Election Day U.S.A. – Presidents who played tennis
It’s finally here- Presidential Election Day in the U.S.A. After what feels like the most divisive, rancorous campaign in anyone’s lifetime, it ends today- unless we get the hanging chad thing again.
No commentary here on who to vote for- that’s up to you. But if you are registered to vote, make sure you get out there and- to quote Nike- just do it. It’s that important. Here’s where to find your local polling place.
Tennis has been a longtime favorite at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Here’s the first White House court, built in 1902. It was just south of the West Wing, where the West Wing south terrace is now located.
This is President (and famed sportsman) Teddy Roosevelt and his “Tennis Cabinet,” a group of White House staffers who would play with the President in the afternoon. Gotta think if he called the ball out, who was gonna argue?
Here’s a match at the old court, 1922.
President Warren Harding and his wife Florence would watch the top players in the country play on the White House courts, too.
The Kennedy family enjoyed the sport as well. First Lady Jackie Kennedy reportedly didn’t mind that she wasn’t as good a player as her husband’s sisters- she had men admiring her style just the way it was.
There’s President Ford at right in 1975. Although I’d swear #22 looks like George Dubya, the original caption says “Photographer David Kennerly and Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld with President Ford in 1975.” Dig that Pulsar watch.
President Bush with Anna K.
His choice of tennis opponents is spot on.
Former First Lady, the late Nancy Reagan, had her own regular “Just Say No” tournament. Here she is in on the White House court in 1985 with Brooke Shields and Tom Selleck.
First Lady Michelle Obama also promoted the sport.
The famous rumor is that President Carter himself scheduled who could use the White House courts. And we can’t forget to acknowledge Jack Sock’s recent run for the White House. Jack, you’ll make more money playing tennis, if that is any consolation. No Air Force One, but still.