Daily Archives: April 7, 2009

What is Special About the President’s Desk? by Gregory Hilton

President Kennedy, working late at his White House office, wears a slight smile on his face, indicating perhaps he is not completely unaware that his son, John Jr., is exploring under his desk in the Oval Office in the White House in 1963. John Jr. called the spot under the desk "my house" and was peeking from behind the "secret door." (AP Photo/Look Magazine, Stanley Tretick, File)
President Obama uses the HMS Resolute desk in the Oval Office. It was a present from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes in 1880. Every president since Hayes, except Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, has used the desk. It was on display in the Smithsonian from 1964 to 1977. Most presidents had the desk placed in either their study, the Treaty Room, or the Yellow Oval Room. The first president to move the Resolute desk to the Oval office was John F. Kennedy, and replicas can now be found in the JFK, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton presidential libraries.