The White House

The White House is the personal residence and the office of the president of the United States. It is located in Washington, D.C. at a site that was chosen by George Washington in 1791. Washington never lived in the White House, though. The first president to live in the White House was John Adams, the second president of the United States.

The people who work in the White House do not have to leave when presidents change. The White House is considered the "People's House," so the people who work there work for the government, not just for the president. At one time, slaves and other servants lived in the White House but now the only people that live there are the president and the president's family. The vice-president does have an office in the White House but has a separate mansion in Washington, D.C.

The president's office is called the Oval Office. It is in the West Wing of the White House, as is the vice-president's office. When a president speaks to the nation in a televised address, it is often from the Oval Office. The president's secretary has an office that connects to the Oval Office. From the Oval Office, the president has easy access to the Roosevelt Room, which is the main meeting room for the president and his Cabinet. The chief of staff, advisors, the press secretary, and the press meeting rooms are also located in the West Wing.

If you were to visit the White House, you would likely enter through the East Wing. The famed Rose Garden is also in the East Wing, as is the office for the first lady. The president lives on the second floor of the White House, which includes bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, and living spaces. When Harry Truman was president and the White House had a much-needed renovation, he requested that a balcony be added to the second floor to give the "first family" an outdoor space overlooking the South Lawn. Many people consider the view from the Truman Balcony to be one of the finest in all of Washington. The third floor of the White House is recreation space for the first family. Depending on who is living there at the time, there could be an exercise room, a billiards room, or a music room.

No Secret Service agents live at the White House. However, there are always several Secret Service agents on duty. Some are uniform and some are not. At times, it is possible to see Secret Service snipers on the White House roof.


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