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Coordinates: 39°38′54″N 77°27′54″W / 39.64833°N 77.465°W / 39.64833; -77.465

Camp David
(Naval Support Facility Thurmont)
Catoctin Mountain Park
Frederick County, Maryland, U.S.
Camp David.jpg
Main Lodge at Camp David during the Nixon administration, February 9, 1971
Type Military base
Coordinates Latitude:
Built 1935 (1935)
Built by Works Progress Administration
US Government
Open to
the public
Controlled by US Navy and The Central Intelligence Agency
Occupants President of the United States
First lady of the United States
Events Camp David Accords
2000 Camp David Summit
38th G8 summit

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

First known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was originally built as a camp for federal government agents and their families, by the WPA, starting in 1935, opening in 1938.[4] In 1942, it was converted to a presidential retreat by Franklin D. Roosevelt and renamed "Shangri-La" (for the fictional Himalayan paradise). Camp David received its present name from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father and grandson, both named David.[5] Camp David is not open to the general public. Catoctin Mountain Park does not indicate the location of Camp David on its official park maps due to privacy and security concerns.[3]

Presidential use

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and US President Jimmy Carter at Camp David in 1978

Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has made use of Camp David.

  • Roosevelt hosted Sir Winston Churchill in May 1943.[6]
  • Dwight Eisenhower held his first cabinet meeting there.
  • John F. Kennedy and his family often enjoyed horseback riding and other recreational activities. Kennedy often allowed White House staff and cabinet members to use the retreat when he or his family were not there.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson often met with important advisors at the retreat and hosted Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt.
  • Richard Nixon was a frequent visitor and did much to add to and modernize the facilities.
  • Gerald Ford often rode his snowmobile around Camp David and hosted Indonesian President Suharto.[7]
  • Jimmy Carter brokered the Camp David Accords there in September 1978 between Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.[6]
  • Ronald Reagan visited the retreat more than any other president. In 1984, Ronald Reagan hosted the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher.[8]
  • George H.W. Bush's daughter, Dorothy Bush Koch, was married there in 1992, the first ever to do so.
  • Bill Clinton used Camp David more as his tenure in office progressed, and hosted then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, on several occasions in addition to numerous celebrities.
  • George W. Bush hosted dignitaries, including the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin in 2003[9][10] and hosted the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, in 2007.[11] George W. Bush also hosted the then Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in June 2006.[12]
  • Barack Obama has made the camp's Evergreen Chapel his primary place of worship, as George W. Bush had done before him.[13] Camp David was also chosen by President Obama to host the 2012 G8 Summit.[14] President Obama also hosted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at Camp David.[15]

Security issues

On July 2, 2011, an F-15E 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 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the presidential retreat. The F-15E 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.[16]

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; the total number of interceptions over this July 9 weekend, was three planes.[17]


See also

  • Admiralty House, official Sydney residence of the Governor-General of Australia
  • Beidaihe, used as a seaside retreat by senior officials of the Communist Party of China until 2004
  • Blair House, another official White House lodging for guests
  • Camp Misty Mount Historic District and Camp Greentop Historic District, built at the same time in Catoctin Mountain Park as Camps 1 and 2.
  • Chequers, the country retreat of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Chigi Palace, official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy
  • Harpsund, official country residence for the Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Harrington Lake, official country retreat for the Prime Minister of Canada
  • Kirribilli House, official Sydney residence of the Prime Minister of Australia
  • Presidential Townhouse, the current official guest house for former U.S. Presidents
  • Quirinal Palace, official residence of the President of Italy
  • Rapidan Camp, the predecessor of Camp David from 1929 to 1933
  • Site R, bunker and communications center near Camp David
  • Trowbridge House, adjacent to Blair House and soon to be renovated to become the new guest house for former Presidents
  • White House, official residence of the President of the United States


  1. "Park Map Viewer." Catoctin Mountain Park. Retrieved on February 4, 2011.
  2. "Thurmont town, Maryland." US Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 4, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "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. 6.0 6.1 "Camp David". Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  7. "Camp David: A History of the Presidential Retreat". July 18, 1942. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  8. "Thatcher Reagan Camp David sofa 1984.jpg". 
  9. Sanger, David (September 27, 2003). "With Issues to Resolve, Bush Welcomes Putin to Camp David". Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  10. "Camp David". 
  11. "Brown to meet Bush at Camp David". July 26, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  13. Sullivan, Amy (June 29, 2009). "The Obamas Find a Church Home – Away from Home". Time magazine.,8599,1907610,00.html. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  14. "White House Moves G8 Summit From Chicago To Camp David". CBS Chicago. CBS Chicago. March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  15. "US Hopes Assad Can Be Eased Out With Russia's Aid". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved May 27, 2012>. 
  16. "NORAD intercepts aircraft near Camp David, where President Obama staying with family". The Washington Post. July 2, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2012. 
  17. Weil, Martin (July 10). "Jet fighters intercept planes 3 times over weekend near Camp David". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 

External links

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