White House Tours canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013
We regret to inform you that White House Tours are canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013, until further notice. For updates regarding this situation, please contact the White House Visitors Office 24 hour hotline at (202) 456-7041.
White House Visitor Center Rehabilitation and Closure Information
The White House Visitor Center is closed for rehabilitation. A temporary visitor center is located near the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, just west of the intersection of 15th and E streets, NW.
1939 - 1940 Tree Lightings
The site for the tree lighting tradition came full circle when the ceremony returned to the Ellipse in 1939. Each of these two years, live red cedar trees were transplanted from land near George Washington's home in Mount Vernon to the Ellipse. At the 1940 ceremony President Franklin D. Roosevelt prefaced his prepared remarks with an announcement that if it was desirable he and Mrs. Roosevelt would like the celebration moved to the South Lawn of the White House grounds next year remarking that such a shift in locale would make for a "more homey" celebration.
by C. L. Arbelbide
January 6, 2001
Did You Know?
British soldiers set fire to the White House during the War of 1812. Almost everything inside was destroyed. James Madison hired James Hoban to rebuild the house using the original walls, which were still standing. It reopened in 1817 when James Monroe moved in.