US history Coolest Rooms in the White House (And What Happens in Them)  

Katherine Ripley
549 votes 253 voters 20.7k views 15 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the coolest and most interesting rooms within the big white building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The White House is a massive mansion, and each room in it has a different purpose and a unique history. This list will tell you all about what are the most interesting rooms in the White House, and what happens in them. You've probably already heard of many of these, or even seen them in movies or on television, but many of them will be unfamiliar - the lesser known White House rooms with stories waiting to be told.

This kind of White House history will give you some insight into how the role and demands of the president and the rest of the executive branch have changed over the years. The rooms of the White House have been created or altered throughout history to suit the needs of each new president. Take a dive in and explore the presidential palace.
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The Oval Office


The Oval Office is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Coolest Rooms in the White House (And What Happens in Them)
Photo: The White House/flickr
What goes down here: The president works, makes phone calls, has meetings, entertains guests, and occasionally gives televised addresses.
 
Notable events: JFK announced news of the Cuban Missile Crisis; Richard Nixon announced his resignation; George W. Bush addressed the country after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
 
Where you've seen it in movies/TV: House of Cards, The West Wing, Veep, 24, Selma, Frost/Nixon, W., Deep Impact, National Treasure II
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The Situation Room


The Situation Room is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Coolest Rooms in the White House (And What Happens in Them)
Photo: David Bohrer/Wikimedia Commons

What goes down in here: A 24/7 intelligence gathering operation, and regular briefings to the president about the latest important events.

Notable events: Members of Obama's administration received a play-by-play of the mission to capture Osama bin Laden.

Where you've seen it in movies/TV: Minority Report, Air Force One, Thirteen Days, The Fifth Element, 24

This room was created by JFK, and was meant to remedy the lack of real-time information which resulted in the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion. It's worth noting that the real life Situation Room is far less dramatic than movies and TV portray it to be; the president plays a much more muted roll when he is there.
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Cabinet Room


Cabinet Room is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Coolest Rooms in the White House (And What Happens in Them)
Photo: The White House
What goes down in here: Meetings of the president and his cabinet members.
 
Notable events: JFK's discussions during the Cuban Missile Crisis; George W. Bush meeting the day after 9/11; President Obama's statement on the Paris Climate Agreement.
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Presidential Emergency Operations Center


Presidential Emergency Operati... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Coolest Rooms in the White House (And What Happens in Them)
Photo: Eric Draper/Wikimedia Commons

What goes down in here: Official business when there is a threat of attack on the United States.

Notable events: George W. Bush met with the National Security Council in this room after the September 11th terrorist attack on New York City.
 

Where you've seen it in movies/TV: Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down, multiple seasons of 24

This underground bunker was built during FDR's administration, and designed to protect the president from a nuclear attack.