How did the White House get its name?

John Riley, Director of Education at the White House Historical Association in Washington, D.C., describes the history of the White House and explains how the building got its name.

The 132-room White House stands in the middle of a beautifully landscaped 18-acre (7.3-hectare) plot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. At the very beginning, they built up it with sandstones and the color is creamy. They were afraid that the rain would break the sandstones apart so they covered the walls with a white painting. The building was popularly known as the White House in the 1800's, before the British burned the building. However, its official name was first the President's House and then the Executive Mansion until 1901. That year, President Theodore Roosevelt authorized White House as the official title.


For more information about the White House, visit World Book Encyclopedia.


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