Posted on 09 December 2012.
In the China Room, a table has been set to illustrate the joy of families sitting down to enjoy a holiday dinner. The dinner plates are from the Truman China set, which was selected by First Lady Bess Truman in 1951 and is the first state china service to feature the Presidential Coat of Arms as redesigned by President Harry Truman in 1945. Following the end of World War II, President Truman issued an Executive Order to standardize the Presidential Seal, and the Coat of Arms was modified so that the eagle faces to its right, the direction of honor, and also toward the olive branch, a symbol of peace, rather than toward the arrows which represent war.
In addition to the Truman China, the table is set with select pieces used by previous Presidents and First Ladies for formal entertaining—including a candlestick dating back to 1791. The other pieces used to decorate the table are the Clinton China service plate, the Johnson China center bowl, the Kennedy glassware, one brass candlestick from the Reagan administration, and some gilded silver candlesticks from the Eisenhower administration.
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