The White House for Kids – Source Notes

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

Chapter 1 – Biography of a Building

p. 2

“It’s a thousand wonders…”: Margaret Truman with Margaret Cousins, Souvenir: Margaret Truman’s Own Story (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956), 256.

p. 3

“They took the insides all out…” and “Dug two basements…”: Robert H. Ferrell, ed., Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1980), 243.

p. 4

“audience room”: Abigail Adams’ letter to her daughter, transcription available on web site of East Tennessee State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“I had much rather…” and “it was built for ages to come” Abigail Adams to Mary Cranch, transcription available on the White House Historical Association’s web site.

p. 5

“Clear out!”: William Seale, The President’s House: A History, 2nd edition. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press in association with White House Historical Association), volume 1, 131.

p. 6

“The whole building…”: Margaret Bayard Smith, edited by Gaillard Hunt, The First Forty Years of Washington Society: Portrayed by the Family Letters of Mrs. Samuel Harrison Smith (Margaret Bayard) from the Collection of Her Grandson, J. Henley Smith (Washington: Scribner, 1906), 111.

p. 8
“temporary office building”: Terminology used in the White House Historical Association’s time line of White House history.

p. 9
“sky parlor”: Seale, The President’s House, vol. 2, 132.

p. 13

“make a beeline…” and “talk about [their] daily activities…”: Hillary Rodham Clinton, An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), 27.

p. 17
“I pray Heaven…”: White House Historical Association “State Dining Room” entry on web site.


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Chapter 2 – Growing Up in the White House


p. 21
“scare the flies away”: Earle Looker, The White House Gang (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1929), 16.

p. 22

“presented a starling appearance…”: Ibid, 16.

“Who stuck on…” “Impossible!” and “It’s all very sporting…”: Ibid, 17.

p. 23

“I think I did”: Ibid, 17.

“There is some uncertainty…” through “Guilty! Altogether guilty!”: Ibid, 18.

“The truth! The truth!…” Ibid, 19.

p. 25

“I wish they wouldn’t …”: Julia Taft Bayne with an introduction by Mary A. DeCredico, Tad Lincoln’s Father (Lincoln, Neb.: The University of Nebraska Press, 2001), 3.

“I felt like …” and “golden opportunity…”: Bonnie Angelo, First Families: The Impact of the White House on Their Lives (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005), 48.

“Don’t make their beds…”: Rachel L. Swarns, “First Chores? You Bet.” The New York Times, February 21, 2009.

“first boy” and “some boy who…”: Ishbel Ross, Grace Coolidge and Her Era: The Story of a President’s Wife (Plymouth, Vt.: The Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, 1988), 125.

“I don’t see what good…”: John Whitcomb and Claire Whitcomb, Real Life at the White House: 200 Years of Daily Life at America’s Most Famous Residence (New York: Routledge, 2000), 221.

“Teach her she is…”: Angelo, First Families, 46.
p. 26

“Don’t do anything…”: Ibid, 104.

“tried to kiss a tree once.”: “People” in Time magazine, January 9, 1978.,9171,912089,00.html

p. 27

“was depressed”: “Malia Obama’s Science Test: President Tells Story About Daughter’s Grades,”, March 18, 2010.

“I ask you to…”: Angelo, First Families, 50.

“I rode in private …”: Truman, Souvenir, 122.

p. 29

“snobbish and stuck-up”: Looker, White House Gang, 13.

“tow head was always…”: Ibid, pages 13-14.

“was sitting upstairs doing nothing”: David O’Reilly, “America’s Princess Caroline Kennedy Is Wearing the Family Mystique to the Altar,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 17, 1986. (Author’s note: Ellipses should appear between “upstairs” and “doing nothing” as original quote reads, “sitting upstairs with his shoes and socks off, doing nothing.”)

