On July 4, 1776, the American colonies, which had been under the control of the British, banded together to declare their independence. Upon this declaration, the colonists created a new country – the United States of America. With the birth of a new nation, the leaders set about the task of creating a set of rules for the nation. In addition, the leaders of the United States went about the process of establishing a capital for the country. Upon creation, the capital was created in Philadelphia and New York City. However, a permanent site of Washington, D.C. Was suggested, and the task was started.
One of the buildings that was recommended was The White House. In 1791, President George Washington suggested the site of the building and the next year the cornerstone was placed on site. The building took eight years to build and the first President to live in The White House was John Adams. The building remained as is until 1814, when it was burned during the War of 1812.
After the fire, James Hoban, the original architect, was commissioned to lead the rebuilding of the White House. In 1817, the building was completed and President James Monroe moved into the White House. Over time the White House as undergone many changes, additions and renovations. During this time it has been one of the most recognized buildings in Washington and around the world.
Here are some helpful web pages which will help provide more information about this famous landmark:
- Inside the White House – Official page which outlines the history of the home of the U.S. President.
- White House Facts – Historical Society web page with trivia and facts about the White House.
- Facts About the White House – Useful article which lists several interesting facts about the building.
- White House History – Information and facts about the history of the Washington landmark.
- Residency History – In this page from the White House Museum, you will find out about the people that lived at the building.
- Selecting a City – Helpful article which looks at the background of selecting a city to serve as the nations capital.
- The White House for Kids – Brief article written for kids to learn more about the White House and the history.
- Capitals of the United States – Information on the nine locations that has served as U.S. Capitals.
- U.S. Capital Building – Informative page that provides a historical look at the capital of the country.
- A Nations Capital – Useful page that outlines the history of Washington, D.C. becoming the capital.
- Building the White House – Article that outlines the building of the historic landmark in Washington.
- Origins of the White House – In this informative page from the National Park Service it outlines the beginnings of the White House.
- Building the White House Video – Information in the form of a video from C-SPAN which chronicles the building of the White House.
- James Hoban – Web page about the White House and the architect of the building.
- Construction and Design – Helpful page that provides a look at the construction, design and other aspects of the famed building.
- British Burn Washington – Historical look at the destruction caused by the British in 1814.
- Setting Fire – Article that looks at the actions of the British in setting fire to the White House.
- Burning of Washington (PDF) – Publication which looks at the historical significance of the burning of the nation's capital.
- The White House Fire – Information on the fire that destroyed the White House during the War of 1812.
- White House Burning Myths – Washington Post article that provides information on five myths about the fire.
- The Changing White House – Web page from PBS which provides a timeline of changes to the famous landmark.
- Renovations – A useful look at some of the renovations that have been done over history.
- Renovation Photos – A look at images from the Truman Library covering renovations of the White House.
- Construction Timeline – Archived look at the chronological listing of events in the construction that occurred in the White House.
- White House Exhibit – A look at a museum exhibit which outlines the renovations at the landmark.
- From Yesterday to Today – Historical look at the White House complete with lesson ideas for children.
- White House Resources – Collection of pages of projects that the White House has been involved.
- Echos From the White House – Information and links about the landmark from the public television show.
- Museum Resources – Helpful web page with information and resources about the design and history of the White House.
- Classroom Resources – Educational resources that teachers can use to help students learn about the U.S. Government.