The fascinating history of the white house press room

“It” would mean moving the press room from the coveted real estate on the West Terrace adjacent to the West Wing to a new space, either next door to the Old Executive Office Building or across the street to the White House Conference Center near Lafayette Square.

This may seem benign to outsiders, but make no mistake: In a town where proximity to power is everything, where grown men and women would forsake a football field size suite of offices in the OEOB for a shared cubicle in a bullpen in the West Wing, this approximates a First Amendment constitutional crises (notwithstanding that even the Washington Post has called the press center ” among the dingiest dumps in Washington”).

The leak was hardly dry when Jeff Mason, President of the White House Correspondents Association, lodged an official protest: “We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps.” The Sunday morning news shows the next day hyped the brewing donnybrook like a heavy weight championship.

But unmentioned by the press—until now—is that Mr. Michigan softball Trump is not the first new president to square off with the press over the idea of evicting them the prime office space they have occupied since 1970. Baseball league standings Back in 1974, on his third day in office, President Ford hatched a top secret plan to take back the press room. Masonry veneer It had nothing to do with any animus towards the press, though. Drip He just wanted to swim.

Under the floor of the James C. Baseball field drawing Brady Press Briefing Room, as it is formally named, lies the original White House pool, disused since Richard Nixon nixed it in 1969 to make room for the burgeoning television press.

Kennedy was egalitarian when it came to use of the pool, inviting staffers of all rank to join him for lunchtime swims, usually accompanied in the water by Charlie, First Dog, a Welsh terrier. Facebook search history android (Years later, in a widely discredited book, Seymour Hersh would print mean-spirited gossip, suggesting that perhaps more than backstrokes were taking place in the pool.)

President Johnson notoriously had issues with boundaries with his aides, and his use of the pool was not an exception. Small garden ideas pictures Staff would find any credible excuse to scatter whenever LBJ expressed a desire to take a swim, for not only would he swim in and lounge around the pool completely naked, but would insist that others do the same. Facebook marketplace In a scene that is most unsettling to imagine, he once cajoled the preacher Billy Graham to join him in one of his skinny-dipping sessions. Retaining wall design (They prayed together in the water.)

In his early days in the White House, Nixon found he rarely used the pool, so when the problem of what to do with the expanding White House television press arose, he thought converting the pool to a new press room an ideal solution.

Its hard to imagine today, but until the late 19th century, the press barely covered the presidency; Congress was thought to be where the action was. Football games today college It wasn’t until Grover Cleveland’s second term that an intrepid reporter from the Washington Evening Star, delightfully named Fatty Price, began hanging around the White House entrance fishing for copy.

Television changed all that, and beginning with Truman, formal press conferences began taking place in the Indian Treaty Room. Fences play Most of the press didn’t think the change an improvement. Realtime landscaping In 1950, a writer for the Washington Daily News wrote that the Indian Treaty Room “resembles the interior of a Chicago meat packer’s mansion or possibly the main reception room of a lady engaged in another business.”

Nixon built the press room for $574,000, a price inflated by his directive that nothing be done to prevent the conversion back to a pool. Pitch dark mgsv As Randall Vosbeck, the project’s architect, remembered: “We were told in no uncertain terms that Nixon did not want any harm done to the pool, and the design of the press room must be done in such a way that the pool could be restored easily, apparently in case he received comments that he destroyed the FDR pool.” Nixon even arranged for the Bernard Lamotte murals to be donated to the Kennedy Library.

On August 12, 1974, two workmen, one carrying a shovel, opened a carpeted hatch in the White House press room and descended down a hidden stairway and began making measurements. Baseball diamond diagram They ignored a reporter’s questions regarding what they were doing.

The night before, President Ford, spending one last night at his home in Alexandria, Virginia before moving into the White House private quarters, relaxed with newsmen around his backyard pool. Lattice method multiplication worksheet “I will miss the swimming pool here very badly,” he lamented. Rawlings custom glove builder The press corps connected the two events and soon rumors were swirling that the pool would be reopened and the press room moved. Landscaper Expressions of anxiety and displeasure quickly made their way back to the unelected Ford, who wished very much to improve relations with the press that had suffered greatly under his predecessor.

Ford left the press room where it is, settling for a modest $61,417 outdoor pool constructed with private donations on the South Lawn just outside the West Wing. Pitch definition science With an army of press and photographers watching, Ford swam laps in the new pool on July 1, 1975.

Today, walking down the same steps as those workmen has become a right of passage for the First Family, White House staff, the press corps and visiting dignitaries. Small garden design ideas on a budget Those who are allowed to descend are encouraged to write a message on the darkened, dry old tiles of FDR’s empty pool walls. Landscape photography definition The graffiti includes that of Bono, Sugar Ray Leonard, First Lady Laura Bush and dozens of prominent reporters, staffers, politicians, and celebrities.