The Untold History of the White House with Stewart D. McLaurin

An Irish immigrant and 200 enslaved laborers were instrumental in building the White House. Why don't we all know its true history?
The Untold History of the White House with Stewart D. McLaurin
Published July 4, 2023

The White House is one of the most iconic structures known the world over—a symbol of democracy, and American power.

But who built the White House? Who designed it? And why do so few of us know the true history of the White House?

Stewart D. McLaurin is the President of the White House Historical Association, a private nonprofit, nonpartisan educational Association founded in 1961 to enhance the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Executive Mansion, otherwise known as the White House. Over 35+ years, Stewart has held leadership roles with national nonprofit and higher education organizations including the American Red Cross, Georgetown University, Peace Corps, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Stewart is the author of the 2023 children’s picture book, The White House: Designed by James Hoban, Built by Many Hands, which teaches children the true history of the White House, including the forced labor of around 200 enslaved persons of African descent, and how Irish immigrant, James Hoban, was selected to design the iconic structure.

In this interview, Stewart and Dave discuss…

  • How the WHHA functions as a non-government agency, and what partnerships it maintains to furnish the White House and protect its historical artifacts
  • How First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy helped to modernize the White House and found the WHHA
  • What is the legacy of the White House in 2023, and what should this symbol represent to future generations?

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