Smithsonian gets solar panel that once graced White House roof
But back in 1979, when another Democrat was in the White House, 32 solar panels graced the roof above the Oval Office.
Part of an initiative called “Solar America,” the panels turned sunlight into electricity that heated water in the staff kitchen — which President Jimmy Carter often used. They were removed during Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1986.
Now, one of those presidential solar panels has joined the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
“The White House solar panel is evidence of an American president leading by example to promote his administration’s agenda,” Harry Rubenstein, chair of the museum’s division of politics and reform, said in a statement. “It displays how President Carter reinforced his policies through a personal gesture taking place in his own home.”
Unity College donated the panel to the museum this summer. The college in rural Maine got the panels in 1991. It refurbished some of them and installed them on top of the college cafeteria, and the panels heated water there until they maxed out their life span in 2005.
We were wondering if readers would like to see Obama install solar panels on top of the White House again?
It would certainly send a message — similar to the example set by First Lady Michelle Obama when she planted a vegetable garden on the White House lawn to promote healthy eating.
— Writing and reporting by Laura Isensee
(Photo Credit: United College and GreenBang/President Jimmy Carter inspects solar panels installed on top of the White House on June 30, 1979)