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White House Is Really Swinging Again

Tad Lincoln used to ride goats through the East Room. Malia and Natasha (“Sasha”) have a new playground, but are probably a little jealous of Tad’s exploits.
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Ah, kids in the White House again.

Tad Lincoln, the White House Historical Association notes, liked to play war games and had a uniform. Not surprising, considering soldiers were always on the grounds to protect the very real threat of Rebel invasion. Tad also had a toy canon and enjoyed “bombing” the Cabinet Room.

Yes, the good ol’ days.

Teddy Roosevelt and wife Edith raised six children during their White House stay (1901-1909).

After Teddy, it wasn’t until JFK moved into the White House on Feb. 4, 1961 that such young voices were again in residence. John Jr. like to hide under his father’s desk in the Oval Office.

As LASN does a playground column each month, and we had recently suggested the White House should add a playground, our ears perked up while watching “60 Minutes” on Sunday March 21. Pres. Obama gave Steve Croft a tour of the grounds and stopped at the new playground, which the Obama children and play friends are already enjoying.

The playground was installed on March 13 by the manufacturer. If you’re curious whose playground equipment now resides on the White House grounds, turns out to be Rainbow Play Systems of Brookings, South Dakota. The playground has a “castle,” plus a “penthouse” from which you can view the world from exterior bubble panels. The bubbles face the White House.

There are various climbers: an angled timber climber (via rope), a ladder, step rope climber. There are numerous ways to swing; four standard swings, a three-chain tire swing and a knotted rope attached to a buoy ball. There’s also a slide, binoculars, periscopes and chalkboard.

In lieu of poly surfaces are cedar and redwood, natural materials that were a selling point to the president and in keeping with his green initiatives.

Back of the swings is a picnic table for the family, a gift for the Obama’s. It features brass plates etched with the names of all the presidents (44, in case some American history buff asks you).

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December 11, 2019, 1:12 pm PDT

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