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The White House 1600 Sessions
40 minutes | Jul 29, 2022
69. Jackie Kennedy's White House Guidebook 60th Anniversary
The first White House guidebook was published in 1962 as a collaboration between First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the new White House Historical Association, and the National Geographic Society. A special edition released on July 28th, 2022, Mrs. Kennedy’s birthday, marks the 60th anniversary of The White House: An Historic Guide. In this episode, we revisit a conversation between White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin and National Geographic Society’s Senior Director of Library and Archives Renee Braden, who shares a special oral history she recorded with Bob Breeden, one of the key people who created the first guide.
16 minutes | May 27, 2022
68. James Hoban: The Charleston Years
Charleston holds hints and clues to the formative years of the ambitious young Irishman James Hoban and his dream to make his mark in the United States. Join Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association and architectural historian and preservationist Shea McEnerney as they explore the Southern seaport to uncover the influences and legacy of the architect of the most famous residence in the world.
27 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
67. Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency
Mark K. Updegrove shares new historical perspectives on the Kennedy presidency from his recent book, Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency. The author, President and CEO of the LBJ Foundation, and White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin explore the relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, the assessment of Kennedy among world leaders, and what might have been had the young President lived.
34 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
66. The Next Generation: What the White House Means to Me
From reflections to a historical lightning round, Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, catches up with the Association's Next-Gen Leaders at the recent Presidential Sites Summit in Dallas. These advocates of White House history and all it represents, share their own experiences with Presidential history and even put Stewart on the spot.
22 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
65. The White House Recording Library: The Forgotten Collection
A donation from the Recording Industry Association of America to the Nixon White House, the White House Recording Library was comprised of 2,000 LPs, and overseen by a committee of scholars, journalists, and musicians. The library was then stored away and forgotten. John Chuldenko, the grandson of President Jimmy Carter, recalls hearing stories of the collection and began his search to uncover the lost music. He shares his quest and discovery with White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin.
24 minutes | Jan 25, 2022
64. Abraham Lincoln, Robert Burns, and the Scottish Connection
There is a long history of Scottish influence on the White House, dating back to the Scottish stonemasons that contributed to the construction of the Executive Mansion. Perhaps one of the most unique Scottish connections is through President Abraham Lincoln and famed poet Robert Burns. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks with Professor Murray Pittock, Burns historian and professor of literature at the University of Glasgow, and Mr. Ian Houston, President of the Scottish Business Network Americas, about President Abraham Lincoln and his fondness of Robert Burns and Scottish culture throughout his life.
29 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
63. The History and Making of the Official White House Christmas Ornaments
Since 1981, the White House Historical Association has created the Official White House Christmas Ornament. Collecting and gifting these unique ornaments has become a holiday tradition for millions of Americans, and all ornament sales support the mission of the Association. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks with the individual who came up with the idea to begin the ornament initiative, Richard Rovsek. After that conversation, Stewart talks with Dave Marquis and Kim Fyfe from ChemArt, the exclusive manufacturer of the ornament since 1981.
39 minutes | Nov 23, 2021
62. Voices from a Night at the Met
Since November 3, 1961, the White House Historical Association has served as the private partner to the White House to enrich, enhance, and promote the history of the Executive Mansion. The Association hosted a gala at The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in November 2021 to celebrate our 60 year history. In this episode, White House Historical Association president Stewart McLaurin reflects on moments from the Association’s 60th Anniversary Gala with segments from the evening’s program.
27 minutes | Oct 7, 2021
61. A Discussion with the Voices of Lafayette Park
Thousands of people traverse historic Lafayette Park every day to get a glimpse of the White House. The park, right in the heart of the President’s Neighborhood, has a long and storied history that is largely unknown to visitors of this historic space. In this episode of the 1600 Sessions podcast, Stewart McLaurin is joined by Hilary West and Royce L. Dickerson, the narrators of the newly installed wayside exhibit markers created by the White House Historical Association in partnership with the National Park Service. West is the Executive Director for Federal Government Relations at JPMorgan Chase and Dickerson is an MBA Candidate at the University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business.
34 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
60. U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
The White House is a ceremonial stage upon which our nation welcomes our most important visitors, including foreign heads of state. These State Visits often begin with an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, and the US Army Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps is a staple of those ceremonies. In this episode, Stewart McLaurin talks SGM J. Mark Reilly, Senior Enlisted Band Leader, and SGM(R) Billy White, Former Operations Sergeant Major, about the history and global work of the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
44 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
59. Designing Camelot
On February 23, 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy launched the most historic and celebrated redesign of the White House in its history. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews the authors of “Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration and its Legacy,” James Archer Abbott and Elaine Rice Bachmann about the legacy and making of one of the most influential interior design projects in American history.
21 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
58 Gigi at the White House
Although visitors from around the world have the opportunity to visit the White House every year, few kids have the opportunity to have the experience of their parents working in the White House. Children of White House staff get a special look at the inner workings of the Executive Mansion and some even get to know the President and First Family on a personal level. In this episode, Stewart McLaurin interviews author Giovanna McBride about her new book published by the White House Historical Association titled Gigi at the White House.
65 minutes | May 20, 2021
57 The Triumph of Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan was an iconic First Lady who helped shape the legacy of one of the most consequential presidencies of the 20th century. She was known for the tremendous grace, intelligence, and style that she brought to her role as First Lady and as President Reagan’s most steadfast supporter and admirer. White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks with Washington Post Columnist Karen Tumulty about Nancy Reagan’s legacy and her new book The Triumph of Nancy Reagan.
52 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
56 Freemasons and the White House
Since the laying of the cornerstone in 1792, Freemasons have played an important role in the construction and the history of the White House, with members including Irish architect James Hoban and many presidents from George Washington to Gerald Ford. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews Jason Van Dyke, Director of Communications of the Grand Lodge of Washington, DC, and Chris Ruli, the DC Grand Lodge’s Historian & Librarian, about Freemasonry and the White House.
75 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
55 James Hoban, Designer and Builder of the White House
James Hoban came from humble beginnings as a young carpenter and architect in Ireland, and went on to collaborate with George Washington on the design and construction of one of the most iconic buildings in the world. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews three contributors to the Association’s new book, “James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House” - Dr. Christopher Moran, Merlo Kelly and Andrew McCarthy - about the architecture that inspired Hoban’s most famous work.
37 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
54 The First White House Guidebook: Mrs. Kennedy, National Geographic, and the White House Historical Association
The first White House guidebook was published in 1962 as collaboration between First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy, the new White House Historical Association, and the National Geographic Society. In this episode, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin talks to National Geographic Society’s Senior Director of Library and Archives Renee Braden, who shares an oral history about the first guidebook, recorded with one of the people who was instrumental in its creation, Bob Breeden.
32 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
53 Conversations from White House History Happy Hour
In this first episode of 2021, White House Historical Association President Stewart D. McLaurin introduces the Association’s popular virtual program History Happy Hour, and shares conversations with historians, first family members, and other presidential staff about the lives of presidents and first ladies throughout American history.
46 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
52 A Tour of White House History with Michael Beschloss
In this final episode of 2020, White House Historical Association President Stewart D. McLaurin has a conversation with presidential historian Michael Beschloss. They discuss the 220 years of White House history and the Association’s work over the past 60 years to support conservation, preservation, and acquisitions and to make the White House accessible and relatable to Americans today.
36 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
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 | Nov 12, 2020
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.
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