1790
A site for the new national capital is selected along the Potomac River.

1792
James Hoban was selected as architect; Masonic cornerstone ceremony (President Washington was not present).

1800
John and Abigail Adams moved into the White House; the seat of government was relocated from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. which became the new capital.

1801
First public reception at the White House is held on New Year’s Day; appointment of the "Midnight Judges" by Adams, including Chief Justice John Marshall; Thomas Jefferson becomes the first president inaugurated in Washington and undertakes plans for a garden and a stone wall around the house; a cooking stove replaced the kitchen’s open-hearth fireplace for preparing meals.

1803
Louisiana Purchase Treaty signed on May 2, 1803; Lewis and Clark expedition is planned at the White House.

1808
African slave trade ends.

1812
The first wedding ceremony is held in the White House when Dolley Madison arranged the wedding of her sister, Lucy Payne Washington to Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.

1814
Burning of the White House and Capitol by the British on August 24th in the War of 1812.

1817
President James Monroe moved into the incomplete reconstructed White House.

1820
Missouri Compromise–Maine admitted as a separate state; Missouri admitted as a slave state; slavery prohibited in the land area of the Louisiana Purchase north of latitude 36° 31°

1822
Pennsylvania Avenue was cut on the north side of the President’s Park.

1823
Monroe Doctrine, signed in the White House, warns European powers against intervention in the Western Hemisphere.

1824
South Portico constructed; the park north of the White House is named to honor General Lafayette.

1825
John Quincy Adams developed the first flower garden on the White House grounds and planted ornamental trees.

1828
On February 25, young John Adams, grandson of one president and son of President John Quincy Adams, married Mary Catherine Hellen in the White House. The event marked the only time that a president’s son has been married in the house.

1830
North Portico completed.

1833

Running water was piped into the White House for the first time.

1835
First central heating system installed; Andrew Jackson creates the White House orangery and plants the famous Jackson magnolia on the south side of the house

1841
William Henry Harrison was the first president to die in office on April 4, 1841.

1848
Gas lamps installed for James K. Polk replace candles and oil lamps; installation of a second and improved central heating system completed.

1849
California Gold Rush

1850
Compromise of 1850: California is admitted as a free state and territories of New Mexico and Utah are formed and allowed to make their own decision about slavery; Fugitive Slave Act was passed and slave trade is abolished in the District of Columbia; Abigail Fillmore, a former schoolteacher, obtained Congressional funds to establish an official library in the White House.

1853
Running hot water was first piped into the first family’s second floor bathroom; an efficient hot water heating system installed for Franklin Pierce; and the White House orangery is expanded into a greenhouse.

1857
Dred Scott Decision; orangery is demolished and a replacement greenhouse is constructed on the west, adjoining the State Floor of the White House.

1861
Confederates attack Fort Sumter.

1863
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in seceding states.

1865
Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox Court House; Abraham Lincoln assassinated on April 14; 13th Amendment to U.S. constitution outlaws slavery.

1866
The first telegraph office was installed in the White House.

1871
U.S. Grant extends the grounds south and a great round pool is built on the south lawn.

1874
King David Kalakaua of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) was the first ruling monarch to attend a state dinner at the White House.

1877
First telephone installed for Rutherford B. Hayes, using the phone number "1."

1878
Hundreds of tree are planted under Rutherford B. Hayes; the tradition of planting commemorative trees to represent each president and state is begun.

1870s-1880s
The conservatory is expanded to great size, rambling beside and over the West Wing and providing a spring garden for White House residents all year long.

1880
White House staff started using typewriters; the Ellipse south of the White House is completed.

1881
The White House had its first hydraulic elevator installed.

1886
Grover Cleveland was the only president to be married in the White House; he married Frances Folsom, the daughter of a former law partner; American Federation of Labor established.

1889
Benjamin Harrison brings the first Christmas tree inside the White House; a woman, probably a clerk typist, appears on the White House payroll for the first time.

1891
Electric wiring installed.

1898
U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War led to recognition of the U.S. as a world power; first electric elevator installed.

1901
President William McKinley is assassinated and Theodore Roosevelt became president; the official name of the Executive Mansion is changed to the "White House."

1902
Theodore Roosevelt Renovation by McKim, Mead & White; conservatory is removed and a new "temporary" Executive Office Building, later called the West Wing, is erected. Edith Roosevelt plants a colonial garden on the west.

1909
West Wing office building is doubled in size by a southern expansion and includes the first presidential Oval Office; William Howard Taft purchased official automobiles for the White House and converted the stable into a garage

1913
President Wilson held the first presidential press conference at the Executive Offices of the White House. Newsman that covered the White House were invited and about 125 attended. Previous news conferences had been limited to selected or favored reporters. Ellen Wilson replaces the colonial garden with a formal rose garden designed with George Burnap and Beatrix Farrand designs a new East Garden.

1914
Panama Canal opened.

1917
The United States entered World War I.

1918
Armistice ending the Great War was signed on November 11.

1920
Nineteenth amendment grants women suffrage.

1922
Electric vacuum cleaners are used in the White House for the first time; President Warren G. Harding has a radio set installed in a bookcase in his study on the second floor of the White House.

1925
President Calvin Coolidge made the first national radio broadcast from the White House.

1926
The White House acquires its first electric refrigerator; iceboxes had been in use since the Polk administration.

1929
The Great Depression begins.

1933
Soon after his inauguration Franklin D. Roosevelt began radio broadcasts to the nation from the White House that became known as "fireside chats." A heated indoor swimming pool was built in the west terrace for President Roosevelt’s therapy as he was disabled by poliomyelitis; the pool was covered in 1974 and the space was converted into a room for press briefings.

1934
West Wing is rebuilt and expanded and a new Oval Office and Cabinet Room was built in an eastern extension.

1939
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to appear on television at the opening ceremonies of the New York World’s Fair; the Roosevelts host the state visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England; World War II begins.

1941
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

1942
An East Wing office building erected, including a bomb shelter; movie theater added to the east terrace.

1945
V-E Day celebrated on May 7; V-J Day on September 2.

1947
The first presidential address telecast from the White House was delivered by President Truman on October 5.

1948
The Truman Renovation begins; four years later the completed project completely reconstructed the interior of the White House and added two new underground levels.

1950
Korean War begins.

1954
Brown v. Board of Education.

1955
The first presidential news conference to be recorded by television and film was held January 19; President Eisenhower was the first president telecast in color when he appeared on NBC’s Home Show on June 17.

1961
John F. Kennedy has the Rose Garden redesigned to serve presidential functions.

1962
Cuban Missile Crisis

1963
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; Vietnam war begins; thousands march on Washington to press for civil rights for blacks.

1964
Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act on July 2 in the East Room; Lady Bird Johnson has the East Garden completed in honor of Jacqueline Kennedy.

1968
Major protests in U.S. against the Vietnam War.

1969
Astronauts land on the moon.

1972
President Nixon visited Communist China.

1974
Richard Nixon became the first president to resign his office.

1975
Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.

1979
Jimmy Carter brought President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel to the White House to celebrate the signing of a peace treaty between the two nations.

1980
Hostages freed in Iran.

1981
President Reagan shot

1986
Space Shuttle Challenger explosion disaster.

1987
President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev sign a sweeping nuclear arms reduction treaty.

1989
Fall of the Berlin Wall

1991
Persian Gulf War

1993
President gets e-mail; Palestinian leader Arafat and Israeli prime minister Rabin sign peace agreement at the White House.

1995
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City bombed.

1998

The U.S. House of Representatives approves 2 of 4 proposed Articles of Impeachment