American History Moment
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The official residence of the Vice President of the United States is a 33-room house on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory. The house was built ca. 1893 for the superintendent of the Naval Observatory. It later caught the eye of the admiral who served as the Navy’s first chief of naval operations, an office created in 1917. For several years the Observatory superintendent and the admiral carried on a political tug of war over who should live in the house. The situation was resolved in 1928 when Congress designated the residence as the admiral’s house. In 1974, after Congress had decided several years earlier to build an official residence for the vice president but failed to budget money for construction, the admiral’s house at the Naval Observatory was designated as the official vice presidential residence. Gerald Ford was the first vice president eligible to live in the home, but he was elevated to the presidency before he could move in. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller chose to stay in his private home, but he and his wife did use the residence for entertaining. Walter Mondale was the first vice president to move his family into the residence, and all subsequent U.S. vice presidents and their families have occupied the historic home at One Observatory Circle, located 2 ½ miles from the White House.
From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution