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CAPA JRC Visits the White House

By: JRC Reporter Robert Sun

Edited by: Julie Yang

On October 9 2019, CAPA-JRC returned to the nation’s capital to learn more about American government. This time, it was a tour of the White House. Before beginning the tour, CAPA-JRC gathered outside near the South Lawn to enjoy some presidential trivia.  Divided into two teams, everyone had an interesting time displaying their knowledge, while also getting stumped on particularly bizarre questions.

East Wing 1st Floor

Entering from the East Wing of the White House, all the tourists were immediately greeted by massive paintings of First Ladies and a couple presidents as well. On the right side of the hallway, a large array of photos were displayed. These photos highlighted the many notable events and daily activities of the President of the United States; dating back to the time period of Woodrow Wilson. 

 After observing the gallery of photos, the pictorial hallway opened up into a chamber that contained four distinct rooms. This first thing that caught JRC’s attention was the glass display cases full of antique White House china known as the China Room.  Some of glass cases still preserved the china of the John Adams presidency!

 Another notable room was the White House Library. Inside the room, the precious wooden shelves were replete with over 2,000 books of the most profound American literature. President Roosevelt had used this room for his fireside chats, although today, it is mostly used for small meetings and tea time.

(Photo by Fengkai Zhang)

East Wing 2nd Floor Colored Theme Rooms

Walking up a flight of stairs, the JRC came to the State floor of the White House. Known for its flamboyant decorations, furniture and chromatic-colored rooms, there were many secrets contained as well.  As soon as JRC stepped onto the State floor of the White House, they were greeted by a massive open room. All sides of the room were bedecked with Victorian styles, European furniture, and enormous paintings–a considerable one being George Washington’s.

As the tour continued, the JRC began to visit some of the single-colored rooms. The first room was the Green Room, one of the three state parlors of the White House. Originally used as a dining room by Thomas Jefferson,  the room underwent multiple refurbishments and renovations over the last three years. The room also had a hidden secret; beneath the mantel hid a small mirror, which some of the JRC used to create some interesting selfies.

The following room was the Blue Room. Elliptical in shape, and a massive chandelier in the center, epitomized the luxury of the room. The Blue Room is not only one of the parlors in the White House, but it’s also used for a special occasion. It is during the winter that the chandeliers and furniture will be taken down, to make room for a more meaningful item for the holiday spirit: the National Christmas Tree.

The third and final White House parlor came next. Known as the Red Room, it was considered a multi-purpose room. It was used for swearing in 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes, while also serving as a congregational area for press members.

(Photo by Fengkai Zhang)

East Wing Dining Room

After viewing the three parlors of the White House, another massive room awaited ahead. The State Dining Room, capable of a capacity of over 140 guests, is used to welcome some of the most distinguished guests and foreign diplomats to the White House. Many people could say that this enormous room is a hallowed room, and it’s all due to a notorious quote by President John Adams. Being the first president to inhibit the White House, John Adams was writing letters to his wife Abigail, who at the time was still living in Philadelphia. In one of his letters, John Adams wrote a blessing for the White House, “Blessings On This House And All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof.” This sincere blessing was later carved onto the State Dining Room’s mantel in 1945, symbolizing the humility of the Founding Fathers.

Soon enough, the tour of the White House was coming to a close. Leaving the State Dining Room, the JRC entered the Entrance Hall. On the ground lay a long rectangular red carpet, with a large marble archway in the middle that led to the exit. After stepping back into the noon sunlight, the JRC took a large group photo, serving as a small souvenir for the tour of the White House.

(Photo by Fengkai Zhang)

The White House tour was a memorable learning experience for JRC. Despite its plain and simple exterior, its interior is packed with secrets for one to discover. History lies in every nook and cranny; the presence of our country’s important figures remain; bits and pieces of the American story blend in with the extravagant surroundings. It is evident that the White House is far more than a residence and workplace for the President. 

After a remarkable field trip to kick off the 2019-2020 year, the JRC now looks forward to working on some of their most ambitious projects yet; continuing to deliver its impact and learning more about the community they live in.

CAPA-JRC poses on the Front Entrance of the White House for a group photo

(Photo by Fengkai Zhang)


This article was provided by Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 19 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.

IG: @capa_jrc

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