Bake Chelsea Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies: Adapted from Walter Scheib and Andrew Friedman, White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2007), 81.

p. 31

“It isn’t always…” through “Remember who your Dad…”: Jenna and Barbara Bush, “Playing House in the White House,” Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2009.

p. 33

“No room was sacred”: Helen Nicolay, Personal Traits of Abraham Lincoln (New York: The Century Co., 1912), 201.

“You ought to see…” and “did not present…”: Bayne, Tad Lincoln’s Father, 28.
p. 35

“the boys took,” “the deck of…” and “their mood at the moment”: Ibid, 28.

“The children left…” and “Nothing was too sacred…”: Irwin Hood “Ike” Hoover, Forty-Two Years in the White House (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1934), 28.

“I can either …”: “This Day in History: February 14, 1884,”

p. 36

“I’m sick and tired …”: J.B. West with Mary Lynn Kotz, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1973), 229.

“Once a President’s kid…” and “I remember meeting…”: Amy Blumenfeld and Richard Jerome,“When Dad Is President,” People magazine, June 18, 2001.,,20134688,00.html

p. 37

“the most superb affair …” Washington Star article quoted in David Herbert Donald, Lincoln at Home: Two Glimpses of Abraham Lincoln’s Family Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000), 37.

“Well Nicolay…”: Candace Fleming, The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary (New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, a division of Random House Inc., 2008), 92.

“I do not know…”: Calvin Coolidge, The Real Calvin Coolidge (Rutland, Vt.: Academy Books, 1984), 190.


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Chapter 3 — The Toughest Job in the World

p. 39

“like the ebb…”: Elizabeth Keckley, edited by Frances Smith Foster, Behind the Scenes (Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 1998) 164.

“huzzahs”: Noah Brooks, edited and with an introduction by Herbert Mitgang, Washington in Lincoln’s Time (New York: Rinehart & Co. Inc., 1958), 226.

p. 40

“We meet this evening…”: “Reconstruction: Important Speech by the President,” New York Tribune, April 12, 1865: 1.

“That is the last…”: David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (London, Jonathan Cape, 1995), 588.

p. 41

“my fellow Americans”: Russell D. Buhite and David W. Levy, editors, FDR’s Fireside Chats. (New York: Penguin Books, 1993), 189.

“my friends”: Ibid, 112.
p. 43

“Speaking from the…”: Anthony Lewis, “President Sends Troops to Little Rock, Federalizes Arkansas National Guard; Tells Nation He Acted to Avoid Anarchy” The New York Times, September 25, 1957.

“never felt” and “more deeply”: Barbara Bush forward in Harry Benson, First Families: An Intimate Portrait from the Kennedys to the Clintons (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1997), 11.

p. 45

“the only thing…”: Transcript of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address.

“Ask not what…”: Transcript of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address.”

p. 47

“on Impeachment for…”: U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 4.

p. 48

“Once there were…”: “The Vice-Presidency: Seen, Not Heard,” Time, February 1, 1953.,9171,829748,00.html

p. 50

“Only two kinds…”: Bob Dole, Great Presidential Wit: … I Wish I Was in This Book (New York: Scribner, 2001), 159.

“If you are…”: Ian Crofton, In the Words of the Presidents (London: Quercus Publishing Plc, 2010), 70.

“If I were president…”: Dwight Young, editor, with an introduction by Brian Williams, Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval Office From the Files of the National Archives (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2005), 113.

“Dear Mr. President…”: Ibid, 164.

“dangerously low” “Your situation appears…” and “give my best…” Ibid, 166.

p. 51

“Presidents, I’ve learned…”: Richard Reeves, President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005), 211.

“You can get…”: Jim McGrath, editor, Heartbeat: George Bush In His Own Words (New York: Scribner, 2001), 61.

p. 52

“Harry, the President…” “Is there anything I…” and “Is there anything we…”: Margaret Truman, editor, Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman (New York: Warner Books, 1989), 372.


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Chapter 4 — Working in the White House: From First Ladies to Busy Butlers


p. 55

“first lady of the land”: “All Alike in Crisis Says Mrs. Roosevelt,” The New York Times, March 7, 1933.

p. 56

“The time is one…” “very delightful house” and “trying to unpack”: Ibid.

