Stewart D. McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association (WHHA), launched a new monthly column with USA Today aimed at educating readers about White House history and its impact on Americans’ lives. USA Today named McLaurin to its Board of Contributors.
“The White House stands as a symbol of freedom and democracy to billions of people around the world,” said McLaurin, “and this new column aims to inspire Americans and others across the globe to learn more about the rich history of the White House and its residents.”
First up: some clever insight and beautiful photos showing that when it comes to weddings, presidents and their families aren’t exactly like the rest of us. McLaurin addresses White House family weddings and receptions – and how presidential families throughout American history have balanced the intimacy of a family ceremony with the demands of living their lives in the public spotlight.
McLaurin points out that more than a dozen family weddings have been held at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Tricia Nixon was the first to have an outdoor wedding in the Rose Garden back in June 1971. President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will celebrate the wedding of their granddaughter at the White House this November.
“It’s hard to imagine any future White House family wedding being anything other than a national event,” McLaurin writes. “But it’s important to remember that at the center of each American presidency is a family, trying to fashion a life and find private moments on one of the world’s biggest stages.”
Future USA Today columns will explore and connect White House history to current events and timeless themes in American life today.