The White House Trivia Quiz

The White House Swimming Pool: Commissioned by President Gerald Ford

Table of Contents:

Welcome, trivia enthusiasts! Today, we’re plunging into the deep end of presidential history to explore a lesser-known aspect of the White House. We’ll be tackling a popular question from the “The White House Trivia Quiz” that asks about an unexpected feature of this iconic residence.

So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the story behind a presidential passion project!

Here’s Our Question of the Day

See if you can answer this question from The White House Trivia Quiz before reading on.

The President Who Made a Splash: Gerald Ford and the White House Swimming Pool

The White House, as the residence of the President of the United States, has seen its fair share of renovations and additions over the years. One such addition that stands out is the installation of a swimming pool, which was commissioned by none other than President Gerald Ford.

Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, took office in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Despite the challenges of his presidency, Ford sought to modernize the White House and make it a more comfortable living space for his family.

A Refreshing Idea

In 1975, President Ford approved the construction of an outdoor swimming pool on the White House grounds. The decision to add a pool was driven by Ford’s desire to promote a healthier lifestyle for his family and himself. The pool provided a private and convenient way for the First Family to exercise and unwind.

The construction of the pool was not without its challenges. Due to security concerns, the original plan for an outdoor pool had to be revised, and a new indoor pool facility was constructed instead. This adjustment ensured the safety and privacy of the First Family, while still allowing them to enjoy the benefits of having a swimming pool at the White House.

An Enduring Legacy

While Gerald Ford’s presidency may be best remembered for his efforts to heal a divided nation, his decision to install a swimming pool at the White House left a lasting mark on the historic residence. The pool continues to serve as a recreational and fitness amenity for presidents and their families, highlighting Ford’s commitment to promoting physical well-being within the highest office in the land.


John F. Kennedy

Contrary to popular belief, it was not John F. Kennedy who commissioned the White House swimming pool. Although Kennedy did install a swimming pool on the White House grounds, it was not a new construction. The pool was actually an upgrade and renovation of the existing pool, originally built for President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. So, while Kennedy did make changes to the pool, he did not commission a brand new one.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s a common misconception that Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned the White House swimming pool. In reality, he did have a pool installed during his presidency, but it was not a new construction. The pool was actually added due to Roosevelt’s debilitating illness, as swimming was part of his therapy to alleviate the symptoms of polio. Therefore, he did not commission the initial construction of the pool.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Although Lyndon B. Johnson did make extensive renovations and additions to the White House, including the addition of a press briefing room and a new dining room, he did not commission the White House swimming pool. The swimming pool was actually commissioned later, during the presidency of Gerald Ford. Johnson’s contributions to the White House were significant, but the pool was not among them.


In conclusion, it was President Gerald Ford who commissioned the construction of the White House swimming pool, adding a touch of leisure to the historic residence.

The White House holds countless stories and secrets, and it’s always a delight to uncover these lesser-known facts. If you’re hungry for more trivia, why not test your knowledge with our White House Trivia Quiz? It’s a great way to dive deeper into the history and intrigue surrounding this iconic building. Happy quizzing!

Professor Leonard Whitman