Historic Markers Across Alabama

The President's Oval Office/The Glorious Burden

Marker ID:  
Location: 3727 Hwy 119, Montevallo, AL
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 33° 8.443    W 086° 49.717
  33.14071666    -86.82861666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The President's Oval Office

In this building is a full-scale replica of the White House Oval Office.

When John and Abigail Adams first moved into The White House in 1800, it contained three oval rooms, inspired by design changes President George Washington made to the Morris House in Philadelphia, where he and Martha lived during his Presidency.

Theodore Roosevelt ordered construction of the West Wing in 1902, where he had a rectangular shaped office. In 1900, William Howard Taft had the first Presidential Oval Office built in the center of the West Wing. It contained no windows. In 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt relocated The Oval Office to its present spot on the corner of The West Wing and added exterior windows and doors for improved lighting.

The ornate Resolute Desk, a gift from Queen Victoria is the room's most recognizable piece. All Presidents decorate the Oval Office with furniture and pictures to suit their own personal tastes and needs. However, a portrait of George Washington is always present.

(side 2)

The Glorious Burden

The U. S. Presidency has often been called "The Glorious Burden". In 1787, delegates to the Constitution Convention created the office specifically with George Washington in mind, saying only that, "Power shall be vested in a President." They knew and trusted that he would properly mold the office and define its scope with his strength of character.

Today, much of the majesty and power of the office comes form the many precedents established by the Father of Our Country. The first occurred when taking the oath of office as written as written in the Constitution. Washington added at the end, "so help me God," and every President since has repeated it.

The Constitution gives Congress more than two dozen specific functions but only seven for the President, and one of those is a speech, The State of the Union Address. As result, Washington established most of the rules by which all Presidents are guided. The function of his Cabinet, the relationship with Congress, and even the concept of Executive Privilege were created by George Washington.

Erected as an Eagle Scout Project
of J. Madison Gibbens, III Pelham, Alabama Troop 367

End of The President's Oval Office/The Glorious Burden