This guidebook is for all of the people who visit the White House each year.
It was planned - at first - for the children. It seemed such a shame that they should have nothing to take away with them, to help sort out the impressions received on an often crowded visit. It was hoped that they would go over the book at home and read more about the Presidents who interested them the most. Its purpose was to stimulate their sense of history and their pride in their country.
But as research went on and so many little-known facts were gleaned from forgotten papers, it was decided to make it a book that could be of profit to adults and scholars also.
On the theory that it never hurts a child to read something that may be above his head, and that books written down for children often do not awaken a dormant curiosity, this guidebook took its present form.
I hope our young visitors will vindicate this theory, find pleasure in the book, and know that they were its inspiration.
To their elders, may it remind you that many First Families loved this house - and that each and every one left something of themselves behind in it - as you do now by the effort you have made to come here.
Source: White House Historical Association