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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Real Story of the Big Block of Cheese

The White House reports:
Big Block of Cheese Day: Fan of The West Wing? Next Wednesday, January 29th the White House will be hosting “Big Block of Cheese Day” – just like they did in President Jackson’s day. In homage to President Jackson keeping the White House “The People’s House,” we are hosting the first-ever virtual “Big Block of Cheese Day,” as a way to let citizens interact with White House officials in real-time on social media. Be sure to stay tuned for a complete schedule of events.

The real story of the big block of cheese is a bit different. Getting policy opinions from rank and rile Americans had nothing to do with it.

In 1835, an upstate New York dairy farmer named Thomas Meacham gave President Andrew Jackson a 1400-pound block of cheese, to show his support for the administration -- and to tout his own product.

Eleven days before he was to leave office in 1837, Jackson decided to get rid of the stuff by inviting normals to the White House and having them eat it.  The plan worked, but the stench of the cheese lingered in the White House well into the Van Buren administration.