Monday, January 7, 2013

The White House: Your House and 468 Helpers

With the president's inauguration coming up on January 20, Triogenius wondered about other careers people have helping to run the White House. Here is a list of some, but not all, jobs that support the running of the White House-which currently employs 468 people, including staffers such as press secretaries, personal secretaries, speech writers, assorted advisors, and the people who do the 'real' work of keeping the White House in top shape:

  • Chef, Executive Chef, cooks, and Kitchen Staff; Waiters for large dinners
  • Floral Designer
  • Laundry Workers
  • Housekeepers
  • Maintenance Workers: Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers
  • Groundskeepers and Gardeners specific to the flowers and plantings
  • Horticulturists and a beekeeper
  • Elevator Operators
  • Calligrapher, to hand letter invitations, menus, award certificates
  • Media Technicians
  • Security for those allowed in and out of the White House
  • Curator(s) for all antiquities on display at the White House
  • Ushers and doormen
  • When necessary, tutors for the President's children, paid for by the President
  • Child care for the President's children, paid for by the President

Did you know?.....

  • Laundry used to be washed and then hung to dry on the South Lawn before there were clothes dryers.
  • Before 1930, there were call bells set up to summon a servant. After 1930, they used electrical ones. Some presidents expected their servants to be on call 24/7.
  • Originally, the president's residence was in Philadelphia. In 1800, John Adams was the first to live in the White House in Washington, D.C.
  • All presidents before 1860 brought their slaves with them to be servants at the White House.
  • Black freedmen and also servants born in Europe worked alongside the slaves.
  • In Lincoln's time, the salary for the stewards and gardener was $800 a year. The doorkeeper and fireman, who was in charge of the fireplaces, earned $600 a year.
  • Lincoln's White House also employed guards who were former policemen, coachmen to drive the coaches bearing the President, one cook, one messenger, and one doorkeeper. They also had eight lamp lighters---remember, there was no electricity in the White House until 1891. Lamp lighters also cleaned out all the fireplace ashes.
  • President John Adams was the first to use an indoor bathtub. His son, John Quincy, still preferred a dip in the Potomac River instead of an indoor bath.
  • Before indoor plumbing was installed, workers had to lug buckets of water from a spring located five blocks away. Imagine laundry day!
  • The White House has: 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.
  • The White House can accommodate 140 persons for a formal dinner and 1,000 for hors d'oeuvres.
  • The White House belongs to the people of the United States.
  • The entrance to the White House we always see is the north side.
  • The house was called The President's House, President's Palace, or President's Mansion, until simply being called The White House.

Moving the 'old' president out and the 'new' president in is a mad scramble on Inauguration Day. The former family is supposed to be out by 10:00 a.m., and the new one moved in by 4:00 p.m.  Ideally, this means the clothing is in their dressers, their family pictures are on display, and their personal items are all neatly hung up or otherwise arranged for their use starting immediately after the ceremonies. White House staff do 'rehearsals' before the actual move to try to accomplish everything so it looks effortless. The trucks with the President's things are closely guarded.

Here is an app you can download for all the latest news from the White House:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!!!

New to Triogenius: Phrase of the Day...From time to time, we'll look at how to say things in another language. There might be a little extra information as well---if you're not careful, you might learn something.

Phrase of the Day: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year in Japanese
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! (ah-keh-mah-shteh oh-meh-deh-toe go-zah-ee-mahss)
This literally translates to 'congratulations on the dawn of a New Year!', and you'll hear it during Chinese New Year celebrations.
Happy New Year in Italian
Felice Nuovo Anno! (Fell-ee-che noo-ovo ahn-o)
This also translates to 'congratulations for the New Year!', and accompanies a grand toast and feast.
Happy New Year in Finnish
Onnellista Uutta Vuotta! (On-el-eesta oota vu-oh-ta)
Finland rings in the New Year with a grand feast and special baked treats at midnight. Be ready to share some freshly cut New Year's bread along with your greeting.
Happy New Year in Swahili
Nakutakaia Heri Ya Mwaka Mpya!
You'll be showering New Year greetings on everyone you meet with this simple greeting.
Happy New Year in German
Prosit Neujahr (proezit noy yahr)
You'll want to grab your favorite German brew to toast to the New Year, and attend a special feast. This translation is roughly 'Cheers to the New Year!' with plenty of clanking mugs of beer in the background.
Happy New Year in Chinese
Chu Shen Tan (choo shen taan)
A simple way to celebrate the Western New Year and Chinese New Year, this greeting is also easy to scribble on a card or letter.
  Happy New Year in Hawaiian
Hauoli Makahiki Hou (how-OH-lee mah-kah-hee-kee ho)
If you've been singing Mele Kalikimaka all season long, this greeting can round out your Hawaiian-inspired trend.
Happy New Year in Norwegian
Godt Nyttar (got newt or)
Norway usually rings in the New Year with fog and cold temperatures, and getting up super-early for a New Year's day walk is a popular activity.
Happy New Year in Spanish
Feliz Ano Nuevo (fell-EEs anyoh noo-evo)
This literally translates to congratulations on the New Year, and eating 12 grapes at midnight are common practice. A customary toast and feast also accompany the celebration.
Happy New Year in Turkish
Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun (pronounced as its spelled)
A common New Year's tradition in Turkey is to change into a fresh pair of new underwear at the stroke of midnight. Only then can you meet and greet everyone with your New Year greeting and ensure good luck for the oncoming year.

There's our mini language lesson for today...

Rete Byen!! *

*Stay well, in Haitian-Creole