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  • Meeting About the Proposed National Cultural Center
    Cecil Stoughton
    presidential buildings
    State Floor
    John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    East Room
    arts & culture
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy talking with guests during a meeting on the National Cultural Center was taken by Cecil Stoughton in the East Room on October 8, 1963. The National Cultural Center would later become later known as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as a memorial to President Kennedy. The East Room is located on the State Floor of the Executive Mansion. The room is the largest room in the White House and is often used as a ceremonial space. The room is painted white and has 18th-century French and English-inspired ornate walls and ceiling. To make way for temporary furniture for ceremonies and holiday decorations, the East Room is usually sparsely furnished.
  • Presentation of the First Edition of The White House: A Historic Guide
    Cecil Stoughton
    West Wing
    Roosevelt Room
    Presidential Seal
    WHHA
    This photograph is of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy admiring their copies of the first edition of "The White House: A Historic Guide." The publication serves as a companion book for tours of the White House, providing history of the rooms, architecture, and furniture. The presentation of the first edition took place in the Fish Room, now known as the Roosevelt Room and was photographed by Cecil Stoughton on June 28, 1962.
  • President Kennedy Hosts State Dinner for Ẓāhir Shāh of Afghanistan
    Robert L. Knudsen
    State Visit
    State Dinner
    Grand Staircase
    First Family
    Entrance Hall
    Head of State
    This photograph, taken by Robert L. Knudsen, shows President John F. Kennedy and his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, near the foot of the Grand Staircase with King Ẓāhir Shāh of Afghanistan and his wife, Humaira Begum, during a State Dinner held in his honor on September 5, 1963. Originally planned for the Rose Garden, the dinner took place in the State Dining Room due to the possibility of inclement weather.
  • President John F. Kennedy Signs Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    Cecil Stoughton
    signing
    Treaty Room
    Second Floor
    treaties
    In this photograph, taken by Cecil Stoughton on October 7, 1963, President John F. Kennedy speaks during the signing ceremony for the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in the Treaty Room of the White House. Ratified by the U.S. Senate on September 24, 1963, the treaty allowed underground nuclear tests, but prohibited tests in the water, atmosphere, or outer space. The signers pledged to end the arms race, move to complete disarmament, and protect the environment from nuclear contamination. The ceremony was held shortly after the Treaty Room was restored by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and interior designer Stéphane Boudin. The refurbished room paid homage to late 19th-century splendor and included deep green flocked wallpaper with a geometric border based on a design used for the State Rooms of the White House during the Andrew Jackson administration, a cabinet table, sofa, and chandeliers from the Ulysses S. Grant administration; and notable works of art such as Peter Frederick Rothermel's "The Republican Court in the Days of Lincoln," pictured here on the wall behind President Kennedy.
  • Reception for the Centennial Year of the Emancipation Proclamation
    Cecil Stoughton
    State Floor
    Green Room
    receptions
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the recently restored Green Room was taken by Cecil Stoughton on February 12, 1963 during a reception to mark the centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, and granted freedom to enslaved people residing in Confederate states. The Green Room is located on the State Floor of the Executive Mansion. It was the first room named after the color of its textiles and has Federal-style furnishings. The elegant but relaxed parlor is used for small gatherings, interviews, and teas.
  • The Kennedys Attend Staff Christmas Reception
    Cecil Stoughton
    winter holidays
    State Floor
    Entrance Hall
    Christmas
    parties
    This photograph by Cecil Stoughton shows President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy attending the White House staff Christmas reception. The reception took place on December 12, 1962, in the Entrance Hall of the White House. The official White House Christmas tree was in the Entrance Hall that year due to work being done in the Blue Room, where the tree traditionally resides. This would be their last Christmas celebration in the White House.
  • President Kennedy at the Resolute Desk
    Cecil Stoughton
    furniture
    West Wing
    Resolute Desk
    Oval Office
    case goods
    In this photograph taken circa 1962, President John F. Kennedy sits at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The desk was made from the oak timbers of the British ship H.M.S. Resolute and sent as a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes from Queen Victoria in 1880. For her first redecoration of the Oval Office in early 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and interior designer Sister Parish had the desk relocated from the Ground Floor to a place of prominence in the Oval Office.
