Presidential Child's Play

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There are going to be kids in the White House again!

The Obama sisters -- Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7 -- will be moving in right after their dad, Barack Obama, is sworn in as the president on January 20. He and their mother, Michelle, promised them a puppy, so there will be a new pet in the White House, too.

The last kid to live in the White House was Chelsea Clinton, who was 12 when her dad, Bill Clinton, became president in 1993. And before that was Amy Carter, who arrived at age 9 in 1977 with her dad, President Jimmy Carter. President Bush's twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, were 19 when he and first lady Laura Bush moved in in 2001. Other kids have played in the halls of the White House in the past. KidsPost's Valerie Strauss recounts some of their stories.

· President Abraham Lincoln's youngest son, Tad (above), was known for playing a lot of tricks in the White House. He was 7 when his dad became president in 1861, living in Washington during the Civil War. Tad had a kid-size Union uniform, and he "bombed" the door of the Cabinet room with a toy cannon, sometimes interrupting his father during meetings.

Tad once took two goats, attached them to a kitchen chair and went for a ride through the East Room, surprising his mother, who was there giving a tour. Another time he surprised everyone in the White House by finding a way to make all the bells ring at the same time.

· Quentin Roosevelt (above) was the fun-loving youngest of Theodore Roosevelt's six children, who all moved into the White House in September 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley. Quentin, almost 4 at the time, liked to walk on stilts and roller-skate down the halls of the house. He once ran a toy wagon through a priceless full-size portrait of former first lady Lucy Webb Hayes. When his brother Archie was very sick, Quentin sneaked a pony up the White House elevator to cheer him up.

· Theodore Roosevelt's eldest daughter, Alice (right), was 17 when she moved into the White House. She was rather wild. She smoked in public, carried a snake to parties and played poker. Her father once said that he could be president or control Alice, but he could not do both.


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