Constructed in 1970 during the Nixon Administration, the Briefing Room provided more space to accommodate a growing White House Press Corps.
The Briefing Room replaced a swimming pool that was installed in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s physical therapy. A staircase behind the stage provides access to the deep end of the one-time pool, which now contains 18-miles of cables and the signatures of White House staff and celebrities on the original tile walls.
Currently, approximately 200 journalists make up the White House Press Corps. With just 49 chairs in the Briefing Room, the White House Correspondents Association decides who gets the coveted seats. A plaque on each seat displays the name of the news organization to which it is assigned.