Although it’s endured a fire, structural damage, and major renovations, the White House has—more or less—stood in the same spot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since John Adams became the first occupant
in 1800. Take a look at seven things that were once prohibited from entering.
With less than two years in office, President George H.W. Bush made a startling proclamation in the spring of 1990: Broccoli would no longer be seen in the White House or on Air Force One. “I do not like broccoli,” he told reporters. “My mother made me eat it. I’m President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”
2. CHRISTMAS TREES
of the lot was Teddy Roosevelt, who banned anyone from placing a freshly-cut tree inside. But Roosevelt’s son, Archie, didn’t share his ecological principles: He dragged in a small tree and hid it, fully decorated, in a closet.
3. PUBLIC CONCERTS
In today’s heightened
state of domestic security, it’s hard to imagine the White House once allowed Washington, D.C. residents to freely gather on the South Lawn for a concert. However, when President Abraham Lincoln and wife Mary were suffering the loss of their 11-year-old son in 1862, Mary insisted the band skip that summer, which led to some protests from the community. After a condensed schedule in 1863 at Lafayette Square, the band resumed in 1864.
When George W. Bush took office in 2001, one of his first orders was to ban anyone in the Oval Office from sporting jeans. The move was intended to shore up the building’s dormant dress code.
In 1993, Hillary Clinton exercised a strict no-smoking policy in residential areas of the property. Her husband, a cigar aficionado
, was reported to have gnawed on unlit cigars instead. By 1997, William Jefferson Clinton had signed an executive order banning smoking in all Federal buildings outside of specially designated rooms.
Upon his election to office in 1878, President Rutherford Hayes and his wife, Lucy, had a plan to restore a sense of decorum to public office. Lucy announced she would be joining the women’s movement that petitioned against saloons by prohibiting any liquor from being poured under her roof during functions. But the real force behind the prohibition wasn’t “Lemonade Lucy”. Instead, it was Rutherford. According to the Hayes Center, he did it to keep the Republican Party allied to the Temperance Movement.
It wasn’t until 2015 that visitors to the White House were allowed to take pictures during tours. In 1975, officials banned cameras because they feared the flashes could potentially damage some of the artwork on display.