Life in the Limelight: What It's Really Like to Grow Up in the White House

Think of the overwhelming media coverage that comes along with being President of the United States --- all the publicity, praise and criticism. Imagine the weight of the country on your shoulders. Now imagine being the President's child.

Children have been living in the White House since the beginning of our nation. What is life like for them? Here's a look back through history at some of America’s First Kids.

Tad Lincoln

Thomas Lincoln, nicknamed Tad, was 8 years old when he first moved into the White House. Born with a cleft palate, which was untreatable back in his time, Tad suffered from a serious speech impediment.

After being in the White House for only one year, Tad’s older brother, Willie, died of Typhoid fever at only 11 years old.

Tad faced tragedy again at age 12 when his father, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated.

Henry Guttmann/Getty Images

The Lincolns loved pets, sharing their space in the White House with their dog, Jip. They also welcomed in two cats and two goats. Tad adored the goats, named Nanny and Nanko, sometimes even allowing them to sleep in his bed with him. On August 8, 1863, President Lincoln sent his wife a lengthy telegraph on the whereabouts of one of their pet goats. It read:

Tell dear Tad, poor ‘Nanny Goat,’ is lost; and Mrs Cuthbert & I are in distress about it. The day you left Nanny was found resting herself, and chewing her little cud, on the middle of Tad’s bed. But now she’s gone. The gardener kept complaining that she destroyed the flowers, till it was concluded to bring her down to the White House. This was done, and the second day she had disappeared, and has not been heard of since. This is the last we know of poor ‘Nanny.’

To Tad’s relief, Lincoln soon after sent a follow-up telegraph, reading:

Tell Tad the goats and father are very well --- especially the goats.

John F. Kennedy Jr.

Barely one year old when he first moved into the White House, John Jr. was joined by his older sister, Caroline. The Kennedys had two other children, but sadly, their daughter Arabella was stillborn and their son Patrick died only two days after his birth.

National Archive/Newsmakers

Born only two weeks after his father was elected President of the United States, John Jr. lived in the White House for the first three years of his life, until his father was assassinated in 1963.

President Kennedy’s funeral was held on John Jr.’s third birthday. In a moment that will go down in history, young JFK Jr. stood and saluted his father’s casket to say a final goodbye. The Kennedys decided to follow through with their son’s birthday party.

Luci Johnson

Luci, daughter of Lyndon B. Johnson, was forced to move into the White House at the age of 16, immediately following the assassination of JFK.

Of her time in the White House, Luci stated:

For me, it was the best of times and the worst of times, but it's a march through history, and there's not a moment you live there that you are able to be oblivious to that.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Luci and older sister Lynda were aware of the circumstance that allowed their father to become president. Luci heard the news of JFK’s assassination while sitting in a Spanish class at National Cathedral School. She found out her father had been sworn in as President when the Secret Service arrived at her school just a few hours later.

Luci’s named was originally spelled, “Lucy.” However, she changed it in an act of rebellion against her parents.

Susan Ford

For Susan Ford, moving into the White House at age 17 was a historic event. Ford held her high school prom there, making it the only prom to ever take place at the White House. The Holton-Arms Academy class of 1975, raised $1,300 through fundraisers and bake sales for the prom.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

A retired English teacher of Holton-Arms said this about young Susan Ford:

Susan, at that age, was strikingly beautiful, and it’s a great deal of fun to watch a bunch of beautiful young girls with handsome young men, all dressed up. They were clearly excited about being where they were, but they were not uncomfortably awed. It was a beautiful affair.

Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea spent a good chunk of her younger years in the White House, moving in when she was 13 years old. She stayed there until she was 17, moving out to further her education at Stanford.

PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

During a 2014 interview, Clinton stated:

I was always deeply aware that I was living in history, but then I would have dinner with my parents at the kitchen table every night. There was much about my life that also was normal.

When Clinton began her studies at Stanford, her mother, Hillary Clinton, published an open letter, asking the media to allow her daughter to maintain her privacy while at college. Despite efforts for normalcy, Chelsea chose to stay in a high-security dorm, accompanied by Secret Service agents.

Sasha & Malia Obama

Sasha and Malia moved in to the White House when they were only 7 and 10 years old, respectively. Although both Sasha and Malia spent a good portion of their childhood in the media, President Obama seemed to think his daughters coped with the fame quite nicely. He once stated:

They’ve handled it so well. They are just wonderful girls. They’re smart and funny, but most importantly, they’re kind.

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, said her two daughters spent their last night in the White House with a sleepover:

They had a sleepover because of course on Inauguration Day, because my girls are so normal, they're like, "Well, eight girls are gonna be sleeping here because it's our last time, and we want pizza and we want nuggets."

