“Presidents Day Weekend Celebrated” With a Program on the White House At Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Feb 12th, 2013Press Release from Lehigh County Historical Society

PRESS RELEASE                      

CONTACT: Joseph Garrera,Executive Director

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

cell: 484-553-2592

(610) 435-1074, Ext. 19

For Immediate Release


“Presidents Day Weekend Celebrated” With a Program on the White House At Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum February 16th, 1:30 p.m. 

Allentown, PA – The evolution of the White House from its inception to the present will be the subject of a slideshow lecture at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 16th at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown.  The announcement was made today by Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum.

“The White House is more than simply the home of our presidents,” said Garrera.  “In many ways it serves as a physical symbol of our nation.  Its history is that of the American people.”

The program traces this history and the ways in which Presidents and First Ladies alike have shaped changes at the White House.  The first president to live there was John Adams, who moved into the still-unfinished mansion with his wife Abigail in 1800.  Just a year later, in 1801, Thomas Jefferson started the first round of improvements, which included replacing the outhouse with an early toilet.  In 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops burned the White House, leaving only smoke-stained stone walls.  Rebuilt to its original plans, the White House stood, with various minor changes, through the Civil War, and into the Victorian era.  In the early 1900s, Teddy Roosevelt oversaw the addition of the East and West Wings.

By 1948, decades of deferred maintenance during the Depression and WWII brought the White House close to collapse.  President Truman commissioned a complete reconstruction of the physical structure.  Then, in the early 1960s, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy embarked on a transformative and historic redecoration of the house using antiques.  The White House today remains a sort of living museum that First Lady Michelle Obama has called “…the People’s House…a place that is steeped in history, but…also a place where everyone should feel welcome.”

Admission to the event is FREE to members, $6.00 for adult non-members, and $3.00 for non-member children.  The program begins at 1:30 p.m.

The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is a teaching institution that attracts a diverse audience.  Its collections of historical Americana include over 30,000 three-dimensional objects, 3 million documents and more than 75,000 vintage photographs.  The Museum is located at 432 W. Walnut Street in Allentown.   Parking is available in the rear of the Museum, on the street, and in nearby lots.  For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, Executive Director, at 484-553-2592 (cell) any time of day or at 610-435-1074. Visit www.lehighvalleyheritagemuseum.org or visit us on Facebook.

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