National Geographic : 1966 Nov
leaders to confer with the Chief of State and enjoy his and his First Lady's hospitality. On days when the Presidential family was away and the tourists had departed, I have walked the building's quiet corridors and fan cied I could hear bygone waltzes and polkas, echoes of political arguments, and hushed voices at state funerals when a country and a family mourned together. No other state residence in the world has known so many personal and national mile stones, or so many peaceable changes of mas ter, in so short a space of time.* None has so directly reflected the domestic attitudes-even household styles-of its people. For not only have Americans repeatedly raised a new lead er to this peak of power and prestige in an unbroken chain of elections since the Re public's founding, they have put into the Na tion's "First Home" a man and his family who, by democratic extension, represent every home and family. Every event in the First Family's life be comes an occasion of national interest. Such an event was the wedding on August 6, 1966, *A memorable series of five articles, "Profiles of the Presidents," by Harvard University historian Frank Frei del, appeared in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC between No vember, 1964, and January, 1966. Now in book form, they comprise the first of the Society's new Special Publica tions, available at $4.25 a copy, postpaid. EDWARDCLARK Goodbye and good wishes. President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower bid farewell to the White House staff. Mrs. Grover Cleveland, on parting, said, "Take good care of all the furniture.... We are coming back." And they did, four years later. When the Clevelands left for good, Frances "wept as if her heart would break," the Chief Usher observed. She cried not for the Presidency, but for the home where she had come "practically a girl, and was now 598 leaving a mature woman."