Childhood Memories Friday: Washington D.C.

Childhood Memories Friday

In the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of visiting Washington D.C. three times, once with each of my girls on a fifth grade bus trip. We visited the Capitol and lots of monuments. One thing we never did, though, was visit the White House. We didn’t even get close. A time or two, I think we got to peak at it from a distance, through a fence.

I suppose one can still tour the White House (well, not now, but until fairly recently I suppose it was possible). However, I’m assuming it takes quite a bit of effort to arrange?

When we visited Washington when I was 10, we did visit the White House. I remember waiting in line. Sadly, I can’t remember much of what I saw. It’s not like we were running into Betty Ford walking through a room with a cup of coffee, but I did get to visit “my” house. That’s neat to know.

White House 1975

Out front, you can see me, my sister, and my mom — “as we left the White House,” as I read on the back of the photo, from 1975. I’m struck by how tall those pillars look. I guess, from the distance I’ve seen it at lately, the White House appears much smaller than it does here.

Have you ever gotten to visit the White House? Do you have any memories of it?

7 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Washington D.C.

  1. I visited there around the same age as you. I remember there were tons of people going in and out.

    We were watching the new Lincoln movie last week and commenting on how different it was from those days–people just walked in all the time apparently, hung around waiting for a chance to talk to the President, etc. What a change!

  2. I guess, from the distance I’ve seen it at lately, the White House appears much smaller than it does here — boy, isn’t that true, figuratively and literally!

  3. Yes, on July 4th 1976 for the Bicentennial, when I was 15 years old. My family went and we got to tour the White House – we were shown one door and told we couldn’t go in to that section because “the family was at home.” The Presidential family, of course – what a thrill to realize they were just beyond that door! We also got to tour the Mint, the FBI building, and of course the Smithsonian, the monuments, etc. There were a lot of different bands set up on the lawn playing live music for the Bicentennial celebration, and it was quite exciting. The only downside was that our high school band had been chose to play in the Bicentennial parade in Philadelphia and even flew there on a chartered plane – and I missed it because of course it was the same day.

  4. At age 17 I visited the White House while on my senior trip to Washington, DC and New York City. It was awesome, but I appreciated it much more while seeing it again when my son there for the National Spelling Bee in 1972. We went through a receiving line in the Rose Garden where we shook hands with Tricia Nixon and exchanged a few pleasantries.
    The White House is a very beautiful and impressive place to behold. Too bad no commoners like us get to go near the place anymore! Only the “beautiful people” from Hollywood and pop culture rock stars are invited now. 🙁

  5. I went to the White House when we I went with the class of 1959 from Holland High School. We boarded a train in Loogootee. Then some years later I went with my family. We toured the White House because your dad did some legwork with someone with pull who let us do it. I know we bought a book on the tour. Do I now have it or do one of you girls? The White House belongs to each of us American citizens! The present residents don’t grasp that fact.

  6. Such interesting comments! Had to pop in …
    Lynn, that’s so neat about the Lincoln movie. I have been wanting to see it. Seems like I remember reading that about people used to being able to just walk into the White House!
    Elaine, ha ha! Good point. How are institutions are being diminished 🙁
    Tracie, how very cool that you were so close to the President and family! I remember us looking up to the second floor windows, hoping we might spot one of the Fords 🙂 And I love that your band got to play at Philly, even if you didn’t get to go. The Bicentennial was such an exciting time!
    Leona, I keep forgetting about Carl being in the National Spelling Bee. How cool that must have been — the Rose Garden and Tricia Nixon, whoa!!!
    Mom, that is cool about Dad pulling rank to get us into the WH. I did not know that. I am pretty sure I have a book about all the Presidents that we bought there. Is that the one?

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.