Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 12:29:49 -0800 From: Peter Richardson Subject: Re: White House from Bill Bryson's _Made in America_, p. 293: On the original plans, the building was described only as "the Palace." No one knows when people started calling it the White House--but, oddly, it appears to have been before it was painted white. From 1800, when John Adams became its first resident, to 1814, when the British ransacked and partly burned it, the building was of unadorned gray Virginia freestone. Only after the British had vandalized it was it decided to paint it white to cover the smoke stains. So it is a little odd that people were calling it the White House as early as 1810. In any case, the name didn't become official until Theodore Roosevelt began printing it on the executive mansion stationery sometime after 1901. ... not the last word, of course, but an interesting one because of the color issue. Peter Richardson