history is now

I’m fascinated by recent shows on the History Channel and C-SPAN about the history of the White House. But I’m afraid that we have a sense that our history only happened long ago. Perhaps you’ve seen this for yourself.

First Lady Laura Bush gave a very informative and patriotic tour for both cable channels. But during the tours, did you notice that each time she pointed out a piece of furniture, it was purchased or somehow obtained by a president from many decades ago? The legacy of President and Mrs. Bush will be how they restored and renovated the Lincoln Bedroom. But even that was done with furnishings from President Lincoln.

What about a table obtained by President Nixon? Or maybe a desk obtained by President Clinton? I think the most recent item mentioned was a 2 inch riser added to the Resolute desk in the Oval Office to accomodate President Reagan’s height. Either these momentos from recent presidents don’t exist, or no one’s talking about them.

This is a shame. We’ve got this beautiful home, the most regal residence in the country, and it’s furnished only by presidents from decades past. I hope that President and Mrs. Obama feel some sense of obligation to our country to leave their mark on the White House, not by restoring, but by adding something original for future generations to enjoy.