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Members of the press corps have been shuffling into the press briefing room in the White House since 1970, when Richard Nixon pushed for a larger space to accommodate the growing numbers of reporters. Unbeknownst to many, however, what is now the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, a bustling space in the west gallery of the White House, had once been an indoor swimming room. Franklin D. Roosevelt had the indoor aquatic arena built in 1933 in place of the old laundry quarters and swam in it religiously to help soothe his polio.
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