“The Busybody” and “The Meddler”: Candace Fleming, Our Eleanor (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2005), 104.

“There is no…”: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), 119.

p. 57

“how many [hair] rollers…”: Letitia Baldrige, In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House, with menus and recipes by White House chef Rene Verdon. (New York: Doubleday, 1998),

“as important as it is ill-defined”: Frank Freidel and William Pencak, editors, The White House: The First Two Hundred Years (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994), 170

“intense, overwhelming experience”: Angelo, First Families, 3.

p. 58

“no matter what…”: Kem Knapp Sawyer, “An Interview with Rosalynn Carter,” Cobblestone Magazine, March 1992: 41.

“Mrs. President”: “America’s First Ladies: Captions from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum, West Branch, Iowa.

p. 59

“stewardship”: Edith Bolling Wilson, My Memoir (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1938), 289.

“keen discernment”: Hoover, Forty-Two Years in the White House, 275.

“Somewhere out in…”: “A Suitable Job for a Gentleman?” Cobblestone, March 1992, 16.

p. 60

“glue that holds…”: Jimmy Carter quoted in the introduction to “White House Workers: Traditions and Memories,” Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2009.

pp. 61-62

“This is the…”: “Workers at the White House” exhibition booklet (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife Programs & Cultural Studies, 1993), 7

p. 62

“simply melted in your mouth” “White House Surprise Supreme” and “That expressed our feeling …” Ava Long with Mildred Harrington, “Presidents at Home,” Ladies Home Journal, September 1933.

p. 63

“One of the things…”: Bill Clinton, My Life (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 515.

p. 64

“the biggest hammock”: Looker, White House Gang, 34.

“years and years”: Ibid, 35.

“enthusiasm”: Henry Haller with Virginia Aronson, The White House Family Cookbook: Two Decades of Recipes, a Dash of Reminiscence, and a Pinch of History from America’s Most Famous Kitchen (New York: Random House, 1987), 288.

p. 65
“On Inauguration Day…”: Barbara Gamarekian, “Reunion Echoes Bygone Years at White House,” The New York Times, June 25, 1983.

p. 66

“a rather sad time” “Sweeping away…” and “leaves the whole household…” Elizabeth Jaffray, Secrets of the White House (New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1927), 40.

“Every president I’ve served,” Roland Mesnier quoted in “White House Revealed” DVD, written and produced by Jody Schiliro (SNI/SI Networks LLC, 2008).

“the White House became…” and “but old and true friends”: Jaffray, Secrets, 33.

p. 67

“would transform into…” Scheib, White House Chef, 72.

“Everywhere you go…”: Sheila Rabb Wiedenfeld, First Lady’s Lady: With the Fords at the White House (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1979), 79.

p. 68

“White House Culinary Program”: Scheib, White House Chef, 84.

“The cardinal rule…”: West, Upstairs at the White House, 209.

“Suddenly the door…” “Hey! What are you…” and “You never saw…”: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History, 126.

“she would tell us…”: “Workers,” 8.

“Good morning”: John Bredar with a foreward by Pete Souza, The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2010), 119.

p. 69

“Mr. President, your guests…” and “Well, if you’d…”: “Workers,” 8.

“When you first go…”: “Workers,” 19.


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Chapter 5—Entertaining at the White House: From T-Ball Games to State Dinners


p. 71
“T-ball initiative”: “George W. Bush Fact Sheet: White House South Lawn Tee Ball,” September 7, 2003. Posted online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

p. 72

“Nomar played Little League…”: David Jackson, “Bush’s Hit: T-ball at the White House,” Seattle Times, May 7, 2001.

p. 75

“The importance of…” “strong personal bonds” and “to speak frankly…”: Hillary Rodham Clinton, An Invitation to the White House, 63.

