We were very lucky to obtain tickets for a tour of the White House since usually they can not be obtained closer than one month to the date. Our friend arranged it through the office of the Senator for whom he works so we were I think considered visitors from Maine.
We fronted up very early on the morning and were checked off the list and had to show our passports and go through all kinds of security before we were conducted through a long corridor filled with photos of presidents lining the walls. As I said previously I could not take photos so these are all thanks to Wikimedia.
Only a few public rooms of the White House are included on the tour which is to be expected. But let me begin with a few facts about the house. It is the oldest public building in Washington DC and every president except George Washington has conducted business there. Although it has undergone many changes the basic structure, which was begun in 1792, has been kept. It was not occupied until 1800 when John Adams did so after the capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, even though the building's interior was not completed at that time.
In 1814 the British forces captured Washington and burned the White House and the sandstone walls and interior brickwork were all that was left standing. But it was rebuilt by 1817 and over the years many other presidents have made structural changes to make it what it is today, including the addition of a third floor in 1927.