Featured VideoJanuary 17, 2009
Blair House: The President's Guest House
Blair House: The President’s Guest House, provides a video tour of the rarely-seen historic home used as an official guest residence by U.S. presidents.
In addition to its role as a temporary home for presidents-elect, Blair House has been the “President’s Guest House” since the early 1940s, has housed several foreign heads of state including Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, Charles de Gaulle, Hamad Karzai, Francois Mitterand, Vaclav Havel, and Boris Yeltsin.
The house was purchased by Francis Prescott Blair in 1837, seven years after he and his family moved to Washington at the request of President Andrew Jackson to start a newspaper favorable to the president’s ideas. With its proximity to the White House, the house was a political and social gathering place especially during the Jackson, Van Buren, and Lincoln administrations. At President Lincoln’s request, Francis Blair and his son Montgomery called Robert E. Lee to the Blair House where they asked him to take command