Since this is our last #ThrowbackThursday before Halloween, it only seemed right to highlight the ways in which the White House has gotten into the spookiest of holidays.
Take a look at the Instagram photo above. That’s President John F. Kennedy with a witch and … maybe an old-timey clown? Halloween costumes in the 1960s were a trip. The little creatures are actually his children, Caroline and John Jr. The photo was taken less than a month before Kennedy’s assassination.
The White House Historical Association recounts how administrations since Eisenhower’s have marked the ghoulish holiday.
The Nixons hosted a number of local children at various events, capping off their time at the White House while haunted by the specter of impeachment.
In 1977, first daughter Amy Carter celebrated her 10th birthday with a Halloween theme, including pumpkin carving and a scary movie viewing. Most importantly, it was a boy-girl party. Nothing is more terrifying than that… So on theme!
Opting to spin a scary story of his own, President George H.W. Bush told visiting children in 1989 that the ghost of Abraham Lincoln walks the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Barbara and I haven’t seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln walking the halls, but this is our first Halloween in the White House, so maybe we’ll see him tonight,” Bush said.
“Halloween is a time for ghosts and goblins, for haunted houses and scary stories. But right now I want to talk to you just briefly about a scary story that isn’t make-believe. And you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about illegal drugs,” Bush, master of the conversational segue, continued.
Of course, the Obamas made a tradition out of greeting trick-or-treaters on the White House lawn. Their final year at the White House, they danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and welcomed to zombies to the party. Casual.
It remains to be seen how the Trumps will mark Halloween. Will the President carve his own Donald Trumpkin? The suspense is killer…