“At that moment…”: Bill Clinton quoted in “Inside the White House: America’s Most Famous Home” DVD. Produced, written and directed by John E. Bredar. National Geographic Television, 2003.

p. 77

“A-tten-tion” and “Boom”: “Kennedy, Ben Bella Talk Is ‘Fine,’” The Washington Post, October 16, 1962. (Author’s note: I added the hyphens between the syllables in “Attention” to mimic the sound of a military command.)

p. 79

“carefully choreographed”: Letitia Baldrige, In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House, with menus and recipes by White House chef Rene Verdon. (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 33.

p. 80

“had a pleasant word…”: Washington Irving quoted in Angelo, First Families, 32.

p. 81

“Princess Alice”: John Allen Gable, “Theodore Roosevelt’s White House” in The White House: Actors & Observers, edited by William Seale (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2002), 128-129.

White House Fruit Punch recipe adapted from Henry Haller with Virginia Aronson, The White House Family Cookbook: Two Decades of Recipes, a Dash of Reminiscence, and a Pinch of History from America’s Most Famous Kitchen (New York: Random House, 1987), pp. 57-58.

p. 83

“receive his fellow citizens”: Louise Durbin, Inaugural Cavalcade (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1971), 39.

“all sorts of people…”: Whitcomb and Whitcomb, Real Life at the White House, 59.

“I do not like broccoli…”: McGrath, Heartbeat, 324.

p. 85

“mingling of the races” and “social equality”: “Moody Declines to Censure Tea,” The Free-Lance Star, July 6, 1929.


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Chapter 6—Celebrating the Holidays

p. 89

“fellow workers for freedom”: “Roosevelt, Churchill Voice Faith to War-Weary World,” The New York Times, December 25, 1941.

“This is a strange…” and “Let the children…”: “Yule Messages of Roosevelt and Churchill,” The New York Times, December 25, 1941.

p. 90

“community tree”: (Author’s note: In 1923, the tree was referred to as the “National Christmas Tree.” The name was changed to the “community Christmas tree” the following year. See Laura Schiavo, “President’s Park (White House) at

p. 91

“On top of the…”: Rosalynn Carter, First Lady from Plains (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1984), 314.

“We want everybody…”: “Peggy and Peter Give Party for 200,” The New York Times, December 24, 1931.

“Yes, my son…”: Carl Sferrazza Anthony, America’s First Families: An Inside View of 200 Years of Private Life in the White House (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), 179.

p. 92

“We mourn our…”: Mary Evans Seeley, Season’s Greetings from the White House (New York: A Mastermedia Book, 1996), 163.

p. 93

“That tree and I…” and “Both of us…” Seeley, Ibid, 136.

“Thumbs up!” and “Bring ’er on in”: “O Christmas Tree: First Lady Michelle Obama Receives 2011 Official White House Tree,” Obama Foodorama Blog, November 25, 2011.

“handmade and folksy”: Description provided in photo caption from the Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Mich.

p. 95

“surprise”: Joseph Bucklin Bishop, ed., Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1923), 39.

“not long after” and “were just winding down”: Hillary Rodham Clinton, An Invitation to the White House, 189.

p. 96

“of every conceivable design” and “pyramid of cotton snow-balls”: Mary Emily Donelson Wilcox, Christmas Under Three Flags (Washington: The Neale Company, 1900), 43.

“invited to play…” and “created for some moments…”: Ibid, 44.

p. 97

“mammoth cheese” and “very far from being good”: “Mammoth Cheese,”, accessed April 10, 2012, extracted from J. Boehm’s “Monticello Research Report,” October 1997.

p. 98

“would be opened…”: Seale, The President’s House, volume 1, 147.

“nice people, questionable people…”: Ben Perley Poore, Perley’s Reminiscenses of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis (Philadelphia: Hubbard Brothers Publishers, 1886), vol. 2, 288.

“I never in my…” “Now this signature…” and “find my hand trembled.”: Fleming, The Lincolns, 102.

“line of waiting people…”: Helen Taft, Recollections of Full Years (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1914), 374.

p. 100

“Driven out of…” and “rolled eggs down the terraces”: “Local News,” The Evening Star, April 22, 1878.

p. 101

“played among the shrubbery…”: Ibid.

