In only a matter of weeks, the American people will once again be welcomed into the White House – the “Peoples’ House,” as First Lady Melania Trump announced that public tours of the president’s home will resume on March 7.

The White House has been closed to visitors since January 20, when President Obama and his family left the mansion that had been their home for eight years.

Inauguration Day is always a time of frantic activity as coordinated teams of movers load the private possessions of the outgoing president into vans headed to their new home, while the belongings of the new president and his family are moved into the family quarters.

Now, with the announcement by the First Lady, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will be open for free public tours once again.

“I am excited to reopen the White House to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year. The White House is a remarkable and historic site, and we are excited to share its beauty and history.  I am committed to the restoration and preservation of our Nation's most recognizable landmark.”

The nation’s first ladies have traditionally taken a lead role in both the decoration of the mansion and the social events that are held there, including state dinners for visiting leaders and dignitaries, holiday events and special receptions like the one held when Sir Paul McCartney was awarded The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance – and sang one of his most famous compositions for First Lady Michelle Obama.

The White House, which is not only the official residence of the president and his family, but his office and the workspace for his staff, was built in 1800 and reconstructed after it was burned by British troops during the War of 1812.

Extensive additions have been made, including the Oval Office, as well as necessary renovations during the Truman administration when the structure was found to be in serious danger of collapse.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy led a televised guided tour of the White House after she undertook a major effort to restore its interior décor to feature American period pieces and treasures.

President Obama canceled tours in 2013 after a deadlock with Congress resulted in $85 million in spending cuts, claiming the reduction in Secret Service staff to secure the building during public access, but Republican leadership called the action a political move to create negative publicity.

American history buffs, schools planning field trips, foreign visitors and the merely curious will need to contact members of Congress to request tickets for the public tour as far as 90-days in advance.

The tours are free of charge.

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