On Tuesday evening at the DNC convention in Philadelphia, Michele Obama said the following:
“So that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”
This statement is a great sound byte, but is it true?
In the late 1800’s, the original White House was built by a combination of slaves, free blacks, and contractors. However, in the War of 1812, the British burned down the White House. Over the last 200+ years, the White House has been built, rebuilt, remodeled, and expanded. The only original part of the White House is a portion of one of the exterior walls.
If you live in a housing development that previously was farmland, then we do not boast that we live on a farm. It used to be a farm, but not anymore. Michele Obama does not wake up in a house built by slaves but lives on the property where a building built partially by slaves existed.
Verdict: Mostly false.