“joy and absolute…” and “oversized plastic spoons…”: Clinton, Invitation to the White House, 177.

p. 102

“Being away from…”: Aaron Latham, “Nixon Likens Raid Strategy to Football,” The Washington Post, November 27, 1970.

“Jesus Christ died…”: Richard Wightman Fox, “The President Who Died for Us,” The New York Times, April 14, 2006.
p. 103

“set apart and observe”: Proclamation of Thanksgiving, October 3, 1863.

“Franksgiving”: Melanie Kirkpatrick, “Happy Franksgiving.” The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2009.


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Chapter 7 — Home Life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

p. 106

“Barack-etology” through “Rivers is playing great…”: “President Barack-etology Obama 2011 Extended,” video on Youtube.

p. 107

“the best part of the day”: West, Upstairs, 66.

“never tired of…”: Bill Clinton, My Life, 516.
“My right ankle…” “mottled with three bruises” and “three new throws…”: Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters, 94.

“scrambles” Shortened version of “scramble walk”: Ibid, 232.


“dead space”: James M. Naughton, “Nixon to Shut White House Pool to Give the Press More Space,” The New York Times, October 21, 1969.


“Medicine Ball Cabinet”: John Sayle Watterson, The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 137.


“sorely miss[ed]”: Transcript of news conference at the White House with Jerry Ter Horst, August 22, 1974.

p. 111

“a heaven-sent treasure”: Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters, 160.

“drowned rat”: Ibid, 163.

“I promised never…”: Fleming, The Lincolns, 86.

p. 113

“elegant” and “much abused…”: Betty C. Monkman, “Furniture and Interiors: Change and Continuity” in Our Changing White House, Garrett Wendell, editor (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986), 112.
“old and unsuccessful hotel”: Ibid, 113.

p. 114

“This isn’t your house” “Why don’t you…” and “Because I don’t…”: Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Pat Nixon: The Untold Story (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), 264.

“strictly teenager” and “obviously the most…”: Wiedenfeld, First Lady’s Lady, 27.

“Why do you keep…” and “That was Abe…”: Lillian Rogers Parks in collaboration with Frances Spatz Leighton, My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House (New York: Fleet, 1961), 68.

“is haunted sure as shootin’.”: Robert H. Ferrell, editor, Dear Bess: The Letters from Harry to Bess Truman, 1910-1959 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1983), 535.

p. 115

“human alarm clocks”: George Sullivan, The Personal Story of Lynda & Luci Johnson (New York: Popular Library Inc., 1966), 80.

“loud clanking of chains…”: Eisenhower, Pat Nixon, 255.

“we inside the White House…”: Ibid, 290.

p. 116

“How he loved…”: Margaret Bayard Smith, The First Forty Years, 385.

p. 118

“despised”: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History, 436.

p. 119

“We have a terrible…”: West, Upstairs at the White House, 143.

“Heidi!” and “I’m just sick about it.”: Ibid, 144.

“Our life…” Barbara Bush and Millie Bush, Millie’s Book (New York: Harper Perennial, 1992), 29.

“The Prez says he…”: Ibid, 33.

There are some…”: Ibid, 99.

p. 120

“Every Texan should know…” Young, Dear Mr. President, 94.

“not the real world”: Margaret Truman, The President’s House (New York: Random House, 2003), 258.

“It seemed rather sad…”: Ruth S.B. Feis, Mollie Garfield in the White House (New York: Rand McNally & Company, 1963), 99.

“I am not…”: Correction: Although the tone and message of this quotation were preserved, the exact quote was not reproduced accurately. It should have read, “Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president’s son now.”: Keckley, Behind the Scenes, 180.

“crowded with little triumphs…” and “Life is lived there…” Jaffray, Secrets, 108.

p. 121

“The chariot has turned…”: Liz Carpenter, Ruffles & Flourishes (New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc., 1969), 334.


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