Big Cheese Day at the White House

Big Cheese Day at the White House

In 1835 New York dairy farmer Thomas Meacham sent President Andrew Jackson a 1,400-pound wheel of cheese as a gift. It aged in the Entrance Hall of the White House for two years. On January 29, 1837 the President, as was the custom, invited the public to a reception in the East Room and offered a choice refreshment: Cheese. Hungry citizens finished the entire cheese in two hours, but its fragrance lingered in Entrance Hall for some time.

At 9:00 PM on January 29, 2014, the day after he delivers the State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama has invited the public to a virtual Big Block of Cheese Day. There’s no free cheese, but White House officials will respond to questions in real time via  Twitter Facebook Tumblr Instagram  and Google+ Hangout  (hashtag #AsktheWH). Whether this is a good idea or not remains to be seen, but it sure seems like White House staffers learned about Andy Jackson’s big cheese from the West Wing TV show:


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Image: Illustration (uncredited) from Perley’s Reminiscences of Sixty Years in the National Metropolis (1886) by Benjamin Perley Moore. 

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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