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The red of the Red Room is all encompassing. Color, rather than history, makes the first impression. It is a favorite room of first ladies and guests alike, often used as a sitting room and for small teas and receptions. One loves to remain in the Red Room because it is so aesthetically appealing.

For most of the nineteenth century, this room was known as the "Music Room". During Lincoln's presidency, male guests retired to the Red Room for brandy and cigars after dinner. President Grant did the same, as well as prohibiting political talk in the room.