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The 1600 Sessions
36 minutes | 6 days ago
51 St. John’s, the Church of the Presidents
Since the James Madison presidency, St. John’s Church has been an important part of the life of Lafayette Square and of the nation at large. In this special Thanksgiving episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart D. McLaurin interviews the Rector of St. John’s Church, Rev. Rob Fisher, about the many historic ties that it shares with the White House, and how its congregation approaches both its history and its contemporary mission.
38 minutes | 19 days ago
50 Special Episode: Reflections on the First 49 Episodes
For the past four years, the monthly 1600 Sessions podcast has told the story of the White House through conversations with historians and eyewitnesses to the history at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In this 50th episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin reflects back on some of his favorite moments from the first 49 episodes.
48 minutes | 2 months ago
49 Wine and the White House
Wine has a long and important history in the White House, playing a unique role in entertaining, public ceremonies, and even global diplomacy. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart D. McLaurin interviews Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., about his new book published with the Association, “Wine and the White House: A History,” providing a comprehensive look at each president’s experiences with wine.
54 minutes | 2 months ago
48 White House Transitions
The transfer of power from one administration to the next is a hallmark of American democracy, but it hasn’t always been an orderly experience. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews Dr. Martha Kumar, Director or the White House Transition Project, and Tina Tchen, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and former Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, about the history and evolution of presidential transitions.
52 minutes | 3 months ago
47 The Decorator-In-Chief
Every administration brings their own personality to the White House, particularly when it comes to the look and feel of the upstairs family quarters. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews Michael S. Smith, the “Decorator-in-Chief” for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, about his new book, “Designing History, the Extraordinary Art and Style of the Obama White House.”
14 minutes | 3 months ago
46 Saluting Our National History Day Award Winner
Each year, the National History Day Contest encourages more than half a million students around the world to conduct historical research on a topic of their choice. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks to student Jack Ghormley of Conway Junior High School in Arkansas, winner of the White House History award at the 2020 National History Day Contest, about his winning documentary, “The Fireside Chats: FDR Breaking Barriers in Presidential Communication,” and why he thinks history matters.
37 minutes | 4 months ago
45 Recipes from the President’s Ranch
When you’re cooking for the president and first family, your meals and recipes become a part of history. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews Matthew Wendel about his book, “Recipes From the President's Ranch: Food People Like to Eat,” a first-hand account of his time serving as personal chef for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush and their family and world leaders at Camp David and their Texas home, Prairie Chapel Ranch.
62 minutes | 4 months ago
44 Women’s Suffrage and the White House
This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the culmination of the suffragists' fight to secure the right to vote for women. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks to authors and historians Rebecca Roberts, Elaine Weiss and Colleen Shogan about the longest social movement in American history, and the story of how suffragists lobbied presidents and became the first protesters to picket at the gates of the White House.
50 minutes | 5 months ago
43 White House Fellows
Every year, the White House Fellows program gives young, talented Americans the opportunity to work in the White House alongside White House staff, cabinet members and senior officials. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks with Elizabeth Pinkerton, Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows, Stephanie Ferguson, President of the White House Fellows Alumni Association, and Andy Ku, a recent White House Fellow, about their experience with the program and how its members shape the history of the White House and our country.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
42 Our Work and Recent Events: A Q&A with David M. Rubenstein
In this special episode of The 1600 Sessions, financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein interviews White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin to discuss the work of the Association during the recent period of the COVID-19 pandemic and protests in Lafayette Square, and how the history of “The People’s House” provides context to the challenges of the present day.
42 minutes | 7 months ago
41 Founding Mother, Mary Ball Washington
George Washington might not have become the Founding Father we know today if not for the influence of his mother. For Mother’s Day, Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews Craig Shirley, author of “Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of Washington’s Mother,” about how our first president’s life and personality was shaped by the unique character of his mother.
57 minutes | 7 months ago
40 Presidential Leadership in Times of Challenge: FDR and LBJ
Throughout our history, presidents have faced crises that have gripped both the nation and the world. In this episode, Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks to Paul Sparrow, Director of the FDR Library and Museum, and Mark Updegrove, President & CEO of the LBJ Foundation, about the unique challenges these two presidents faced, and the leadership skills that helped them navigate these challenges.
47 minutes | 8 months ago
39 Researching Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood
The White House is a symbol of freedom and democracy, but from its very conception it had a paradoxical relationship with the institution of slavery. In this episode, Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks to Association historians Matthew Costello, Lindsay Chervinsky, and Lina Mann about their groundbreaking work researching and telling the stories of the enslaved individuals that built, worked at, and lived in or near the White House. To Learn more about our Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood initiative, visit our landing page.
56 minutes | 9 months ago
38 White House History with David Rubenstein: Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood
The institution of slavery and the stories of enslaved people have always been a part of the fabric of White House history. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin introduces a conversation between financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein and the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, about the history and legacy of slavery in the nation’s capital, held at St. John’s Church on February 5, 2020.
38 minutes | 10 months ago
37 The Kennedy Center: A Living Memorial
After President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy wanted her husband to be remembered through a national cultural center that would serve as a living memorial. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks to Deborah Rutter, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, about the origins of the Kennedy Center, its mission to honor President Kennedy's legacy through support of the arts, and how it has had a relationship with the White House over time.
30 minutes | a year ago
36 The Sweet World of White House Desserts
The White House is known for its creative confections and desserts, particularly during the holiday season. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks to Chef Roland Mesnier about his experiences serving as White House Pastry Chef for five presidential administrations, detailed in his new book, Creating the Sweet World of White House Desserts: A Pastry Chef’s Secrets, co-written with his former pastry assistant Mark Ramsdell.
42 minutes | a year ago
35 Entertaining at the White House
From diplomatic dinners to holiday gatherings, the White House has always played a central role in the nation’s official entertainment. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks to historian and author Jennifer Pickens about her new book, Entertaining at the White House: Decades of Presidential Traditions, and the entertainment styles of recent Presidents and First Ladies.
51 minutes | a year ago
34 The President's Helicopter
For more than 60 years, the President of the United States has flown in a helicopter for domestic and international travel. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks to two former Marine One pilots, Colonel Steve Taylor and Colonel Kevin Wild, and the president of Sikorsky Dan Schultz about the role of Sikorsky helicopters in the history of presidential travel. Learn more about the Official 2019 White House Christmas Ornament, honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s commitment to innovation as the first sitting president to use regular helicopter transportation, here.
44 minutes | a year ago
33 George Washington's Legacy
George Washington never lived in the White House, but played a major role in its design, as well as the design of the capital city that bears his name. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks to Association Historian Dr Matthew R. Costello, author of “The Property of the Nation: George Washington's Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President” about George Washington’s legacy and the important precedents he set, including how the nation remembers and memorializes our presidents.
58 minutes | a year ago
32 Blair House and the Chief of Protocol
When heads of state visit the United States and the White House, the United States Chief of Protocol is on point and the official President’s guest residence, Blair House, may be where the head of state stays. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks to three former Chiefs of Protocol - Selwa “Lucky” Roosevelt, Lloyd Hand and Capricia Marshall - about their experiences in that role and the importance of Blair House in American diplomacy.
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