The History Of White House Visits In Sports


The History Of White House Visits In Sports


By: James Jackson

January 21, 2019


After winning a championship in sports, the winning team has the option to make a trip to the White House to be honored by the President of the United States. Most recently, the newly crowned National Champion Clemson football team paid a visit to the White House to be honored by President Trump. Despite what your personal opinions are on whatever President is in office, it’s still a tradition..but why?


It all started on August 30, 1865 when President Johnson invited amateur baseball teams, Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals to the White House. President Ulysses S. Grant hosted the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869.

The Washington Senators were the first World Series championship team to be honored at the White House by President Coolidge in 1925. John F. Kennedy was the first President to welcome the NBA champion Boston Celtics in 1965. Indiana University men’s basketball team is the first NCAA championship team to be welcomed to the White House to visit President Ford in 1976.


Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates visited President Carter in a dual ceremony in 1980, the first visit for the NFL. President Reagan was the first President to make it a tradition in the White House to welcome sports teams constantly.


The Pittsburgh Penguins were the first NHL team to be welcomed to the White House. With the tradition happening every year with the majority of sports teams, it’s become an honor to be invited to the White House to meet the President of the United States. Who will be the next team to step foot on the White House lawn?


PHOTOS: Brad Mills/USA Today