Site Rich in Presidential History

Article excerpt

Byline: Joseph Szadkowski, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

One of the most important buildings in the history of America stands at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Presidents have lived in the White House for just over 203 years, guiding the fate of one of the most powerful countries in the world. This domicile comes rich in tradition, lore and educational opportunities.

For those who do not have the chance to tour the building in person, a fantastic Web site offers the perfect exhibit, highlighting the men, women and items that have interacted in this landmark of democracy.

White House Historical Association

Site address: www. whitehousehistory.org

Creator: Established in 1961, the White House Historical Association is a nonprofit group based in the District whose goal is to enhance understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the White House.

Creator quotable: "The association created a Web site in 1997 as a reference and learning tool for American families. Immediate access to reliable historical information and the growth of the Web sparked a remarkable demand for White House content," says William Bushong, historian and webmaster for the White House Historical Association. "Our site's expansion and redesign for 2004 now truly embodies the substance and vitality of historical and educational programs that began more than 40 years ago."

Word from the Webwise: On top of pages resembling finely aged parchment, students will find an irresistible mix of photos, narration, videos and animation dripping with historical significance.

Visitors looking for an educational afternoon should check out four of the primary sections - Online Shows, Historical Tours, Timelines and Historic Photographs - to find a variety of information-packed presentations.

Beginning with Timelines, junior scholars can read about each president and first lady; the progression of technology installed at the White House; and significant events surrounding the West Wing, including video snippets of speeches given by presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy.

Under Historic Photographs, shutterbugs will love the areas highlighting the work of famed photographers Matthew Brady, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Theodor Horydczak, Chris Usher and David Hume Kennerly, with images going back to Abraham Lincoln.

Visitors looking for the ultimate dissection of the White House need only click to Historical Tours to find History Channel-type modules devoted to most every room. …