Why is the White House white?

Why is the White House white? You would have to have slept longer than Rip Van Winkle to think that it’s because the White House is associated with purity. And if we were looking just at the past decade, perhaps scarlet red would have been a more appropriate shade.

In fact, contrary to what many people think the place where the President hangs his hat wasn’t always white and was not originally called the White House. The original building, put up at the end of the 18th century, was called the Presidential Palace and was made of brownstone. And it might still be somber looking had not the British set fire to it during the War of 1812.

Restoring the place involved, among other things, covering the burn marks. White paint was just fine for this purpose, leading people to refer to it thereafter as the White House, a designation that became official under Teddy Roosevelt.

Source: Just Curious About History, Jeeves by Jack Mingo and Erin Barrett
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