the Roosevelt Room
On December 13, 1990, Barbara Bush met with the families of the recently-released Iraqi hostages
in the Roosevelt Room. She listened to them describe how happy they were to have their loved ones
home after being holed up at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait following the invasion by Iraqi forces.
President George Bush invited the hostages and their families to the White House, where they
shared testimonies of the atrocities committed by Iraq against the peaceful-Kuwaiti people. Later
that day, the hostages and their families joined the President and First Lady as they lit the
National Christmas Tree.
The window-less Roosevelt Room occupies the original site of the president's office when the
West Wing was built in 1902. Seven years later, the room became a part of two waiting rooms when
the West Wing was expanded and the Oval Office was built. When Franklin Roosevelt relocated the
Oval Office from the center of the building to the southeast corner in 1934, this room received
Franklin Roosevelt called this room the Fish Room, where he displayed an aquarium and fishing
mementos. John Kennedy continued the room's nautical theme by mounting a sailfish that he caught
in Acapulco, Mexico.
President Richard Nixon named the room in 1969 to honor Theodore Roosevelt for building the
West Wing and Franklin Roosevelt for expanding it. Today the room is used as a conference room
and features a multimedia center for presentations.
Return to top