African American History and the White House

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/4/15 4:56 PM

Topics: Economy

As we all know, February is Black History Month, or National African American History Month. It is the annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially declared that the month of February will be dedicated as Black History Month. Other countries, like Canada and the United Kingdom, also now partake in celebrating black history. One of the greatest recent accomplishments in U.S. African American history was the election of Barack Obama as the first African American President in 2008.


Black History and the White House

As we look forward to what the housing market will bring in 2015, let us also look at some of the historic times we have had with President Obama in office. Not only was Barack Obama the first African American President ever to live in the White House when he moved in on Jan 20, 2009, but Michelle Obama is also the only African American First Lady to ever reside there. One of only 21 out of the 44 presidents to have served more than one term in office, President Obama has made affordable housing one of his major concerns while in office. Whether it is down payment assistance programs for first time home buyers, keeping mortgage rates reasonable, or lowering mortgage insurance, President Obama has always promoted "the American Dream" of home ownership. While Obama may not own 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he does have a lovely Historical Georgian revival home in Chicago to call home when his time as President concludes. Regardless, his time as President of the United States will go down not only in African American history, but U.S. history in general.


Some fun trivia facts you might be interested in about the White House are:

  • There are 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and 6 levels in the Residence. There are also 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
  • At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.
  • Presidential Firsts while in office... President James Polk (1845-49) was the first President to have his photograph taken... President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) was not only the first President to ride in an automobile, but also the first President to travel outside the country when he visited Panama... President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-45) was the first President to ride in an airplane.
  • The White House kitchen is able to serve dinner to as many as 140 guests and hors d'oeuvres to more than 1,000.
  • The White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface.

For more information on the details of the White House check out Inside the White House and for more information on Black History Month please see the History Channel.

Images courtesy of Inside the White House and NAACP

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