Hurricane Sandy has wiped out Halloween at the White House. Kids invited to the annual fright night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue won’t get any treats Wednesday night; festivities were cancelled due to the storm cleanup.
The Obamas have hosted a White House party every year since 2009, when the first lady wore a cute leopard costume, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton dropped by, and there were skeletons on the North Lawn.
But presidential Halloweens go back to Mamie Eisenhower, according to historian Carl Anthony. As the holiday gained popularity in the U.S., she decorated the executive mansion in skeletons, black cats, pumpkins and crepe paper from Woolworth’s. Caroline and John-John Kennedy were the first kids to trick-or-treat in the White House; Tricia Nixon the first to host neighborhood children.
On his blog, Anthony highlights his favorite presidential costumes. Though he loves Bill Clinton as James Madison, his No. 1 pick is the only creepy picture ever taken of Jackie Kennedy: In 1962, she covered herself in a black garment bag with cut-out eyes, black tights, boots and gloves.
“That is really her sense of the ridiculous,” said Anthony. “[She] would be the last person in the world to wear a garment bag on her head.”
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