Many of our most celebrated national figures have participated in the
historical events that have taken place within the OEOB's granite walls.
Franklin D. Roosevelt,
William Howard Taft,
Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Lyndon B. Johnson,
Gerald Ford, and
George Bush all had offices
in this building before becoming President. It has housed 16 Secretaries of the
Navy, 21 Secretaries of War, and 24 Secretaries of State. Winston Churchill
once walked its corridors and Japanese emissaries met here with Secretary of
State Cordell Hull after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
President Herbert Hoover
occupied the Secretary of Navy's office for a few months following a fire in
the Oval Office on Christmas Eve, 1929. In recent history, President
Richard Nixon had a private
office here. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was the
first in a succession of Vice Presidents to the present day that have had
offices in the building.
Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under John D. Long prior to
the Spanish-American War. (Library of Congress)
Gradually, the original tenants of the OEOB vacated the building - the
Navy Department left in 1918 (except for the Secretary who stayed until 1923),
followed by the War Department in 1938, and finally by theState Department in
1947. The White House began to move some of its offices across West Executive
Avenue in 1939, and in 1949 the building was turned over to the Executive
office of the President and given its present name. The building continues to
house various agencies that comprise the Executive Office of the President, such as
the White House Office, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Management and Budget and the
National Security Council.