National Geographic : 1961 Jan
EKTACHROMESBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERB. ANTHONYSTEWART() N.G.S. Shimmering silk damask covers walls, windows, and chairs in the oval Blue Room, a stage for formal receptions. Here the young and beautiful brides of two Presidents scored social triumphs. A sensation in European society, Julie Gardiner married John Tyler in 1844 and set up "court" in the Blue Room. "The lovely lady President ess," wrote an observer, "is attended on reception days by twelve maids of honor...." Forty-two years later Frances Folsom married Grover Cleveland in the Blue Room, becoming at 21 the youngest First Lady. After her hus band's defeat in 1888, Mrs. Cleveland ordered a servant to "take good care of all the furniture and ornaments in the house.... We are coming back." They did-four years later. One of the ornaments preserved, a gold clock, appears at left. White House florist (above) arranges a bou quet; yellow flowers are always used here.