Monday, October 31, 2011

First Lady Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of The White House Historical Association

Caroline Kennedy and members of other First Families attend reception...
President Obama and First Lady Obama have made plenty of White House history since 2009, from creating new policy to making bricks-and-mortar changes to the most famous address in America (not least of which is Mrs. Obama's Kitchen Garden). Today, the First Lady hosted an afternoon reception celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The White House Historical Association, which has played a crucial role in preserving the Presidential residence. Former First Daughter Caroline Kennedy and representatives from other First Families joined Mrs. Obama at the 3:30 PM event. (Above: Mrs. Obama and Kennedy wait in the Green Room before entering the reception to make remarks)

The reception was closed to press, though the non-profit organization, chartered in 1961, plays a vital role in educating the public about the White House, as well as recording its unique history. First Lady Jackie Kennedy was crucial to both restoring many parts of the White House and establishing the WHHA, which has published and distributed more than eight million books about the White House, as well as videos and other educational materials.

A special exhibit for the 50th Anniversary, "Something of Splendor," is devoted to Decorative Arts from the White House, and opened on Oct. 1 at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, located across the street from the White House campus. If you are visiting Washington, DC, the gorgeous exhibition is a must-see, with pieces on display that have never been outside of the Residence. It runs through May of 2012. Information is here.

"Thousands of schools, universities and libraries have received free educational materials about the White House, and traveling exhibits and videos are circulated to the presidential libraries and museums," noted the East Wing in its announcement of Mrs. Obama's reception.

*Photo by Lawrence Jackson/White House

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