TRIVIAL PURSUITS: When Did the Madisons Return to the White House?

August 23, 2011 ( - On this day in 1814, first lady Dolley Madison fled the White House ahead of an invading British army.

The next day British troops enjoyed feasting on White House food using the president’s silverware and china before burning the building.  When did the Madison’s move back in to the White House?

Answer:  They never did.

Although they were able to return to Washington only three days later when British troops moved on, the Madisons were not again able to take up residence in the White House and lived out the rest of his term in the city’s Octagon House.

It was not until 1817 that newly elected President James Monroe moved back into the reconstructed building.