Menu experiment

I started experimenting with a new navigation menu I found. I’d like to convert to new, more dynamic navigation to better enable users to get to the floor they want in the part of the mansion they want (I’d create separate pages for each floor of the East and West Wings.

Here is my experiment page, not quite laid out right. The code to do this would be a pain to add to every page, so I’m looking for something that I might be able to do in a streamlined way (with a couple of carefully-constructed find-and-replace functions).

West Wing second floor

I added a page for the second floor of the West Wing, similar to the one for the East Wing. I’ve hesitated up till now because:

  • There’s not much there other than ordinary working offices
  • The furnishings and occupants of those offices change pretty frequently
  • I don’t have many good contemporary photos
  • I don’t have any historical photos

However, it’s interesting to see the general look of it at least. The photos were provided (like most of the contemporary photos and layout of the West Wing) by Pete Sharkey from a White House video of some sort. Thanks Pete!


I did a little digging on the Truman Library site for second floor Residence bathrooms and discovered a couple of good images that I added. I also discovered that I had the tub picture in the wrong room, but they’re very, very similar. Changes affect the Kitchen, East Bedroom, Master Dressing Room, and Living Room Bath.

Miscellaneous pics

Added half a dozen more pictures from those sent by Pete Sharkey, including LBJ in the Cabinet Room, listening to heart-wrenching tapes from his son-in-law in Vietnam; Hillary redecorating the Blue Room; Mamie in a storage room and the laundry in the basement; and the White House draped in black crepe (for, I think, Harding; Pete thinks Lincoln); and the mysterious Secret Service Office (or, at least, the “lounge” part of it) on the West Wing ground floor.

Update: The black crepe was for Garfield.

The Kennedy Second Floor

Went thru CS Anthony’s The Kennedy White House and pulled some pictures of the second floor. This helped catch a mistake in the children’s bedrooms (Jr & Caroline) and clarify the sad story in West’s book about the room that is today the Beauty Salon a.k.a. Cosmetology Room. Also got a great pic of the president’s bedroom, the Kennedy elevator (at last, in color!), and the West Sitting Hall, which I didn’t even realize I didn’t have from the Kennedy era.

Hot Boudin!

John A sent this pic from the Autumn cover of Louisiana Life featuring “Hot Boudin!”–a spicy Cajun sausage. We’re sure that Jackie Kennedy would have got a laugh at the expense of Stephane Boudin, the French interior designer who helped her remake the White House.

New front page

Changed the front page image again, this time to an 1893 image of the north entrance with the Tiffany window, a rather stately welcome, I think. I guess I’ll make a point of changing the front page image once a month, since I’m sure I have good images to support it. I wish I had more seasonal images, tho.

The President’s House and the Kennedys and Johnsons in it

Some terrific gifts arrived today from John A that I want to acknowledge:

  • The two volume set of The President’s House by William Seale, a monumental work on the mansion thru history
  • The Kennedy White House, by Carl S Anthony, with many candid photos of the family
  • Nov 66 National Geo with “The Living White House,” a wonderful summary of the house’s history with great photos
  • The 1964 The White House: an Historic Guide, from the WHHA, with fantastic formal photos of the Kennedy renovation

So, if you were thinking “hmm, maybe for Christmas I’ll get Derek that November 1966 issue of National Geographic because I know how much he likes the White House and the naked Nuba women of Sudan….” Too late! You’ll have to get me socks.

Thanks, John. Not only has documenting the White House been a rewarding pastime, but even more enjoyable is being able to share it with others.

Hubert Humphrey revisited

In the comments of the Humphrey funeral post, visitor Patsyq asked for information about the services, specifically, the choir and music:

I hope someone reading this can help me…. I know it is off-topic but concerns HHH’s funeral. I have been unable to find (by googling) a program for his 1978 funeral, to include the names of the choirs and the music played.

Can someone help? Thank you.

I passed the question along to Jack M, who dug up the quote from Time that settled where the picture was taken, but I also did some digging of my own. I found a quote from a minister about how President Carter supposedly* went to Nixon, who was sitting in the back, and asked him to sit up front with the first family.

* My grandfather was a Baptist evangelist, so I know that you can’t trust even a minister’s apocryphal stories.

I also found a link to an NBC news report (with proto-news-babe Jessica Savitch) where some additional info is provided. Anyone who might have stumbled across choir or music info about the HHH services might respond to help Patsyq out. She has her own blog called NOLA-girl.

Books and videos

Cracked open my new copy of WHHA’s History 1 this weekend and added a couple of historical pics from it (TR’s 2nd floor Central Hall and Blue (Lincoln) Bedroom) and a couple of current ones from the White House site (Family Dining Room, WW Colonnade). I also got the videos I ordered: Nat’l Geo’s Inside the White House, Backstairs at the White House, Echoes from the White House, and Brick. A double viewing of Brick revealed that it is a clever, tense murder mystery in the film noir style set in a modern high school and has nothing to do with the White House. Imagine my disappointment.

Added a couple new reviews from Pete S. I’ll post the movie page officially soon.