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.

Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


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The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

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Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


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