Since 1962, the White House’s celebrated spaces and rich history have been portrayed for the public in a continually updated guidebook, The White House: An Historic Guide. The guidebook marked the beginning of White House history as a unique field of study. It was the first, and for its time, only comprehensive published work on a place that symbolized the history of America and all that the nation stood for to the American people.
The first guidebook was published on July 4, 1962 with a first print run of 250,000 copies. Sales now exceed 5 million copies!
It was First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s wish that such a book be written, and her letter opened the first edition, the first project of the White House Historical Association. Since that time eleven first ladies have continued the tradition, including First Lady Dr. Jill Biden who has written an opening letter for this new edition. Of the guidebook, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden has said: “As an educator, I hope this guidebook will inspire curiosity about the presidents and first families who reflect their time in history and help us learn from that past so that we can build a more just nation.”