Oval Office Historical Photo Essay

President George W. Bush hosts a meeting with senior advisers in the newly-renovated Oval Office, which includes a specially-designed wool rug featuring the Presidential coat of arms Dec. 20, 2001. The color scheme of the first Oval Office, built in 1909 during the Taft Administration, was olive green. Before his address to Congress and the nation following the attacks of September 11, President George W. Bush meets with speechwriter Michael Gerson, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Counselor Karen Hughes in the Oval Office Sept. 20, 2001. President George W. Bush and Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., share a laugh in the Oval Office Jan. 21, 2002. President George W. Bush honored Dr. King in a White House celebration and received a portrait of the civil rights leader from his wife and children in the East Room. After talking with Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in a televised telephone conversation, President Bush addresses reporters in the Oval Office September 13, 2001.
While sitting in front of the fireplace in the Oval Office February 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter hosts a lunch for Vice President Mondale and energy adviser James Schlesinger. Hanging above the mantel is Charles Willson Peale's portrait of George Washington, which President Carter acquired for the White House's permanent art collection. While working at his desk in the Oval Office, which he had moved to its current location in 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt meets with Marguerite Le Hand, his personal secretary. John F. Kennedy meets with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the leaders of the March on Washington in the Oval Office August 28, 1963. With more extensive press coverage than any previous political demonstration in U.S. history, the march and King’s speech were historic moments in the Civil Rights movement. As television producers and photographers make final adjustments on camera angles and sound in the Oval Office, President Eisenhower prepares to announce his decision to run for re-election February 29, 1956.

Enjoy photographs capturing events and special moments in the Oval Office. The top row is a collection taken during President George W. Bush's administration. The bottom row highlights historical events in the Oval Office.