Michelle Obama went on to say the transition out of their house of eight years was not an easy one:

So that moment of transition, right before the doors opened and we welcomed in the new family, our kids were leaving out the back door in tears, saying goodbye to people.

What if You Were in Their Shoes?

How do you think you would handle being a First Kid? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Somebody might want to check the temperature in hell, it might be just a tad chillier than normal.

If you missed Friday's episode of The Glenn Beck Program, you missed something you probably never thought you'd see in this timeline or any other. Glenn actually donned President Trump's trademark red "Make America Great Again" hat and laid out the case for why he thinks Trump will win in a landslide in 2020.

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Bottom line: Nancy Pelosi and the mainstream media may have pushed Glenn to this point, but believe it or not, Trump's record will make this next election a walk in the park for number 45. At this point, the sitting president has done enough to earn even Glenn's vote.

Glenn broke down what he thought were the 10 biggest campaign promises that — unlike those made by most politicians — Trump actually kept.

10. Impose a 10% repatriation tax to bring jobs back to America

Not all of Trump's promises were good ones, but regardless of what the consequences may be — he did keep this one.

"Now, I think this one is dangerous," Glenn said on radio Friday. "He did it. Ten percent. Bring all of your money back into the United States. It will create jobs. Yes. It will also create inflation. But it's creating jobs."

9. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

This has been one of Trump's most passionate issues.

"The stop the TPP. Uh-huh. Right. Sure you are. Uh-huh. Yes. He did," Glenn admitted.

8. Withdraw from the disastrous Paris Climate Accord

Glenn found himself eating crow on this.

"I'm on record saying he will never do that because his daughter is a huge global warming person and he only listens to the family. Eh. Wrong," Glenn said with a puff of crow feathers coming from his mouth.

7. Bring North Korea to the table and rein them in

This looked impossible. Not so.

"'I'm going to bring North Korea to the table.' Are you? Everybody has tried to do that," Glenn said. "Now, they're at the table. We don't know what's going to happen. So the result of that is unknown. But has anybody else done that?"

6. Stop over-regulation and jump-start the economy

It's the economy, stupid.

"Does anybody feel like America is beginning to get on track somewhat economically? You know why? Because he fulfilled another promise," Glenn said. "Stop over-regulating the American people. Give them their money. Give the companies the opportunity to expand and bring their money back into the country, and maybe they'll build buildings. Maybe they'll build offices. Maybe they'll build new products. Maybe they'll build new factories. Maybe they'll hire a bunch of people."

Glenn went on.

"Now, I know Seattle is trying to do everything they can to make sure everybody in their city is homeless and unemployed, but the rest of the country is enjoying the feeling of, wow, maybe things are going to be okay."

5. Reverse Obama's executive orders

If you're like Glenn, you've gotten used to politicians promising "no new taxes," but you can really tell they're lying if their lips are moving. Guess what? That's apparently not Trump.

"The executive orders? Yeah. He's reversed a lot of Obama's executive orders," Glenn said. "These are outrageous promises."

4. Pull out of the Iran nuclear deal

No big deal...

"'I'm going to cancel the Iran Deal.' Yep. None of these are small. You know, I've got maybe ten minutes. I think we can get that done in the first term. And they did," Glenn said.

3. Give tax cuts to middle-class Americans

Maybe this could have been better, but we'll take it.

"I don't like the tax cut. I think he could go a lot further," Glenn said. "But that's not even his job. His job is to sign things that Congress puts in front of him. Not to design it. You Republicans in Congress, you disgust me. You disgust me. 'Imagine what we could do if we had the House and the Senate and the White House.' I can imagine what you'll do — nothing. You'll do nothing."

2. Change strategy and defeat ISIS

The mainstream media have been radio silent on this.

"How about the president's — well, I know I can defeat ISIS. I know I can do it. I'll defeat ISIS. He did," Glenn said. "And did you notice no one in the press even talked about it? All of a sudden, we're not talking about ISIS anymore. How come? Oh, I know. President Trump. That's why."

1. Recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy

This one is a true game-changer.

"Now, every president will say to you, when he's running, 'I'm going to make Jerusalem the home.' Well, really? The home of the embassy. Really, are you? Because everybody says that, nobody does it. He did it," Glenn said. "And I think that's going to go down as the biggest game-changer possibly in my lifetime. This is going — it already is — it is changing the game in Iran."

Glenn continued.

"And when it does, this president is going to come out and say something directly to those people, that we support them," he said. "And that's going to add fuel to the fire. And you might see a regime change and a collapse of the Islamic regime in Iran. And it will be 100 percent Donald Trump that made that responsible. One hundred percent. You're going to see changes because of this. He kept that promise. A promise I said, he's not going to do that. Nobody is going to do that. He did."

