Pierre Charles L'Enfant, President George Washington, President Harry S. Truman, President James Monroe, President Theodore Roosevelt Junior, The District of Columbia, Washington D.C.

The Plans For The Presidential Palace And The Construction Of The White House

In 1791, Pierre Charles L’Enfant met with President George Washington to show his sketch of the “President’s Palace”, which was five times the size of the present day White House, within the original site of President’s Park.

The plans for a grand “Presidential Palace” were scrapped after President Washington fired L’Enfant for insubordination. In 1792, an architectural competition was held for the Capital and the Presidential Home buildings. From that competition, James Hoban’s design of a smaller and more modest Presidential House was chosen.

James Hoban’s original design for the White House.

Construction of the smaller presidential house began in 1792 and ended in 1800.

Portrait of President James Monroe

On August 24, 1814, British soldiers invaded Washington, D.C. and torched President’s House. Only the walls of the structure remained after the fire. It was debated whether or not the capital should be moved to another city, after the events of the War of 1812.

With the urging of President James Monroe, the U.S. Capital stayed at its current location and Congress authorized the reconstruction of the Presidential Home. James Hoban was commissioned to rebuild the President’s Home to the way it originally was, while keeping the scorched walls within the building.

Engraving of the White House by William Strickland, after a watercolor by George Munger, 1814. (Library of Congress)

In 1817, President Monroe moved back into the rebuilt President’s Home. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the President’s Home to the “White House”. In the 1940s, under Harry Truman’s administration the White House was under reconstruction.

Dewey Monument, Mare Island Museum, President Theodore Roosevelt Junior, San Francisco, California, Vallejo, California

President Theodore Roosevelt’s Dedication To The Dewey Fleet In San Francisco

In 1901, President McKinley broke ground for a Monument dedicated to Admiral George Dewey, and his fleet whom had fought in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. On May 14, 1903 the completed monument was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt at the Union Square in San Francisco, California.

Theodore Roosevelt had served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy during the Spanish American War, but he resigned to organize the Rough Riders, the first volunteer Calvary in the Spanish-American War. President Theodore Roosevelts’s former roles during the war made it fitting for him to dedicate the statue after President McKinley’s assassination In 1901.

The Goddess of Victory statute stands atop of the monument to represent the U.S. victory over the Spanish as the end of the over 300 year Spanish rule over he Philippine Islands.

Author’s Note:

The Mare Island Musuem in Vallejo, California has the newspaper clips regarding President Theodore Roosevelt’s dedication.

John Muir, President Theodore Roosevelt Junior

President Theodore Roosevelt’s Visit To The Redwoods in Santa Cruz

President Theadore Roosevelt visited Santa Cruz, California to meet with conservationist John Muir and to see the local redwood trees within the present day Henry Coe State Park. During Roosevelt’s hike with John Muir the secret service lost track of the President for three days.

President Roosevelt’s favorite tree from his visit has been nicknamed “The Roosevelt Tree”.

One of the redwood trees that the president saw regularly had business cards and other flyers posted on its bark. Seeing this modification of an ancient tree promoted the president to give an impromptu speech.

Author’s Note:

Photos of Theodore Roosevelt’s visit to Santa Cruz may be viewed personally at the Henry Coe State Park visitor center.

Petrified Forest National Park, President Theodore Roosevelt Junior

The Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona

I’ve been to a Petrified Forest, north of Napa, before; but the Petrified Forest in Arizona is far more massive in size and more ancient. Parts of the 7,500 square foot Painted Desert is hundreds of millions of years up to a billion years old.

The surface of the painted forest existed when the supercontinent Pangea existed, during the age of the dinosaurs. Therefore, several teams of archeologists have come in search of dinosaur remains.

In prehistoric times, the Painted Desert served as a trade route for various Native American peoples.

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt signed an act making the Painted Desert the United States of American’s second national monument. In total, during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, he signed into law the creation of 5 National Parks and 18 National Monuments.

In the 1920s Route 66 was built inside the boundaries of the Painted Desert. Soon after the creation of the highway the Painted Desert Inn and The Lion Farm were created as roadside attractions.

An abandoned vehicle marks a portion of the Route 66 that lay within the Painted Desert.

Author’s Note:

More Information on the creation of National Parks in the United States can be found in this National Geographic article.