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Friday, August 12, 2011


President John Adams, the second President, was the first President to live in the White House. He moved in with his wife, Abigail, and family in 1800. Construction began on the White House in 1792 and finished soon after Adams arrived. Adams was not allowed to live in the house until November 1, 1800. When Adams moved into the White House, the interior was not yet completed, but the living quarters were finished enough to house the presidential couple.

At the time of Adams’ residency, the White House was not called the White House. Instead, it was called The Executive Mansion or the President’s Mansion. President Adams did not spend a full term there. Adams reportedly hated living in the White House. Thomas Jefferson was the first President to spend a full term in residence at the White House.

The original design of the White House in 1800 (Library of Congress)

Prior to Living in the White House

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was a temporary capital for the United States of America while Washington, DC was constructed. John Adams and family lived in Philadelphia before they moved into the White House.
George Washington spent no living time in the White House. He sanctioned the building, choose the site, and oversaw the construction, but never lived in the White House. Washington actually passed away in 1799, one year before the White House was completed.

Source(s):  2020site.org, whitehouse.gov

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