National Geographic : 1961 Jan
and be up early the next to catch a plane to speak in New York or San Francisco. Each Presidential family sets its own social pattern. But official entertaining now in cludes six state dinners and as many formal receptions each winter. The dinners honor the Vice President, Supreme Court, Speaker of the House, Cabinet, and Chiefs of Foreign Missions. Two diplomatic dinners are needed to take in all of today's foreign emissaries. The receptions stretch White House hos pitality to cover Congressional, Judicial, Gov ernment, Service, and Diplomatic groups. During the Franklin Roosevelt Administra tion, a sixth was added for Washington press and radio, and more recently, television staffs. I was struck with the smooth routine and uniformity of the big receptions. I learned later how much work and planning goes on behind the scenes to make them that way. Today's White House kitchen, off the ground floor's arched, portrait-lined corridor, is a cook's dream of stainless steel and white enamel. In it I saw choppers, mixers, grinders, slicers, juicers, coffee roasters, electric ovens, freezers, and a spice cabinet (page 38). Only one chef-capped man was in sight. But it was not hard to imagine the bustle when a major dinner is scheduled. The State Dining Room holds at most only 106 guests. But there may be six or seven courses. So serving calls for perfect prepa rations and split-second timing. The large, informal teas and garden parties are simpler. For these the staff makes cookies and sandwiches, about three for each guest. Ike Invites 2,000 Extra Guests Does the White House ever run out of food, even as you or I? No-unless the President suddenly invites 2,000 extra people. That happened last August just before the Ameri can Bar Association garden party, too late to order an extra supply from caterers. Beyond the parties and the pomp, the seri ous business of Government goes on in the East and West Executive Wings. On the west side, the nerve center of the adminis tration throbs in the President's big oval office (page 43). From it his authority reaches to every part of the world. In the Cabinet Room down the hall, the Library books sit in a frame of panels made from timbers used in the White House before the 1952 reconstruction; National Geographic photographs hang above the mantel. Mrs. Millard Fillmore, a onetime schoolteacher, was shocked to find that the White House lacked a library. Even the Bible was missing. Congress voted an appropriation to remedy the situation. Today the mansion's library keeps three shelves of Bibles in 75 languages for the use of visitors from foreign lands. KODACHROMESBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERSB. ANTHONYSTEWARTAND DONALDMCBAIN© N.G.S.