On Monday, February 15th, we celebrate the 43 leaders who have sat in the oval office (44 elected presidents, but Grover Cleveland is counted only once). The prestige of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (AKA The White House) is as extensive and intriguing as the people who have claimed the address for a period of time. From the basketball court to the 28 fireplaces, the White House has it all. But, did you know that there is a bowling alley in the basement.? Yep, that’s right. America’s #1 participation sport also extends to the President and his family.
First, a quick history lesson: The bowling lanes were first built in the ground floor of the West Wing as a birthday gift for President Truman in 1947 (in the location of the present day Situation Room). Interestingly enough, Truman didn’t care for bowling himself (it seems, however, that one cannot “re-gift” a bowling alley). Truman allowed staff to start the White House’s first bowling league.
In 1955, Truman’s birthday present was moved to the Old Executive Office Building, and a mimeograph room took its place in the West Wing. Then, in 1969, President and Mrs. Nixon, both avid bowlers, had a new one-lane alley built (paid for by friends, not by taxpayers) in the area below the driveway leading to the North Portico.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the White House bowling alley is the scores that were tallied there. Richard Nixon always kept his scores a secret, but it is reported that his average was between 165-200. Bill Clinton boasted a 160 average (but recently is down to a 140).
Do you think you have what it takes to beat a president? What better way to celebrate President’s Day than by coming on out to JB’s on 41 for a couple rounds of bowling and trying to best the nation’s past leaders? JB’s on 41 has more than one lane, and we are excited to host you!