96 episodes

The White House Historical Association presents The 1600 Sessions, a podcast that explores the history, untold stories and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and office – The White House.

The White House 1600 Sessions The White House Historical Association

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 170 Ratings

The White House Historical Association presents The 1600 Sessions, a podcast that explores the history, untold stories and personal accounts of America’s most iconic residence and office – The White House.

    Presidential Leadership Lessons

    Presidential Leadership Lessons

    President of the United States and Commander in Chief are titles that only 45 unique men over 46 presidencies have carried since the office was established in 1789. It is a role that is continually being shaped and reshaped through each decade, presidency, personality, and each of the character traits that have defined these men. Author, historian, and attorney, Talmage Boston, set out to see what made eight of these presidents a great leader - from George Washington to Ronald Reagan - in his new book “How the Best Did It: Leadership Lessons from Our Top Presidents.” 
    White House Historical Association president Stewart McLaurin sat down with Talmage to talk about the lessons outlined in the book, as well as how those lessons can be applied by people in all walks of life, and of all ages, who want to work on becoming a better leader, and perhaps, even a better citizen. They discuss examples of these presidents’ strengths and character, as well as some of their flaws and shortcomings. With dozens of leadership traits, you can learn how to inspire optimism like Ronald Reagan, learn from your mistakes like John F. Kennedy, manage teams like Dwight D. Eisenhower, and more.

    • 43 min
    The Making of President Theodore Roosevelt

    The Making of President Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore Roosevelt is often thought of as the Rough Rider and the man known for quoting the proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick….“ Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, met with Edward O’Keefe, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation and author of the new book called The Loves of Theodore Roosevelt: The Women Who Created a President to discuss another side of T.R.: the five extraordinary women without whom he may never have become the 26th President of the United States.
    Join Stewart and Ed as they visit Theodore Roosevelt Island, the national memorial located in Washington, D.C.’s Potomac River, and reflect on the man born in New York City who some would call “the conservation president.” Roosevelt was an imperfect man of his time, one born to privilege but who advocated the strenuous life after struggling with ill-health and losing two of his greatest loves, his mother and his first wife, on the same day. We learn about his mother, Martha, a Southern belle with a keen wit, and Alice, his college sweetheart and first wife, who drew him away from science and into politics, including the support of women’s suffrage. 
    We meet T.R.’s older sister, Anna, who would become his trusted advisor and political strategist, and his younger sister, Corinne, would become one of his best promoters. Then we’re introduced to First Lady Edith Carow Roosevelt, Theodore’s childhood playmate and second wife, who would go on to leave her own mark on the White House both in the role of presidential spouse as well as with a major renovation of the Executive Mansion. Hear more about these five women, an update on the new Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library being built in North Dakota, and get a view of Theodore Roosevelt Island, in this episode of The White House 1600 Sessions.
    Find all our podcasts at: https://www.whitehousehistory.org/the-white-house-1600-sessions

    • 54 min
    Washington National Cathedral and the White House

    Washington National Cathedral and the White House

    Washington National Cathedral sits atop the highest point in Washington, D.C. and is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. This splendid example of Gothic architecture is not only the home to an Episcopal congregation but a house of prayer for all people from around the United States and the world. When President George Washington commissioned Major Pierre L'Enfant in 1791 to create a plan for the new capital city, L'Enfant included in his design a great church for national purposes. 
    The idea never happened as L'Enfant envisioned, instead it would be more than 100 years before Congress granted a charter authorizing a cathedral dedicated to religion, education, and charity. Construction began in 1907 and the Washington National Cathedral took shape during two World Wars, the Great Depression and 16 presidencies - from President Theodore Roosevelt to President George H.W. Bush. We know it today as a sacred place which holds state funerals of presidents, memorial services of great Americans, as well as national prayer services. There’s even one president buried at the Cathedral. 
    White House Historical Association president Stewart McLaurin is joined by the Very Reverend Randolph Hollerith, the 11th Dean of Washington National Cathedral, and Reverend Canon Jan Naylor Cope, the Provost of Washington National Cathedral, to discuss the role the Cathedral has played in America’s history and the indelible link it has to those who hold the office of the President of the United States. We also go on a tour of the Cathedral and see where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his final Sunday sermon, where a stone taken from the White House during the Truman renovation is embedded into a wall of the Cathedral, and many more treasures.

