September 24, 2003

Presidential Fun Fact of the Day

Caroline Harrison.

"Carrie" was dismayed by the poor shape of the White House when she and Benjamin moved in. The Harrisons lobbied for a new executive mansion, but many people balked at the idea of leaving the historic White House. Instead, Congress set aside $35,000 for renovations.

Carrie threw herself into refurbishing the presidential home. She oversaw the modernization of the kitchen, installation of a heating system, replacement of moldy floors, painting and repapering of the walls, cleaning of the chandeliers, purchasing new curtains, upholstery, and furniture, and the installation of private bathrooms in the bedrooms. The White House was also wired for electricity at this time, and there was a new switchboard with several phone lines installed.

Carrie dug through the White House closets and cupboards to throw out broken and worn out china and utensils. While doing this, she assembled the now-popular White House collection of china. She also decorated the first Christmas tree for display at the executive mansion.

When the previous First Family, the Clevelands, returned to the White House again after four years, they were astonished by the transformation.

Posted by Jennifer at September 24, 2003 12:53 AM


Quite the first lady.

Posted by: Sgt Hook at September 24, 2003 11:22 PM