  • President and Mrs. Kennedy with Project Mercury Astronauts
    Cecil Stoughton
    astronauts
    Yellow Oval Room
    Second Floor
    White House Guests
    In this photograph, taken by Cecil Stoughton on May 21, 1963, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy entertain astronauts Maj. L. Gordon Cooper, Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Maj. Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Lt. Cmdr. M. Scott Carpenter, Maj, Donald K. “Deke” Slayton, Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra and their spouses in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House. Earlier that day, President Kennedy presented the NASA Distinguished Service Medal to Maj. Cooper for his success with the Project Mercury orbital mission. Maj. Cooper flew the Mercury-Atlas 9 ("Faith 7"), which was the final Mercury flight. He flew just over 34 hours and orbited the earth 22 times before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The other astronauts were also participants of Project Mercury and took part in early United States spaceflight missions. This photograph shows the president, first lady, and their guests relaxing in the Yellow Oval Room shortly after it was restored into a formal drawing room by Mrs. Kennedy.
  • Presentation of the First Edition of The White House: A Historic Guide
    Cecil Stoughton
    West Wing
    Roosevelt Room
    WHHA
    Presidential Seal
    This photograph is of Dr. Melville Bell Grosvenor, president and editor of the National Geographic Society, handing First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy a copy of the first edition of "The White House: A Historic Guide." The publication serves as a companion book for tours of the White House, providing a history of the rooms, architecture, and furniture. The presentation of the first edition took place in the Fish Room, now known as the Roosevelt, and was photographed by Cecil Stoughton on June 28, 1962. Behind them are President John F. Kennedy; David E. Finley, chairman of the board of directors of the White House Historical Association; Lorraine Waxman Pearce, curator of the White House; Dr. Leonard Carmichael, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and member of the board of directors of the White House Historical Association; Melvin M. Payne, executive vice president and secretary of the National Geographic Society; (partially visible) Nash Castro, assistant regional director of the National Park Service and administrative officer of the White House Historical Association.
  • President Kennedy Dedicates State Dining Room Mantle
    Cecil Stoughton
    restoration
    refurbishment
    State Floor
    State Dining Room
    mantels
    This photograph was taken by Cecil Stoughton on July 2, 1962, during the dedication ceremony for a new marble mantle in the State Dining Room. The mantel was a joint gift of the architecture firm Steinmann, Cain and White and the Marble Industry Board of New York. Pictured between President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in front of the mantel is Alice Roosevelt Longworth, eldest daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt. The mantel was a modified reproduction of an earlier mantel created by McKim, Meade, and White for President Roosevelt's White House renovations in 1902.
  • President Kennedy Speaks to Fulbright Exchange Teachers
    Robert L. Knudsen
    receptions
    South Grounds
    Rose Garden
    In this photograph, taken by Robert L. Knudsen on August 23, 1963, President John F. Kennedy addresses a group of Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program participants in the Rose Garden of the White House. From 1946-2013, the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program supported international professional development by offering primary and secondary teachers the opportunity to exchange teaching positions for a semester with colleagues from another country. At the Rose Garden ceremony, President Kennedy spoke with teachers from across the world who came to take part in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program in the United States.
  • Reception for the Centennial Year of the Emancipation Proclamation
    Cecil Stoughton
    State Floor
    Cross Hall
    receptions
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy receiving guests in the Cross Hall during a reception to mark the centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation was taken by Cecil Stoughton on February 12, 1963. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, and granted freedom to enslaved people residing in Confederate states. Located on the State Floor of the White House, the Cross Hall runs the length of the Executive Mansion and offers views of the East, Red, Green, and Blue Rooms.
  • Mrs. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and White House Butlers in the West Sitting Hall
    Robert L. Knudsen
    staff
    West Sitting Hall
    Second Floor
    Residence staff
    This photograph of Jacqueline Kennedy and her son John F. Kennedy, Jr, posing for a photograph with White House butlers in the West Sitting Hall prior to her final departure from the White House was taken by Robert L. Knudsen on December 6, 1963. After removing her personal items, Mrs. Kennedy rearranged the remaining furnishings to cover bare spaces in an effort to make the house more welcoming to President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family. The West Sitting Hall is often a favorite for first families. But until 1869, the room was the location of an open stairwell connecting the State Floor to the private residence. President Ulysses S. Grant had the staircase replaced with a smaller one and the room slowly took shape. During the 1902 Theodore Roosevelt renovation, the stairwell was completely removed, allowing the West Sitting Hall to connect with the Center Hall and the rest of the Second Floor residence. The room is noted for the large arched window that mirrors the one in the East Sitting Hall, on the opposite end of the Center Hall.
