Marilyn Monroe meets JFK

Timeline | Stars at the White House

In Joanna Murray-Smith’s new play Pennsylvania Avenue, which begins later this week in the Sumner, we meet Harper Clements, a woman who has served eight Presidents during her tenure at the White House. From the halcyon dates of JFK, through the civil rights movement and Vietnam, to Clinton’s indiscretions and Bush’s bumbling, Harper has seen it all. She has watched history being made, not only by the Presidents, but by the spectacular array of performers granted an audience at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, including Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin.

To celebrate this star-studded era, we’ve created a special interactive timeline full of images, video and audio for you to explore. To move through the timeline, simply hover over the window below. Forward and back arrows on the right and left allow you to navigate through the milestones chronologically, or you can click and drag the timeline to navigate to a period that interests you. To zoom in and out, use the + and – buttons on the lower left.

You can hear talented songstress Bernadette Robinson perform songs from many of these stars in Pennsylvania Avenue, playing at Southbank Theatre, the Sumner from 8 November to 20 December.

Which US president have you most admired over the years? And which star would you love to see perform at the White House? We’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Published on 4 November 2014