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The First Kids! 12 of the White House's Youngest Residents

FDR celebrates Christmas at the White House with his grandchildren, 1943

Being a kid in the White House is truly the best of all worlds. Imagine having the personal movie theater, the ghost stories, the awesome lawn for cartwheels, and all of the other awesome perks that come with being in a political family without, y’know, actually having to worry about foreign policy and budget deficits.

In honor of President’s Day, we’re looking back at some of the most interesting First Kids the hallowed halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have seen over the years — kids who have invited both a mutt named Grits and even their entire high school class to get down for the senior prom (seriously). — Jillian Capewell

Learn a little kid-approved history after the jump!

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  • Tad Lincoln 1 of 13
    Tad Lincoln
    Father Abraham Lincoln considered Thomas, the youngest son of four, as "wriggly as a tadpole" — hence the nickname. Tad moved into the White House with his parents and older brother Willie at age 8, where he lived until his father's assassination three years later.
    Photo credit: Children in the White House
  • The Hayes 2 of 13
    The Hayes
    President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife Lucy had eight children in total, only five of whom made it to adulthood. Here, Hayes is pictured with two of her children and a family friend in the White House conservatories in 1879.
    Photo credit: Historical Views of the White House Gardens and Grounds
  • The Garfields 3 of 13
    The Garfields
    Former president James Garfield and wife Lucretia had seven children altogether; however, only five made it to adulthood. Picture here is the couple's daughter Mollie, and their sons Harry, James, Irwin, and Abram.
    Source: Wikipedia
  • Ester Cleveland 4 of 13
    Ester Cleveland
    President Grover Cleveland and wife Frances had five kids in total, but only one was born during their time in the White House: baby Ester. We wonder if she enjoyed any of the perks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
    Photo credit: The White House Historical Association
  • The Roosevelts 5 of 13
    The Roosevelts
    Teddy Roosevelt and his wife Edith raised six children while in the White House — the oldest child was 16 and the youngest was 3 at the time of their move in 1901. Along with the kids, the Roosevelts reportedly brought a pony, a macaw, and several more birds and dogs.
    Photo credit: Theodore Roosevelt Association
  • Calvin Coolidge, Jr. 6 of 13
    Calvin Coolidge, Jr.
    The younger son of president Calvin Coolidge, young Calvin became a first kid at 15 in 1923, after his father took office following the death of Warren G. Harding. Unfortunately, Calvin Jr. passed away shortly after his 16th birthday because of a blood infection.
    Photo credit: Wikipedia
  • Caroline and JFK Jr. 7 of 13
    Caroline and JFK Jr.
    Parents John F. Kennedy and Jackie O. tried to keep life as normal as possible for Caroline and JFK, Jr. It was said that visitors could expect a meeting with the president to be interrupted by Caroline coming through on her tricycle, or John Jr. pretending to be a soldier and practicing his salute.
    Source: The Kennedy Way
  • Tricia and Julie Nixon 8 of 13
    Tricia and Julie Nixon
    Surfs up! Although things would eventually get serious in former President Nixon's term as he dealt with Watergate, he shared a lighthearted moment here with daughters Julie, 21, and Tricia, 23. While Dad was in office, Julie became active in advocating for children's issues, the environment, the elderly.
    Photo credit: San Francisco Gate
  • Susan Ford 9 of 13
    Susan Ford
    This makes the local Quality Inn where your prom was held look kinda shabby, huh? In 1975, the First Daughter (and child of former President Gerald Ford) held her high school prom in the White House. Her school had to pay up $1,300 from their class treasury to cover party expenses.
    Source: Mental Floss
  • Amy Carter 10 of 13
    Amy Carter
    Carter, the fourth child of president Jimmy Carter, moved into the White House at age 9 in 1976. While there, she briefly owned a mutt named Grits, who was a gift from her teacher.
    Photo credit: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum
  • Chelsea Clinton 11 of 13
    Chelsea Clinton
    12-year-old Chelsea Clinton, son of former president Bill Clinton and his wife (and current U.S. Secretary of State) Hillary, moved into the White House in 1993. Mom Hillary made sure to keep Chelsea's life as private as possible while the family lived there.
    Photo credit: Family Life at the White House
  • Jenna and Barbara Bush 12 of 13
    Jenna and Barbara Bush
    The twin daughters of 43rd president George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush were 19 when they moved into the White House. This photo was likely taken during the '90s, when dad was the governor of Texas.
    Photo credit: Wikipedia
  • Sasha and Malia Obama 13 of 13
    Sasha and Malia Obama
    Sasha and Malia Obama moved into the White House in 2009 when they were just 7 and 10, respectively. Sasha was the youngest child to live in the White House since JFK, Jr. resided there as an infant in 1961.
    Photo credit: Preppy Princess

Born Leaders: 20 Names Inspired by Presidents and First Ladies

Photo credit: MyMerryChristmas.com

 

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