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For more than two centuries, the White House has been the home of American presidents. A powerful symbol of the nation, it is a uniquely private and public space. Since John and Abigail Adams first moved into the “President’s House” in November 1800, hundreds of individuals have worked behind the scenes to help the White House fulfill its roles as a seat of government, a family residence, a ceremonial center, a museum, and an historic building. Witnesses to history and active participants in the nation’s story, White House workers are a close-knit community, sharing a distinctive work culture in an exceptional work environment.

The Working White House explores the occupational culture—the stories, traditions, memories, and skills—of the men and women who have operated, maintained, and helped preserve the Executive Mansion.

Developed and supported by The White House Historical Association with assistance from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Organized for travel by the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.

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