White House Swimming Pool Making Waves in New Book

By Krista Payne
Posted . Filed under Hot Off The Press.

Photo of White House Pool taken in 1962

According to Mimi Alford, a then 19-year-old intern at the White House and now author of the  Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath,  the relationship with JFK started in the White House residential swimming pool.

The following excerpt was on the Web site dailymail.co.uk:

“The pool room had one mirrored wall, with the other three sides painted with floor-to-ceiling scenes of palm trees and sailboats.The water was as warm as that in a bathtub — as I learned later, the temperature was always set at 90 degrees to soothe JFK’s chronic back pain. I was treading water with Fiddle and Jill [two female White House employees] when the president himself walked in. “Mind if I join you?” he asked. He was remarkably fit — flat stomach, toned arms — for a 45-year-old man. After sliding into the pool, he floated up to me. “It’s Mimi, isn’t it?” he said. “And you’re in the press office this summer, right?’ He asked what I’d been given to do, and I told him. “Well, nice to see you, Mimi,” he said, and floated away toward Fiddle and Jill.” The affair began later that day with a private tour of the White House that was arranged by the president.

 Our affair, which lasted until his death 18 months later, began in earnest the following week. All that summer, I’d swim with the President, race back to my desk, and then wait for a call to come upstairs.”

Photo taken of Mimi Alford at White House Pool

Although this is Mimi Alford’s account of her experiences with JFK back in the 60’s, we only hear her side of the story. The story is an interesting one, and the details that she gives of the pool and house are intriguing insights to those who will never step foot in the grand house.

The indoor swimming pool remains to this day, however, no word on if the pool is in working condition.  An attempt by Gerald Ford to renovate the indoor pool came up short when realizing press briefing rooms would need to demolished. Another attempt from Hillary Clinton in the 90’s to do the same, also came up with the same issue..that darn press briefing room.  So instead the Clintons put a7 seater high end hot tub out by the outdoor swimming pool complete with adjustable jets.  This outdoor pool was built on the White House grounds in 1975 by Gerald Ford who was known to be a avid swimmer, and even did some laps for the hoards of photographers.

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