    • 49 min
    America's Irish Roots

    America's Irish Roots

    Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, sits down with White House Historical Association president Stewart McLaurin to discuss the depth of America’s Irish roots. The history between Ireland and the United States goes back to the founding of America and the Revolutionary War. Irish immigrants and their descendants helped build this country, including the Irish-born James Hoban, who emigrated to the U.S. and went on to design the White House. Millions of Americans claim their Irish heritage, including half of all U.S. presidents. 
    So, it's no surprise that the White House continues to mark the month of March with several St. Patrick’s Day traditions, from the gifting of shamrocks between a representative of Ireland’s leadership to the president to dyeing the water green in the White House fountains. But the relationship between Ireland and the United States extends beyond these celebrations, with diplomacy and investment driving a longstanding friendship built on a spirit of independence. In the words of President Joe Biden, "the fabric of modern America is woven through with the green of the Emerald Isle.” 

    • 52 min
    President Jimmy Carter: Faith, Family, and a Presidency

    President Jimmy Carter: Faith, Family, and a Presidency

    Jonathan Alter, journalist and author of “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life,” talks with Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, about the remarkable journey of President Jimmy Carter from peanut farmer to Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Filmed at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, D.C., the church home of the Carters while they lived in the White House, Stewart and Jonathan met with Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell, who showed them rare memorabilia, including the Carter family’s original membership cards, where Amy received baptism, and where the President taught adult Sunday school more than a dozen times during his presidency.
    Born in Plains, Georgia on October 1, 1924, President Carter grew up without running water or electricity. Eager to leave home, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy, married, and served in the U.S. Navy. He and his young wife and kids returned to Plains to help save the family farm after his father passed away. From there, he took an interest in politics, working his way up from county boards to the Georgia State Senate to the Governor’s Mansion. Then he and Mrs. Carter launched into national politics, winning the 1976 election and moving to Washington, D.C. with their youngest child and only daughter, Amy. Known for a life of faith and service, the 39th President of the United States became the longest-lived president and half of the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history.
    Stewart and Jonathan talk about the Carters’ time in the White House and the decades-long post-presidency they spent creating The Carter Center, which works to alleviate human suffering around the world, and among many other things, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and raising awareness about mental health and caregiving.
    The Official 2024 White House Christmas Ornament features a unique design inspired by the life and presidency of Jimmy Carter. You can purchase an ornament at this link.

    • 50 min
    The History of Wine and the White House

    The History of Wine and the White House

    From the hearty Madeira to the fine Château Margaux, wine has a long and important history for presidents’ palates and life in the White House. Even during times of Temperance and Prohibition, as well as the temporary hold on social events during Covid, the serving of wine and its use as a tool of protocol and persuasion managed to persevere.
    Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association, interviews Frederick J. Ryan about the new edition of his book published with the Association, “Wine and the White House: A History.” Sitting in the wine cellar at The Jefferson, a hotel located just blocks from the White House, Stewart and Fred talk about the unique role wine plays in presidential entertaining and social diplomacy. 
    This episode showcases the features of the new edition which has chapters on all the presidents from Washington to Biden, explores several of the favorite vintages served at the White House, highlights the art of giving a toast, and pages of menus from historic White House gatherings.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
170 Ratings

170 Ratings

Brendan J. Doherty ,

A fascinating podcast! Highly recommended!

This fascinating podcast is a treasure trove of important stories about White House history. The audio podcast is terrific, and the accompanying video versions are quite well done too. An entertaining and engaging educational experience. Very highly recommended!

Tammy Haddad ,

Important conversation

It’s so good to hear Bartlett Sher explain how he picks a story and decides to tell it. “With To Kill a Mocking Bird.. to see the struggle….I do not need to have the answer I produce and show the problem.” Thanks Stewart

Ladyrx ,

Wonderful podcast

Stewart McLaurin does a fabulous job with this podcast. I love Presidential History and enjoy all the different aspects of White House history explored. Keep up the great job Stewart, and Roll Tide!!

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