the white house historical association
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Would you like to live in the White House? You would live in the White House if your father or mother became president of the United States. The president’s family is called the "first family." Some people call the president’s children "first kids." What if you were a first kid and the White House was your house? 

Where would you play? Where would you eat and do your homework? Your parents would be the most famous people in America and you would be one of the most famous kids in America. Everyone would want to know about the food you like to eat, the books you like to read, and your favorite television shows.

Kids have lived in the White House for 200 years. Let’s read about some of them.

Tad Lincoln

Tad Lincoln

Tad Lincoln was seven years old when his father, Abraham Lincoln, became president.

Tad lived in the White House during the Civil War. He liked to play war games. He had an army uniform made to fit him. Soldiers protected the White House during the Civil War. Tad liked to talked to them and ask them what it was like to fight in a war. One day, President Lincoln was talking to some men and the door was closed. Tad used a toy cannon and shot little cannonballs at the door until his father opened the door.

Tad’s father liked to read to him. Tad did not go to a school to learn. He did his schoolwork in a library upstairs in the White House. President Lincoln bought Tad two goats as pets. Tad had fun when he tied the goats to a chair and they pulled him around the White House! Tad had a brother. His name was Willie. The Lincolns were very sad when Willie died in the White House. Willie was eleven years old when he died of a fever.

Quentin and his pony, Algonquin

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. and his macaw

Quentin Roosevelt

Quentin Roosevelt lived in the White House 100 years ago. He had a big family. He had two sisters and three brothers. His father was President Theodore Roosevelt. Quentin was almost four years old when he moved into the White House. He and his brothers and sisters loved pets. They had cats, dogs, snakes, and raccoons. They had a macaw named "Eli Yale." Quentin had a pony called "Algonquin." One day, Quentin’s brother, Archie, was sick. Quentin wanted to make Archie feel better. He took Algonquin into the White House elevator. Up went Quentin and Algonquin! Quentin pulled the pony into Archie’s bedroom! It made Archie smile. Do you think his parents smiled? We don’t know for sure but President Theodore Roosevelt did say, "I don’t think that any family has ever enjoyed the White House more than we have."

Caroline and John play in the Oval Office

Caroline and John Kennedy, Jr.

When President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy moved into the White House in 1961, they had two small children. Caroline was almost four years old and John, Jr. was a baby. They were the youngest children to live in the White House since Quentin Roosevelt.

Caroline went to First grade in the White House. Her mother made a classroom on the third floor of the house. Ten of Caroline’s friends went to school with her. No school bus came to the White House. Parents drove their kids to the White House in their cars.

John, Jr. played under his father’s desk. There was a secret door in the desk. When President Kennedy had to work in the Oval Office, John, Jr. had to leave.

But sometimes the kids could play in the Oval Office. Here they are dressed up for Halloween.

Amy reads a book during dinner with her family

Amy's Treehouse

Amy Carter

Amy Carter was in third grade when she came to live in the White House. She went to a school in Washington, D.C. She had two older brothers who lived in the White House with their wives. Amy missed her home. She lived in Georgia before her father, Jimmy Carter, was president. But Amy met many important people who came to the White House from around the world. She also had a tree house built for her. There are many trees in the back yard of the White House. Amy could go to her tree house when she wanted to be alone.

White House Pets

Tad Lincoln, Quentin Roosevelt, the Kennedy kids, and Amy Carter all had pets at the White House. Many first kids and their parents have owned pets. Pets made the White House seem like a home. Let’s meet some of them.



Laddy Boy






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