Winter 2008, Vol. 40, No. 4
Nestled in the Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland, is Camp David, a retreat for use by the President of the United States.
Officially a U.S. Navy installation, the facility was originally built by the Works Progress Administration as a camp for government employees, opening in 1938.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt took it over in a few years and named it "Shangri-La," for the mountain kingdom in Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton.
It was renamed in 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in honor of his then-five-year-old grandson, Dwight David Eisenhower II.
Over the years, Roosevelt's successors and their families have used it for a variety of reasons. Some spent weekends there relaxing with their families and special guests. Others have used it to study, write, or confer with top advisers. A few have used it to conduct global diplomacy and forge historic peace agreements.
Not far from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore and Frederick, Maryland, Camp David is also a short drive from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is not open or accessible to the public, and a high level of security is maintained. The photographs reproduced in these pages all come from the holdings of the presidential libraries, administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.