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Easter Egg Roll: The First Families' Role

Once the White House was opened to public egg rolling festivities in 1878, first families had to decide whether they were going to join the throng of celebrants or just organize and play host to it. Previously, the South Lawn was reserved for their own private Eastertide activities. Now the grounds represented a famous rite of spring for the nation's capital.


A Pool for the President

Gerald Ford was an avid swimmer, swimming twice a day in his backyard pool in Alexandria, Virginia. When President Ford moved into the White House, he no longer had immediate access to a pool. Although the White House had previously featured an indoor swimming pool, it was converted into the White House Press Room during Richard Nixon’s presidency.1


Prom Night at the White House

Senior prom is a night to remember — especially if your venue is the White House! On May 31, 1975, First Daughter Susan Ford hosted the Holton-Arms School senior class for prom at the Executive Mansion, marking the first and only celebration of its kind to take place there. The class of ‘75 at the Holton-Arms School, located in Bethesda, Maryland, had saved for the


Liberty: America's Dog

When the Fords moved into the White House in August 1974, they did not have a dog. However, the family’s transition to life in the White House was disrupted on September 26, when First Lady Betty Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two days later, Mrs. Ford underwent a radical mastectomy at Bethesda Naval Hospital. She recovered at the facility for se