History Stories

The White House has been celebrating Halloween since the days of Eisenhower.

While the commercialization of Halloween began in the United States in the 1900s, it wasn’t until first lady Mamie Eisenhower that witches, goblins, broomsticks, and jack-o’-lanterns made their way into the White House. Since the Eisenhower days, every president has hosted a Halloween celebration. Even vice presidents, first dogs, and White House staff have joined in on the fun.

Halloween in the White House

Patricia Nixon, wife of then-Vice President Richard Nixon, with her daughters 8-year-old Patricia and 6-year-old Julia on Halloween, 1954. Mrs. Nixon made the costumes herself.

Halloween in the White House

President Kennedy enjoys a laugh with his children Caroline and John Jr. dressed in Halloween costumes, 1963.

Halloween in the White House

Tricia Nixon, daughter of President Nixon, greets guests coming to trick-or-treat at the White House, 1969. The Nixon’s hosted a Halloween party for underprivileged children in the Washington area.

Halloween in the White House

First lady Betty Ford and her secretary dress up a skeleton for Halloween in the President’s chair in his private study, 1974.

Halloween in the White House

President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton dressed as James and Dolley Madison at Hillary’s Halloween costume birthday party at the White House, 1993.

Halloween in the White House

Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore pose for a photo in their elaborate Beauty and the Beast inspired costumes, 1995.

Halloween in the White House

Four years later, the Gore’s again wowed the White House with their renditions of cartoon characters “Underdog” and “Polly Purebred.”

Halloween in the White House

Even the White House pets join the festivities. Here India, Miss Beazley and Barney, the pets of George W. Bush, sit for photos on the White House lawn in their Halloween costumes, 2007.

Halloween in the White House

Vice President Dick Cheney’s Labrador retrievers also dressed up that year. Jackson dressed as Darth Vader, and Dave as Superman.

Halloween in the White House

First lady Michelle Obama greets trick-or-treaters at the Obama’s first Halloween at the White House, 2009. They celebrated by inviting students and military families over for some Halloween fun.

RELATED CONTENT