Washington Apple Pi

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Your Government: The White House

Yes, it is true: the White House is actually a light blue. Furthermore, it really isn't located in Washington, DC, but behind a shopping center in nearby Greenbelt, Maryland.

When you see a TV news broadcast "from the White House," you are actually seeing a large model, painted white, located in downtown Washington. This apparent deception is actually a technical necessity: television uses a "blue screen" to superimpose text and other pictures over an image, and the blue color of the White House played havoc with this process. So a white-painted facade was erected to use as a television backdrop.

This use of a facade is not unique to the White House. If you see a news broadcast from the Capitol, it almost always takes place in a scholarly-looking, book-lined room. But the "books" are just book spines glued to a plywood backing, and the "room" is actually just a corner of a television studio. Many of the "politicians" are former actors.

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[White House]

The Executive Mansion rises up out of the parking lot, with no other buildings around it at all.

Washington Apple Pi Virtual Tours, October 12, 1997 lic