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Where Is the Best Place to Hold a High School Prom?

Getting dressed up and dancing the night away at the prom is an important event in the life of any high school student, but the girls of the senior class at Holton-Arms School had a more memorable evening than most on May 31, 1975. Thanks to their classmate, Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, their senior prom was held in the East Room of the White House -- the only time that the executive mansion has ever hosted a prom. The girls wore floor-length dresses and drank non-alcoholic punch while dancing "the bump" with their dates to the groovy sounds of the Outerspace Band and Sandcastle. Although the President and First Lady were out of town that night, the students had several other chaperones, including Gerald Ford's sister-in-law, Janet Ford.

More about the one and only White House prom:

  • Susan Ford had attended Holton-Arms School, an all-girls school in Bethesda, Maryland, since her freshman year.

  • The students paid for the entire event (which cost $1,300 USD in 1975 dollars) by holding fundraisers such as bake sales.

  • Susan Ford's date for the night was William Pifer, a premed student at Washington and Lee University.

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