Camp David

Last updated on 1 August 2017

Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States. It is located in wooded hills of Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland, about 62 miles (100 km) north-northwest of Washington, D.C..[1][2][3] It is officially known as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, because it is technically a military installation, and staffing is primarily provided by the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

Originally known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was built as a camp for federal government agents and their families by the WPA. Construction started in 1935 and was completed in 1938.[4] In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt converted it to a presidential retreat and renamed it "Shangri-La" (for the fictional Himalayan paradise in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton, which he had jokingly referenced as the source of the Doolittle Raid earlier that year). Camp David received its present name from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father and grandson, both named David.[5]

The Catoctin Mountain Park does not indicate the location of Camp David on park maps due to privacy and security concerns, although it can be seen through the use of publically accessible satellite images.[3]

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Location of Camp David in Maryland

Presidential use

Since it was built, every president has made use of the retreat.

Security issues

On July 2, 2011, an F-15 intercepted a small two-seat passenger plane flying near Camp David, when President Obama was in residence. The civilian aircraft, which was out of radio communication, was intercepted approximately 6 miles (10 km) from the presidential retreat. The F-15 escorted the aircraft out of the area, and it landed in nearby Hagerstown, Maryland, without incident. The civilian plane's occupants were flying between two Maryland towns and were released without charge.[23]

On July 10, 2011, an F-15 intercepted another small two-seat passenger plane flying near Camp David when President Barack Obama was again in residence; a total of three planes were intercepted over that July 9 weekend.[24]



Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at then named Shangri-La, May 1943

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower meets with his National Security Council at Laurel Lodge, 1955

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Main Lodge during Eisenhower administration, 1959

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David Eisenhower (age 12), grandson of President Eisenhower, poses with sign named in his honor, 1960

President Lyndon B. Johnson with Ambassadors Ellsworth Bunker and W. Averell Harriman exiting Aspen cabin, April 9, 1968


Richard and Pat Nixon walking their dogs in Camp David.

Camp David meeting discussing Vietnam situation – Richard Nixon with National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, and Maj. Gen. Alexander Haig Jr., 1972

Richard Nixon, Camp David.

Gerald and Betty Ford, daughter Susan and Liberty, at Camp David

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President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, and Jimmy Carter meet at the beginning of the Camp David Summit in 1978.

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Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter and Menachem Begin at Camp David in 1978

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Menachem Begin at Camp David, 1978.

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Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, and Menachem Begin meet on the Aspen Lodge patio, September 6, 1978.

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Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, and Anwar Sadat at Camp David, September 7, 1978.

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Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in Aspen Lodge, 1984.

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Thatcher and Reagan walk at Camp David in 1986.

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George H. W. Bush meets with his National Security advisors in the Laurel Lodge conference room on August 4, 1990.

President Clinton with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat at Camp David peace talks, July 2000.

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George W. Bush meets with his advisors at Camp David on January 17, 2004, while preparing for his State of the Union address.


From Camp David, Vice President Dick Cheney and members of the Interagency Team on Iraq participate in a video teleconference with President George W. Bush in Baghdad, Iraq.

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Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and George W. Bush at Camp David, April 2007.


President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten walk together with the President's dog Barney at Camp David, July 21, 2007.


Barack Obama and Joe Biden at Camp David in 2010.

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World leaders at the 2012 G8 Summit. (Clockwise) Obama (standing), Cameron, Medvedev, Merkel, Van Rompuy, Barroso, Noda, Monti, Harper, and Hollande.

See also


  1. ^ "Park Map Viewer." Catoctin Mountain Park. Retrieved on February 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Thurmont town, Maryland." United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 4, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions." Catoctin Mountain Park, Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "10. Where is Camp David? The Presidential Retreat is within the park however, it is not open to the public and its location is not shown on our park maps for both security and privacy. If you're interested in historical information, visit our Presidential Retreat webpage."
  4. ^ "12 WPA Projects that Still Exist". How Stuff Works. Publications International, Ltd. Retrieved March 11, 2009.
  5. ^ Eisenhower, David; Julie Nixon Eisenhower (2010). Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight David Eisenhower, 1961–1969. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 31.
  6. ^ a b "Camp David". Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  7. ^ "Dwight D. Eisenhower: Message Prepared for the Conference on Fitness of American Youth.".
  8. ^ "272 - Address at the State Department's Foreign Policy Conference for Educators.". The American Presidency Project. June 19, 1967.
  9. ^ W. Dale Nelson, The President is at Camp David (Syracuse University Press, 1995), pp. 69-94.
  10. ^ "Camp David: A History of the Presidential Retreat". July 18, 1942. Retrieved June 29, 2009.
  11. ^ File:Thatcher Reagan Camp David sofa 1984.jpg on the English Wikipedia
  12. ^ "Bush's Daughter Marries With 'a Minimum of Fuss'". The New York Times. June 28, 1992.
  13. ^ Sanger, David (September 27, 2003). "With issues to resolve, Bush welcomes Putin to Camp David". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  14. ^ "Camp David".
  15. ^ "Brown to meet Bush at Camp David". BBC News Online. July 26, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  16. ^ "Fogh på besøg hos Bush i Camp David" [Fogh Rasmussen visited Bush at Camp David]. Politiken (in Danish). June 9, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  17. ^ "White House moves G8 summit from Chicago to Camp David". CBS Chicago. CBS Chicago. March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  18. ^ "US hopes Assad can be eased aut with Russia's aid". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  19. ^ "Statement by the Press Secretary on the United States-GCC Summit". April 17, 2015.
  20. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (2017-01-17). "Haughty Palm Beach learns to love Trump, once a scorned outsider". Miami Herald.
  21. ^ Michael S. Rosenwald, Mar-a-Lago 3, Camp David 0. With Trump as president, is the rustic Md. retreat doomed?, Washington Post (February 20, 2017).
  22. ^ Heil, Emily (2017-06-19). "Donald and Melania Trump give Camp David a good review". Washington Post.
  23. ^ "NORAD intercepts aircraft near Camp David, where President Obama staying with family". The Washington Post. July 2, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  24. ^ Weil, Martin (July 10, 2011). "Jet fighters intercept planes 3 times over weekend near Camp David". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 26, 2015.

External links

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