Camp David

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Coordinates: 39°38′54″N 77°27′54″W / 39.64833°N 77.465°W / 39.64833; -77.465

Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 100 km (60 mi) north-northwest of Washington, D.C., in Thurmont, Frederick County, Maryland. It is officially known as Naval Support Facility Thurmont and technically a military installation; staffing is primarily provided by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps.

First known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was originally built as a camp for federal government agents and their families, by the WPA, starting in 1935, opening in 1938.[1] In 1942 it was converted to a presidential retreat by Franklin D. Roosevelt and renamed Shangri-La. Camp David received its present name from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his grandson, David.[2]


Presidential use

Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has made use of Camp David. Roosevelt hosted Sir Winston Churchill in May 1943.[3] Harry S. Truman rarely visited Camp David, because his wife Bess found it "dull". Dwight Eisenhower held the first cabinet meeting there. John F. Kennedy and his family often enjoyed horseback riding and other recreational activities. Kennedy often allowed White House staff and cabinet members to use the retreat when he or his family were not there. Lyndon B. Johnson often met with important advisors at the retreat and hosted Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt. Richard Nixon was a frequent visitor and did much to add to and modernize the facilities. Gerald Ford often rode his snowmobile around Camp David and hosted Indonesian President Suharto.[4] Jimmy Carter brokered the Camp David Accords there in September 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.[3] Ronald Reagan visited the retreat more than any other president. Dorothy Bush Koch, the daughter of George H.W. Bush was the first person ever to be married there, in 1992. Bill Clinton used Camp David more as his tenure in office progressed, and hosted then British Prime Minister Tony Blair on several occasions in addition to numerous celebrities. George W. Bush hosted dignitaries, including then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007.[4] Barack Obama made the camp's Evergreen Chapel his primary place of worship, as George W. Bush had done before him.[5]

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