In the beginning – March 14, 1792 to be exact – a $500 prize was advertised for the winning design of a home suitable for the American president. The deadline for entries was July 15, 1792. Contracts were awarded and construction began, using skilled artisans, carpenters, and stonemasons. Workers came from other countries like Italy and Scotland, and hundreds of African-Americans, free and enslaved, skilled and unskilled also added their labor. Eight years later, on November 1, 1800, President John Adams moved into the White House. The presidential mansion lacked its main staircase and the windows rattled, but fires roared on its 39 hearths and it boasted a clean outhouse.
The story of the White House, home to 44 presidents (Grover Cleveland twice), their families and pets, is told in creative prose, poetry, and gorgeous illustrations in a new, oversize volume, Our White House - Looking In – Looking Out. More than 100 famous authors and illustrators contributed their skills to the National Children’s Book and Literary Alliance. They created richly illustrated stories and conversations. The volume includes many, many facts, like the creation of the press headquarters room by Theodore Roosevelt, and pages of animals (pets and farm animals) that called the White House home.
Although this book is dedicated to young people and probably will be found in many collections in juvenile sections in libraries, it is eminently a book for all readers, and should be in all schools, libraries and homes, including the White House.