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This issue contains articles on history, tradition, and politics. With presidential primary season upon us, we look at the road to the White House and those presidents who came from the Hill. In his article "Congress to the White House," author Richard Grimmett explains that to date, sixteen presidents had prior service in the United States Senate; eighteen had prior service in the House of Representatives; and nine had prior service in both houses of Congress. Donald R. Hickey an award-winning author and professor of history at Wayne State University examines how the name “the White House” first originated in print. He finds that in the early years of its occupancy, the term commonly used was “the President’s house,” but there were some occasions when the building was referred to as “the President’s palace,” “the presidential palace,” “the executive palace,” or simply “the palace.” The public also showed a growing interest in another name: “the White House.” We look at the first lady as artist with an in-depth study of the work of Caroline Harrison, an accomplished watercolorist and china painter. Throughout her time at the White House, Caroline Harrison’s personal interest in china painting led to two related accomplishments as first lady: She took special interest in the historical objects in the house, especially the old presidential china services, which she had preserved and stored in a newly built china closet. This endeavor ultimately led to what became the White House China Room. And she personally designed a new state china service, which bore motifs representing America—the arms of the United States in the center surrounded by a border of golden stars, corn, and goldenrod. And finally, we learn the story of the venerable John Ficklin and his family, an incomparable legacy of White House service. John Ficklin started working at the White House as a part-time pantry staffer in 1939 and retired as chief butler more than forty years later. Since then, more than ten members of the Ficklin family have been employed, both full-time and part-time, at the White House. That covers eighty years and thirteen administrations.
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