A White House Welcome
First Lady Pat Nixon wanted to open up the White House to as many people as possible, rather than just Washington VIPs.
Mrs. Nixon started tours of the beautiful White House gardens and grounds, a tradition that continues to this day. During holiday seasons she began candlelight evening tours for visitors who couldn't take off from work during the regular visiting hours.
The First Lady made a habit of coming down from the family quarters to greet tourists and pose for photos. And she introduced brochures in a variety of languages, ramps for handicap accessibility, tours for the blind and deaf, and displays and audio narration for the visitors waiting in line.
The Nixons even held non-denominational worship services in the East Room on many Sundays, bringing together invited members of the public along with staff members, politicians, and other guests.