With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

At the White House, a Long Line of Unwelcome Guests

Like his predecessors, President Obama refers to the White House as “the people’s house,” and over the past two centuries a surprising number of uninvited people have made their way in.

Long before the latest fence jumper captured international attention by getting as far as the East Room, the history of White House security breaches was vast and varied. One intruder in a white karate outfit carried in a knife hidden in a Bible; a stranger slipped in to watch a movie with President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and a pilot crashed his Cessna into the mansion.

President Theodore Roosevelt once agreed to see a man who insisted he was expected, but when the president realized he did not know him, ordered an usher to “Take this crank out of here.” In the man’s back pocket was a revolver.

Read entire article at NYT