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White House Facts

For two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. Its history, and the history of the nation's capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district "not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac." President Washington, together with city planner Pierre L'Enfant, chose the site for the new residence, which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As preparations began for the new federal city, a competition was held to find a builder of the "President's House." Nine proposals were submitted, and Irish-born architect James Hoban won a gold medal for his practical and handsome design.

Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in. Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the President's private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.

The White House has a unique and fascinating history. It survived a fire at the hands of the British in 1814 (during the war of 1812) and another fire in the West Wing in 1929, while Herbert Hoover was President. Throughout much of Harry S. Truman's presidency, the interior of the house, with the exception of the third floor, was completely gutted and renovated while the Trumans lived at Blair House, right across Pennsylvania Avenue. Nonetheless, the exterior stone walls are those first put in place when the White House was constructed two centuries ago.

Presidents can express their individual style in how they decorate some parts of the house and in how they receive the public during their stay. Thomas Jefferson held the first Inaugural open house in 1805. Many of those who attended the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol simply followed him home, where he greeted them in the Blue Room. President Jefferson also opened the house for public tours, and it has remained open, except during wartime, ever since. In addition, he welcomed visitors to annual receptions on New Year's Day and on the Fourth of July.

At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.

Free Worksheets From myTestBook.com ------ © myTestBook.com, Inc.
Question 1
Who designed the White House?
A. architect James HobanB. architect Nicholas Hoban
C. architect James BrownD. architect James Howard
Question 2
In which street is the White House located?
A. 1600 Washington AvenueB. 1600 Pennsylvania Boulevard
C. 1600 Princeton AvenueD. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Question 3
When did the construction of the White House begin?
A. in October of 1892B. in August of 1792
C. in October of 1792D. in October of 1787
Question 4
Who chose the site for the White House?
A. President John Adams and President WashingtonB. President Washington and Pierre L'Enfant
C. President Washington and James HobanD. President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams
Question 5
Who was the first resident of the White House?
A. President George WashingtonB. President Thomas Jefferson
C. President James MadisonD. President John Adams
Question 6
How old is the White House?
A. 50 years oldB. 2,000 years old
C. 400 years oldD. 200 years old
Question 7
Which of the following facts about the White House is NOT correct?
A. The White House is President's private home.B. There is a $50 entrance fee to visit the White House.
C. It is the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public.D. All of the above
Question 8
Who set the White House into fire in 1814?
A. The IrishB. The Indians
C. The BritishD. The French
Question 9
Who held the first Inaugural open house in the White House?
A. President Thomas JeffersonB. President John Adams
C. President Herbert HooverD. President Andrew Jackson
Question 10
Who gave the White House its current name?
A. President John AdamsB. President Thomas Jefferson
C. President Theodore RooseveltD. President Herbert Hoover
Free Worksheets From myTestBook.com ------ © myTestBook.com, Inc.

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