  • Reception for the Centennial Year of the Emancipation Proclamation
    Cecil Stoughton
    State Floor
    Blue Room
    receptions
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy receiving guests in the recently restored Blue Room during a reception to mark the centennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation was taken by Cecil Stoughton on February 12, 1963. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, and granted freedom to enslaved people residing in Confederate states. The Blue Room is located on the State Floor of the Executive Mansion and is famous for its oval shape, central location, and views of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial through its South Portico windows.
  • The Kennedys in the Yellow Oval Room
    Cecil Stoughton
    refurbishment
    lighting
    candelabra
    Yellow Oval Room
    Second Floor
    restoration
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy posing for a portrait in the recently completed Yellow Oval Room was taken by Cecil Stoughton on March 28, 1963. In the background can be seen the Kennedy’s French interior designer Stéphane Boudin’s window treatment and a pedestal candelabra. The Yellow Oval Room has served as a family library, study, and sitting room. Under the direction of Mrs. Kennedy, it was made into a formal drawing room for the first family. The room is also where the president greets guests of honor before State Dinners. The room's color scheme echoes the yellow damask furnishings and curtains selected by First Lady Dolley Madison.
  • Presentation of the First Edition of The White House: A Historic Guide
    Abbie Rowe
    West Wing
    Roosevelt Room
    WHHA
    This photograph is of President John F. Kennedy delivering remarks at the presentation of the first edition of "The White House: A Historic Guide”. The publication serves as a companion book for tours of the White House, providing a history of the rooms, architecture, and furniture. The event took place in the Fish Room, now known as the Roosevelt, and was photographed by Abbie Rowe on June 28, 1962. Behind him are First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Dr. Melville Bell Grosvenor, president and editor of the National Geographic Society. Both the President and Mrs. Kennedy are standing with others. From left to right: David E. Finley, chairman of the board of directors of the White House Historical Association; Lorraine W. Pearce, curator of the White House; Dr. Leonard Carmichael, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and member of the board of directors of the White House Historical Association; Melvin M. Payne, executive vice-president and secretary of the National Geographic Society; Nash Castro, assistant regional director of the National Park Service and administrative officer of the White House Historical Association; T. Sutton Jett, regional director of the National Park Service and executive secretary of the White House Historical Association; and Robert L. Breeden, assistant illustrations editor of the National Geographic Society.
  • President Kennedy Presented with Gifts at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner
    Abbie Rowe
    lighting
    sconces
    presidential gifts
    This photograph of Garnett D. Horner, reporter for the Washington Star and out-going president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, presenting two silver lanterns to President John F. Kennedy at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner was taken by Abbie Rowe on February 25, 1961. The lanterns are replicas of those hung in the Old North Church of Boston on April 18, 1775, that would signal the patriots of Paul Revere’s ride to warn Lexington and Concord. The lanterns were electrified and installed as wall-mounted sconces in the Oval Office.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Bids President Kennedy Farewell
    Abbie Rowe
    mantels
    Yellow Oval Room
    Head of State
    Second Floor
    In this photograph taken by Abbie Rowe, President John F. Kennedy stands in front of the Yellow Oval Room mantelpiece with Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda of Japan on June 23, 1961. Placed in front of the mantel is a scale mock-up of the green and white mantelpiece brought to the attention of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy by Jayne Wrightsman and purchased for the Yellow Oval Room by Mr. and Mrs. John Loeb. After consideration, the mantel was deemed too small for the room and it was eventually incorporated into the redecoration of the Family Dining Room on the State Floor.
  • President Kennedy Attends Luncheon for New Jersey Publishers
    Abbie Rowe
    meals
    State Floor
    State Dining Room
    This photograph showing a luncheon for New Jersey publishers was taken by Abbie Rowe on October 6, 1961. The luncheon took place in the State Dining Room amid a renovation during the John F. Kennedy administration. Seen here are the recently regilded chandelier and repositioned sconces. President Kennedy and press secretary Pierre Salinger were in attendance. The State Dining Room is located on the State Floor of the White House. The room is often the setting for state or official dinners and is the second largest room in the White House.
