegant and awe-inspiring oval room was first created in 1909 during the administration of President William Howard Taft. In 1934, the room was relocated from the center of the West Wing to the east side, near the present day Rose Garden and West Colonnade and in closer physical and symbolic proximity to the White House. In addition, the oval shape of the president’s office, inspired by the oval rooms of the White House, evokes the historic spaces in which the president has operated since the early days of the White House.