President George Washington spoke to landowners in Maryland and Virginia to sell their lands to form the future permanent seat of the U.S. Government, the District of Columbia. George Washington’s pitch was for the landowners to sell two thirds of their lands to the federal government, and in exchange the third of the land that they keep will substantially increase in value.
In 1791, Pierre Charles L’Enfantmet 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.
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.
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.
The musuem exhibits aircraft from the age of air pioneers as well as those used in multiple wars, capsules from the Mercury and the Apollo missions during the space race, and fragments of meteorites form space.
Various posters showed that during World War I there was a great emphasis placed on the manufacture of airplanes for the war effort.
One section of the museum has an original model of the first jet aircraft in the world that was built in Nazi Germany during World War II. Nazi Germany had planned on mass producing the jet aircraft in the mid 1940s, but lost the war and was unable to manufacture jets under the treaty signed with the allied forces in 1945. Therefore, the United States and the Soviet Union were the first to mass produce jet aircraft during the Cold War.