Being a father isn’t easy, nor is being a father while being president of the United States.

Setting all politics aside, and on the verge of Father’s Day weekend, here are some rarely seen photos of family life inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, courtesy of the White House Historical Association.

President Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln

 The youngest son of our 16th president, and nicknamed “Tad,” the boy survived a bout of Typhoid Fever that took the life of his brother, Willie. Tad later died at the age of 18 of either Tuberculosis or Pneumonia.

This photo was taken on February 9, 1864. He was just nine years old.

Archibald Roosevelt

Pictured on his horse Algonquin outside the West Wing in 1903, “Archie” was Teddy Roosevelt’s fifth son. He grew up to command American troops in both World War I and II.

Archie died at the age of 85. His tombstone reads: “The old fighting man home from the wars.”

President William Howard Taft and Charles and Helen Taft

 The 27th president of the United States, Taft holds the distinction of serving as both Chief Executive and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

This photo dates to 1909. President Taft and his wife, Helen, had three children: Robert, Helen and Charles.

President Calvin Coolidge and Calvin and John Coolidge

Nicknamed “Silent Cal,” this family photo is a bit haunting. That’s because the president’s youngest son, Calvin (far left), died two weeks after this photograph was taken. He was just 16.

Calvin and his brother, John, had been playing tennis at the White House. Unfortunately, Calvin wasn’t wearing socks, developed a blister, was diagnosed with blood poisoning, and died on July 7.

“When he went the power and the glory of the Presidency went with him,” wrote President Coolidge.

The Eisenhowers and Nixons

In this photograph taken while watching the inaugural parade on January 21, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower is with his grandchildren, Anne and David Eisenhower. Vice President Nixon is standing with his daughters, Julie and Tricia.

Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr.

A backyard picnic on one of the world’s most famous lawns before life ended as they knew it on November 22, 1963.

The Carter Treehouse

In this 1977 photograph, President Carter plays with his daughter Amy and grandson Jason on the South Lawn of the White House.

Bush and Son Horsing Around

President George H.W. Bush and his son Marvin at the White House Horseshoe Pit in 198

President George W. Bush and Family

L-R, Jenna Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, President George W. Bush, and Barbara Bush in 2004.


The day after President John Adams moved into the newly constructed White House, he wrote to his wife Abigail:

“I Pray Heaven To Bestow The Best Of Blessings On This House And All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof.”


All images from White House Historical Association.