  • President Kennedy Attends a Luncheon for Newspaper Editors and Publishers from Idaho
    Abbie Rowe
    meals
    State Floor
    Family Dining Room
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy attending a luncheon for newspaper editors and publishers from Idaho was taken by Abbie Rowe on June 15, 1962 in the Old Family Dining Room. Clockwise from left: President Kennedy; editor of the Moscow Idahonian, Louis A. Boas; publisher of the St. Maries Gazette Record, Robert M. Hammes; publisher of the Parma Review, Theron M. Gough; president and publisher of the Lewiston-Clarkson Tribune, A. L. “Bud” Alford; press secretary Pierre Salinger; president and publisher of the Blackfoot News, Drury R. Brown; publisher of the Pocatello State Journal, Hugh A. Wagnon; publisher of the Twin Falls Times-News, John J. “Jack” Mullowney; publisher of the Burley Herald. The recently redecorated room included historic objects from the White House Collection including an early 19th-century French mantel clock with a figure of George Washington and two 19th-century still life paintings by German émigré artist Severin Roesen. From 1825 to 1962, presidents and their families traditionally dined in the Old Family Dining Room. In 1962 with the addition of a new private family dining room on the Second Floor of the White House, the room was repurposed for small official dinners, working lunches, and also serves as a staging area for state dinners. Located on the State Floor of the White House, the room features architectural details such as elegant plasterwork and vaulted ceilings. During the Barack Obama administration, the room was opened to public tours for the first time.
  • President Kennedy Presents the Presidential “Citation of Merit”
    Abbie Rowe
    State Floor
    Blue Room
    ceremonies
    merits & awards
    This photograph is of President Kennedy presenting the Presidential “Citation of Merit” to diplomat Florence Jaffray Hurst Harriman, in recognition of her distinguished service to the United States. The ceremony took place in the completed Blue Room, part of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's restoration program, and was photographed by Abbie Rowe on April 18, 1963. The Blue Room is located on the State Floor of the Executive Mansion and is famous for its oval shape, central location, and views of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial through its South Portico windows.
  • President Kennedy Attends Diplomatic Reception in the East Room
    Robert L. Knudsen
    State Floor
    receptions
    East Room
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy mingling with diplomatic guests in the East Room of the White House was taken by Robert L. Knudsen on May 2, 1962. The East Room is located on the State Floor of the Executive Mansion. The room is the largest room in the White House and is often used as a ceremonial space. The room is painted white and has 18th-century French and English-inspired ornate walls and ceiling. To make way for temporary furniture for ceremonies and holiday decorations, the East Room is usually sparsely furnished.
  • Presentation of a Painting to President Kennedy in the Cabinet Room
    Robert L. Knudsen
    West Wing
    Cabinet Room
    painting
    In this photograph taken by Robert L. Knudsen, President John F. Kennedy views a newly acquired painting, Dressing Down the Gully by Jack Lorimer Gray, in the Cabinet Room on July 6, 1962. Gray was a Canadian artist known for his maritime paintings. The Cabinet Room is located in the West Wing.
  • President Kennedy Meets with Prime Minister Fanfani of Italy
    Robert L. Knudsen
    West Sitting Hall
    Second Floor
    Head of State
    meetings
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy meeting with Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani of Italy in the West Sitting Hall was taken by Robert L. Knudsen on June 12, 1961. The curtains are the multicolored printed cotton originally chosen by Sister Parish who designed the room in the early stages of the Kennedy restoration project in 1961. Sister Parish was a socialite and interior designer who worked with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the early stages of her restoration project.
  • The Kennedys and President Khan and His Daughter at Mount Vernon
    Robert L. Knudsen
    residence
    presidential sites & libraries
    State Visit
    State Dinner
    Head of State
    Virginia
    This photograph of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was taken by Robert L. Knudsen on July 11, 1961. President and Mrs. Kennedy are photographed in front of Mount Vernon alongside President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan and his daughter, Begum Nasir Akhtar Aurangzeb. Mount Vernon provided the location and backdrop for a State Dinner held in President Khan’s honor and was the first of its kind held outside the White House. Mrs. Kennedy wore a dress designed for her by Oleg Cassini, which she requested be columnar in shape to echo Mount Vernon’s historic facade. Mount Vernon was the estate of President George Washington.