11 Shocking Facts About The White House You Should Know

Posted Oct 22, by Jose Duarte

Save your checkbook, the White House is, of course, not for sale. Still, by analyzing the real estate market, online giant Zillow.com estimates that the White House would fetch a pretty penny on the open market. What would $287,189,701 buy you? Besides the history of the place, of course. Here's a list of the amenities:

  • It has 132-rooms in 55,000 square feet of construction.
  • It has 16 bedrooms and 35 bathrooms
  • It sits on a lot that is 784,080 square feet big.
  • It has an attached garage.
  • Central cooling, heat and fireplace.
  • Five different levels, including a sub-basement for storage, a basement for reception, a first floor with meeting rooms, a residence floor with bedrooms, and a third floor with recreation and sun rooms.
  • Bonus: The East Wing has room for the first lady and an underground protection bunker!

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You may be asking yourself how one of the most important men in the world can have to pay for his own families food when almost every desire he could ever want is at the snap of his fingers. It works in a simple manner: Whatever food the first family or friends consumes is written down on a bill and presented to them at the end of the month. 

But it’s not just food. Toothpaste, toilet paper, and nearly every commodity they personally use must be paid for by Mr. Obama! Pay for food? That could get pricy with all of the world famous guests and five star kitchen staff that are present at the White House, but luckily for the president the bill is only for times that are not official state functions. 

However, almost every president is shocked to learn this upon their arrival at the White House. Nancy Reagan said, “Nobody ever told us the president and his wife are charged for every meal, as well as incidentals like dry cleaning, toothpaste, and other toiletries,” after being presented with her first bill, and Rosalynn Carter commonly complained about the expensive costs her and her husband were forced to pay.


In 2004, Tom Hanks toured the White House and noticed there was no coffee maker for the press corps. So, Hanks bought one for them. In 2010, he swung by the White House again with Steven Spielberg and noticed the machine was on its last legs.

He bought them an updated machine. Spielberg joked that he came just to see the famed espresso maker. Hanks said there was no need for the press to be sleep deprived and it was a simple gift.


‘White House Honey Ale’ is the only beer known to have been brewed in the White House.

These presidential suds were produced this past January at the request of President Barack Obama. The homebrew was produced by White House chefs using honey obtained from bees in the presidential garden. Obama unveiled around 100 bottles of the unique brew at his Super Bowl party, where guests could choose between Pennsyvania’s own Yuengling for Steelers fans, Green Bay’s Hinterland Beer, or stay neutral with the commander-in-chief’s own offering.

\"\" The White House wasn’t called “the White House” until 1901.

President Theodore Roosevelt gave the iconic building its name. That’s over 100 years after it was completed and its first residents, John and Abigail Adams, moved in. Prior to that, the president’s home was known as the “Executive Mansion”, the “President’s House” and the “President’s Palace”. We now just call it the White House, though it takes 570 gallons of paint to keep it that color.

Learn more about the White House at WhiteHouse.gov.

Apparently an investigation was done and it’s said that $15,000 worth of damage was done by the Clinton administration when they left the White House. The place was left in a fraternity house type of disarray.

The General Accounting Office looked into complaints that Clinton’s aides had ripped telephone cords from the walls, left obscene voicemails on machines, defaced bathrooms, and removed all the “W” keys from all the keyboards when they left the office. Some antique doorknobs and a presidential seal was said to be stolen as well. The General Accounting Office concluded their investigation by saying that vandalism, theft, damage, and pranks had occurred in the White House during the 2001 presidential transition.

Some of the damage was intentional, including removing the “W” keys from the keyboards and gluing desk drawers shut. No prosecution was planned, though. Supporters of Clinton said that it was typical of any presidential transition and blown out of proportion.


The Lincoln Sitting Room is located on the second floor east wing of the White House. For the first 100 years it was used as part of the president’s office, and specifically used as a telegraph room from 1865 to 1902. 

In 1902 the West Wing was built onto the White House and all offices moved there and the Lincoln Room became a sitting room for guests staying in the bedroom next to it. It has been decorated to match the bedroom next door in a Victorian theme. Some of its furniture actually came from the Green Room. 

The room was Nixon’s favorite spot in the White House. He liked it so much that he even had it replicated in his presidential library. He enjoyed working in the room next to the roaring fireplace and it helped him so much so that he even lit it in the summer and turned on the AC to offset the heat. 

He would listen to music and sit in his favorite brown chair to do his work next to the fireplace. 


It wasn’t one of the highest moments for Bush’s staff. The teenager was 16 year old Vifill Atlason. Though Atlason doesn’t claim to remember where he got the private number to reach George W. Bush, he says he had had it for a few years before he made the call in 2007 to ask for a private meeting. 

A White House spokesperson claimed that Atlason had dialed the main switchboard for the West Wing; but that turned out to be false. Atlason had successfully passed through several of the necessary levels of security ensuring he was genuine by reading the Wikipedia page of Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. 

Atlason never made it to Bush, though, because he was discovered before then. Bush’s secretary told Vifill to expect a call from the President, but instead the Icelandic police showed up at his home and interrogated him for several hours. 

Atlason eventually became a local hero, and claims that if he ever got Bush on the phone, he would have just wanted to have a chat with him and invite him to Iceland. 


\"\" John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover both had pet alligators.

Hoover’s son, Allen Henry Hoover, had 2 gators that the president sometimes let run around the White House grounds. John Quincy Adams’ gator was a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. Adams let it live in the bathroom. Of course, neither of these eccentric presidential pet-owners hold a candle to Calvin Coolidge. In addition to his many dogs, Coolidge had a donkey, a bobcat, lion cubs, a bear, a wallaby, and a pygmy hippo.

Check out this list of presidential pets.

President Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to use a phone. His phone number was simply 1.

In 1879, the first telephone was installed in the White House. At first it was hardly used, because there weren\'t many other phones in Washington to call. Hayes had the White House's first telephone installed in the mansion's telegraph room. The White House phone number was \'1\'. Additional Hayes fact: He gained the Presidency by a margin of only one electoral vote.

Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to own a car.

Ironically, Roosevelt didn’t even like cars! The first president to ever ride in a car was William McKinley. He took a ride in a steam-powered vehicle created by the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, called a “Stanley Steamer” (not to be confused with the carpet cleaners). McKinley was assassinated before the U.S. government ever purchased a car for the president. As his successor, Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to have a car. Still, the famous Rough Rider preferred riding horses (or the occasional moose).

It wasn’t until the next president, William Howard Taft, took office that the White House stables were replaced with a fleet of cars. The first president to have a presidential limousine was Calvin Coolidge. Appropriately, the president’s limo was a Lincoln.

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