Comedy Central is channel 68, Mr. President

In the previous post’s comments, visitor Rod pointed out that the White House has a high-res photostream on Flickr. It includes a fantastic photo of the president’s private Oval Office study, wherein you can see the staff has conveniently provided the president with a hotel-style channel legend. Man, those guys think of everything. Thanks Rod and also Colton! And thanks, White House Photo Office!

UPDATE: I’ve been all thru the photostream now. Phew! What a trove! Check the What’s New page tomorrow morning!

Tennis/B-ball court

I think this is our first look at the tennis court with basketball hoops added so the president can play full court. The old basketball court is only half court. Lincoln’s basketball court was only a quarter court. And Hoban’s original basketball court was only an eighth court–totally unsuitable for modern basketball.*

* Would I steer you wrong?

Time‘s 100 Days series. Great photos inside the mansion and West Wing. Thanks, Colton and also Barry and Antonio!

UPDATE: Added some of these and also another pic of the court from the UConn girl’s team visit.

Welcome, Mr. Lafferty’s 6th grade class!

I got this a few days ago:

My greatest compliments to you for the wonderful gem that is!  I am a 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher, and your website is an integral part of new year-end project on the White House.  This past Thursday, 53 areas of the White House were divided up among both of my classes, and with any luck many of the students will be clicking their way to over the course of the next week!

Great to hear! I hope the class enjoys it. Welcome, kids!


Having only just rid the White House of an infestation of sweetener-producing fauna, the Obamas now find themselves beset with an infestation of cuteness-producing fauna. This one is a Portuguese water dog that goes by the name of “Bo”.


Completely disregarding the money-saving possibilities—let alone marketing possibilities—of White House honey, the Obamas had a swarm of bees removed from the grounds the other day.

Original elevator?

Possible original White House elevatorA routine search of the Library of Congress called up this tantalizing gem: an old cage elevator etching labeled “D.C. Wash. White House. North portico. Bordered with 8 state seals and busts of10 presidents” and “This record contains unverified, old data from caption card.” and “c1907”. The caption is obviously wrong, but if it really is something to do with the White House, then it’s surely the original elevator or second elevator (I think there have been four).

Then there’s this interesting pic of JFK in what is clearly a White House elevator, but which floor? There is a dead end where the staircase should be, which is a little baffling. Since he’s with Caroline (or is that Eleanor Roosevelt?) he could be going to her classroom on the third floor. The golf clubs suggest a part of the family quarters, maybe the sub-basement.

Please stop e-mailing me that that’s Eleanor Roosevelt with JFK in the Life pictures

I’ve gotten multiple blog comments and several e-mails confidently guessing that it’s ER walking with JFK in a some of the new photos.

While I personally think its Eisenhower in disguise,  returning to his lair, I’ll add some notation about ER later, but right now Dreamweaver has gone goofy and keeps crashing.* I’ll have to reinstall it this weekend (for those who don’t know: 90% of the time, I’m out of town 100% of the time).

Thank you for your patience.

* If only there were something that could help me to forget today’s pain, fly me high thru the starry skies, maybe to an astral plane.

Oval Office ceiling medallion

Visitor MAC sent a note asking about the ceiling of the Oval Office. The two photos I have—both of which are from replicas in presidential museums, I’m pretty sure—show the Seal of the President of the United States with the eagle facing the olive branch. MAC wondered if this was changed by Truman and if he also changed the number of stars in it, and also why the medallion uses 8-pointed stars rather than 5-pointed stars used elsewhere. I don’t know the answers to these questions, so I put it to you, the White House enthusiasts at large.