Friday, November 11, 2016

A Bit of White House Trivia


As you watch the news this week, viewing Trump and Obama's first White House meet, the beginning of the grand transition of power, you might be interested to know a tiny bit about both the White House and the first White House transition.
In this very week, 216 years ago, John and Abigail Adams moved into what was then called "The President's House". They would remain there for just four months, before turning over the Presidential reins to Thomas Jefferson.
So, the Adams moved their belongings from Philadelphia, site of the old capitol, got in their carriage and headed to Washington D.C.....where they promptly got lost in the north woods of D.C.! They eventually found it, then had to maneuver their carriage as close to the front door as possible, since the grounds were just a muddy bog.
As soon as John and Abigail walked in they discovered the place was a freezing igloo, workman still banging hammers and sawing wood. Just to bring the temperatures up to above freezing they had to haul a small forest of firewood and fire up the nine fireplaces in the house.
Once they settled in, and Abigail found the kitchen, she boiled them up some hot water for tea and set out doing the weekly wash. She hung the laundry on ropes strung up in the East Room.
History shows the Adams were damned glad to leave The President's House when their term was up. In fact, Abigail hopped in a carriage early and headed home to Massachusetts, and left the mess to John.
So, when it came time for their once best friend, Jefferson, to move in, the acrimony from the 1800 election was so great between Jefferson and Adams, that Adams called for his carriage in the middle of the night, then headed home to Braintree, Mass, refusing to even attend Jefferson's inauguration. 
Fortunately, after several years, Jefferson and Adams made up, corresponded regularly for the rest of their lives, then decided to die hours apart on July 4th, 1825, the 50th anniversary of the day they both signed the Declaration of Independence. 
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