Gerald R. Ford Hosted a Promenade

Gerald Ford is the only president to hold a prom in the White House, which traditionally was known as a “promenade dance” – essentially, a dance party for high school students.  Proms are typically held towards the end of the school year, originally for seniors, although over the years junior (11th grade) proms have sprung up and sometimes schools may choose to combine them, rather than have a separate senior and junior prom.

On May 31, 1975, Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford, was in her final year of classes at Holton-Arms School and at the urging of her fellow classmates asked White House Chief Usher Rex Scouten permission to hold their senior class prom at the White House. It was and remains, the only high-school dance ever to take place at White House. The class members held bake sales and fairs to raise the money and paid for the prom themselves!

For those of you interested in similarly unique events at the White House, consider President Andrew Jackson’s cheese party in which about 10,000 visitors showed up to eat a wheel of cheddar cheese that weighed nearly 1,400 pounds. In 1835, Thomas S. Meacham presented President Andrew Jackson with the cheese wheel made by dairymen from Oswego County, New York. It was delivered to the White House by a horse-drawn cart (apparently it took 24 horses).  The cheese wheel sat dormant (and aging) in the foyer of the White House for about 2 years, when Jackson invited the public to partake of his cheese in celebration of George Washington’s Birthday in 1837. All the cheese was devoured by the crowd in about 2 hours!