Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: White House china, top TV events

White House china

I noticed a reference to the Clintons stealing china when they left the White House. I didn't know about that, but did hear that they vandalized the White House and took or destroyed computers. President Bill Clinton also did a lot of last-minute pardoning. Was this true?

The Clintons began shipping furniture and other items, including china, flatware, rugs and TVs, to their home in Chappaqua, N.Y., up to a year before President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, but later either returned or paid for many of the items they thought had been gifts to them but were White House property.

They initially paid $86,000 and then another $28,500 for furnishings that belonged to the National Park Service. Clinton's office issued this statement: "Gifts did not leave the White House without the approval of the White House usher's and curator's offices. Of course, if the White House now determines that a cataloging error occurred … any item in question will be returned."

The General Accounting Office, in a June 2002 report, said "damage, theft, vandalism and pranks did occur in the White House complex," including the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, at a cost of $13,000 to $14,000. That included $4,850 to replace or repair 62 computer keyboards, many of which were missing "W" keys. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer had earlier said the "W" was missing from 100 keyboards.

Other costs included replacing 26 cellphones, missing doorknobs, medallions and signs and replacing a 12-inch presidential seal that had been taken. Clinton issued 140 pardons on Jan. 20, 2001.

Memorable television events

I recently heard that O.J. Simpson's Bronco chase and his trial verdict were two of the top six viewed TV events. What are the others?

The chase involving Simpson and the white Ford Bronco, which took place on June 17, 1994, and his trial verdict are two of the most memorable, not viewed, events in TV history, according to a 2012 survey. The top 10 most memorable TV events, according to the survey, which was conducted by Nielson and Sony:

1. Sept. 11 tragedy (2001)

2. Hurricane Katrina (2005)

3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)

4. Challenger space shuttle disaster (1986)

5. Death of Osama bin Laden (2011)

6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)

7. Earthquake in Japan (2011)

8. Columbine High School shootings (1999)

9. BP oil spill (2010)

10. Princess Diana's funeral (1997)

Each event was scored on a formula based on the number of people who watched the event, those who could recall details about where they were and who they were with, and who could remember discussing details about what happened. It was based on 1,077 completed surveys.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Q&A: White House china, top TV events 07/23/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman


    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  2. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'


    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.

  3. Plan a fall vacation at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens when crowds are light


    Now that the busy summer vacation season is ending, Floridians can come out to play.

    Maria Reyna, 8, of Corpus Cristi, TX. eats chicken at the Lotus Blossom Cafe at the Chinese pavilion at Epcot in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017.  Epcot is celebrating it's 35th year as the upcoming Food and Wine Festival kicks off once again.
  4. USF spends $1.5 million to address growing demand for student counseling


    TAMPA — As Florida's universities stare down a mental health epidemic, the University of South Florida has crafted a plan it hopes will reach all students, from the one in crisis to the one who doesn't know he could use some help.

    A student crosses the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, where visits to the school's crisis center more than doubled last year, part of a spike in demand that has affected colleges across the country. The university is addressing the issue this year with $1.5 million for more "wellness coaches," counselors, online programs and staff training. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  5. PTA treasurer at Pinellas school accused of stealing $5,000


    The treasurer of the Parent-Teacher Association at a Pinellas County elementary school faces a felony fraud charge after she was accused of stealing from the organization to pay her credit card and phone bills.

    Lisa McMenamin, 50, of Tarpon Springs, is facing felony charges of scheming to defraud the Brooker Creek Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, where she served as treasurer. She is accused of stealing $5,000 to pay credit card and phone bills. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]