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The 2011 White House Christmas ornament honors the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. Roosevelt took office on September 14, 1901, upon the death of President William McKinley, who had been shot by an assassin eight days earlier. Sworn in at the age of 42, he was the youngest president in the nation’s history. He brought vigor and power to the office as he led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a place on the world stage. In one of his earliest acts as president, he issued an executive order establishing “The White House” as the official name of the presidential residence previously referred to formally as either the “President’s House” or the “Executive Mansion.”
The 2011 ornament reflects the excitement that President Roosevelt, his wife Edith, and their lively young family brought to life at the White House. There had been no children living in the White House in the years since the departure of President Grover Cleveland and his family in March 1897. But, with the arrival of the Roosevelts, six children would call the White House “home”: Alice (17, TR’s daughter from his first marriage); Theodore Jr. (14); Kermit (12); Ethel (10); Archibald (7); and Quentin (4). The front face of the ornament is a colorful illustration derived from a political cartoon drawn by William A. Rogers in 1901. Capturing the anticipation associated with the family’s first White House Christmas, a jolly Santa Claus crosses the snow-covered North Lawn carrying a large bag of toys over his shoulder and announces, “I hear that there are some kids in the White House this year.”
The reverse side of the 2011 ornament features a second color image inspired by a period illustration. It captures the moment in 1903, when young Archie reveals to his family a Christmas tree he had hidden in a seamstress’ closet in the White House. The tree defied the president’s ban, and its discovery became a popular Christmas story that ran in Ladies Home Journal underscoring the simplicity of the Roosevelt family’s Christmas decorations and the president’s conservation ethic. Holly and candles motifs illustrating the articles inspired the design of the 2011 ornament’s gold-plated brass frame.
The Roosevelt White House was the subject of the 2002 White House Christmas Ornament brochure, which described TR’s renovation of the house – a doubling of the space allocated to the family living quarters, a new wing for the president and his staff, and a new area on the east for receiving guests. The 2002 ornament commemorated the centennial of McKim, Mead & Whit’s remaking of the White House as the home of the president.
Own a piece of history. This ornament is ideal for any collector or would be a thoughtful gift.
Inventory Number: wh-orn2011
Measurement Details: (LxW in Inches):
2011 White House Ornament - 3.00 x 2.50
The White House Historical Association (WHHA) is the creator of the White House Christmas Ornament and owns all copyrights in the ornaments. The WHHA was chartered in 1961, is a nonprofit historical and educational organization that plays a vital role in preserving the White House and recording its unique history.