July 30, 1984

Ms. Odelia Hall
[personal information removed]

Dear Ms. Hall:

Thank you for your recent letter in which you voiced your desire to have the White House renamed.

After some research, I have learned that the President's House or Executive Mansion began to be referred to as the White House during the War of 1812, when it was repainted after being burned. Over the years, the term "White House" has gained widespread acceptance and has supplanted the original names.

Nonetheless, there are many who share your feelings that referring to the President's House as the "White House" has certain unnecessary racial overtones. Unfortunately, because of the current mood of the country, the prospects for a name change are, at best, remote. However, if enough support were expressed by citizens around the country a name change might be possible.

The current session of Congress is rapidly drawing to a close and there is simply not enough time for a proper discussion of the White House name change. However, I will discuss this subject with my colleagues so that the issue will be given consideration as soon as possible.

If I can be of any further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

With best regards, I am,

Sincerely,
Augustus F. Hawkins
Member of Congress

AFH: jd