Origins of the Presidency and Official Duties

The White House

What are some of the White House’s famous rooms?

One of the most famous rooms in the White House is the Lincoln Room, named for President Abraham Lincoln. In Lincoln’s administration, it was his cabinet room and the room in which he signed the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. Today, the president’s guests often sleep in the Lincoln Room and the Rose Room.

The East Wing (which houses offices for executive branch workers) and the West Wing (where the president and the president’s staff work) are on either side of the main building. The Oval Office, located in the West Wing, is familiar to most Americans because this is the location from which president’s speeches are often broadcast. The East Room, the largest public room, is where the president often hosts receptions, dances, and concerts. Also used for receptions are three rooms named for the color of their decorations: the Blue Room (which received its name in 1837), the Green Room (which received its original name, the “Green Drawing Room,” from John Quincy Adams sometime between 1825 and 1829), and the Red Room (which received its name in 1840). The State Dining Room accommodates more than one hundred guests. The China Room, originally called the “Presidential Collection Room,” was designated by First Lady Edith Wilson in 1917 to display the growing collection of White House china. Although more than one million visitors tour the White House every year, the public is not allowed on the second or third floors; the second floor is where the president and his family reside.


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