One chapter of ISIS has ended, but another may be starting

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

For the most part, ISIS has fallen in Syria and Iraq. But before we celebrate the demise of this awful terrorist group, before we let our guard down, we should zoom out a bit, because ISIS is spreading. ISIS has largely just scattered out of the region as if someone turned on the kitchen lights and they scrambled.

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The Wall Street Journal spoke with Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Nanyang University in Singapore. “Although Islamic State's ideology has suffered, it still has a huge potential," he told them. “Islamic State has entered a phase of global expansion, very much the same way al Qaeda extended globally in late 2001."

ISIS has spread into West Africa, and throughout much of Southeast Asia, and, as is typical of ISIS, they have done it violently, with a sick venom.

The world is their potential rubble, and their fight is endless.

Again, from the Wall Street Journal: “One chapter of ISIS has finished and another is beginning," said Hassan Hassan, a specialist on Islamic State at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington. “Their resurgence is coming sooner than expected."

The world is their potential rubble, and their fight is endless.

'The Handmaid's Tale' got it right, just with the wrong religion

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Just in case The Handmaid's Tale's heavy-handed message wasn't already heavy-handed enough, a recent episode made it clear there's always room for further hysteria. Particularly, in relation to depictions of a “patriarchal society" run by Christian doctrine and determined by men — oh those dastardly men.

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The show appropriates Margaret Atwood of the same name, depicting a totalitarian society led by Christian doctrine in which women's bodies are controlled, and they have no rights. The story sounds familiar, but not in the same way Atwood and the show's creators have so smugly assumed.

Just as tone-deaf as 4th wave feminism itself, and tone-deaf in all the exact same places. Most notably, the show's heavy-handed indignation toward Christianity. Toward the patriarchy. Toward conservatives and traditional values. And just like 4th wave feminism, the show completely overlooks the irony at play. Because there is a part of the world where women and children are being raped and mutilated. In fact, in this very real place, the women or girls are often imprisoned, even executed, for being raped, and they are mutilated in unspeakable ways.

Theirs is a cruel, bloody, colorless life.

There is a place, a very real place, where women are forced to cover their entire bodies with giant tarp-like blankets, which is all the more brutal given the endless heat of this place. There is a place where women literally have one-third of the rights of men, a place where women are legally, socially and culturally worth less than men.

They cannot drive cars. They cannot be outside alone. They cannot divorce, they cannot even choose who they marry and often, they are forcibly married at a young age.

They are raped. A lot. Theirs is a cruel, bloody, colorless life. This is the life of tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of women. And, I'll tell you, their religion isn't Christianity.

Science did it again. It only took 270 million years, but this week, scientists finally solved the mystery that has kept the world up at night. We finally know where octopuses come from: outer space. That explains why they look like the aliens in just about every alien movie ever made.

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It turns out octopuses were aliens that evolved on another planet. Scientists haven't determined which one yet, but they've definitely narrowed it down to one of the planets in one of the galaxies. Hundreds of millions of years ago (give or take a hundred), these evolved octopus aliens arrived on Earth in the form of cryopreserved eggs. Now, this part is just speculation, but it's possible their alien planet was on the verge of destruction, so Mom and Dad Octopus self-sacrificially placed Junior in one of these cryopreserved eggs and blasted him off the planet to save their kind.

This alien-octopus research, co-authored by a group of 33 scientists, was published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology journal. I'm sure you keep that on your nightstand like I do.

Anyway, these scientists say octopuses evolved very rapidly over 270 million years. Which sounds slow, but in evolutionary terms, 270 million years is like light speed. And the only explanation for their breakneck evolution is that they're aliens. The report says, “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes — more than is present in Homo sapiens."

Lucky for us, they landed in the water. Otherwise, we might be octopus pets.

They mention that the octopus' large brain, sophisticated nervous system, camera-like eyes, flexible bodies and ability to change color and shape all point to its alien nature. Octopuses developed those capabilities rather suddenly in evolution, whereas we're still trying to figure out the TV remote.

These biological enhancements are so far ahead of regular evolution that the octopuses must have either time-traveled from the future, or “more realistically" according to scientists, crash-landed on earth in those cryopreserved egg thingies. The report says the eggs arrived here in “icy bolides." I had to look up what a “bolide" is, and turns out it's a fancy word for a meteor.

So, to recap: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, an alien race of octopuses packed their sperm-bank samples in some meteors and shot them toward Earth. Lucky for us, they landed in the water. Otherwise, we might be octopus pets.