Can you tour the White House barefoot? Well, you could back in the 1960s, but I doubt it would succeed today.
Here’s a story from the summer of 1967.
Hippies Tour White House
WASHINGTON (AP) The patter of bare feet echoed through the staid rooms of the White House as 11 hippies toured the mansion.
They had been turned away on Tuesday by guards who looked askance at their turned-up toes. But they were admitted Wednesday, along with conventionally dressed tourists for the daily White House tour.
The young men were garbed in dungarees, turtle-neck sweaters, blanket-like vests and some had beards.
A White House police spokesman said the hippies were turned away at first because “their clothes were duty and their hah- was matted and we felt the regular visitors were entitled to some atmosphere of dignity.” But on Wednesday, he added, they had spruced some.
Notice that according to the White House spokeman (they only had spokesmen back then), the problem when the hippies were excluded was not their bare feet, but being dirty. Once they fixed the dirty part, they were admitted, bare feet and all.
Somehow I have a sneaking suspicion that wouldn’t happen today.
You wonder if they would come up with the usual “safety” excuse. Think they can maintain a family home safely enough for bare feet?
I do know that the United States Supreme Court building sure wouldn’t let me come in barefoot, even after I showed them their complete set of rules for entering the building and it included no such rule. They did, however, consult with one of their staff attorneys, who okayed the exclusion. (I have no idea on what grounds.)
Access to government: arbitrarily made up as they go along.