White House Historian and Author Jennifer Pickens to Keynote 121st Annual Spring Outing at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

Beloved event returns in person on the grounds of The Hermitage on May 18

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 13, 2022) – White House historian and author Jennifer Pickens will serve as the keynote speaker at the 121st annual Spring Outing benefiting the Andrew Jackson Foundation. The event, which will return in person for the first time since 2019, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 18 on the grounds of The Hermitage.

In “Decades of Presidential Traditions,” Pickens will share stories from more than 60 years of entertaining customs at the iconic address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She will portray the pomp and pageantry of state dinners, the family-friendly festivities of popular American traditions and more all hosted at the President’s House. Even stories from visits by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will be highlighted. Pickens will also reveal how soft diplomacy has played an important role at the White House throughout the decades and share other stories that have humanized our American first families.  

Pickens, a White House historian and First Lady expert, has conducted numerous interviews with members of America’s first families, White House social secretaries, chiefs of staff, presidential aides, White House insiders and Executive Resides staff. Her latest book, Entertaining at the White House: Decades of Presidential Traditions, documents 60 years of entertaining customs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Its beautifully appointed design offers readers an insider’s invitation into the White House’s greatest events and intimate insight into the planning, innovation and generosity that went into occasions created by first families from the Kennedys to the Trumps. This is her third book in a series.

“I am thrilled to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Spring Outing. It will be an honor to be at the home of our 7th president, surrounded by the deep history that has helped shape America and share some of my favorite stories and traditions at the White House,” Pickens said. “I am looking forward to May 18 and to meeting the many supporters of the Andrew Jackson Foundation.” 

Spring Outing is a century-old Nashville tradition that began in the early days of the Ladies’ Hermitage Association as a picnic on the mansion’s lawn. Since then, the event has evolved into a major fundraiser held to benefit The Andrew Jackson Foundation’s many education programs and preservation projects. It regularly features nationally known speakers who present on a variety of topics, including politics and history.

Past speakers include such notables as former First Lady Laura Bush, NPR’s Mara Liasson, longtime White House correspondent Ann Compton, former Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam, former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Clifton Truman Daniel, the eldest grandson of President Harry S. Truman.

“The Andrew Jackson Foundation is proud to be able to host this beloved annual event on our grounds once again, after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic. To do so with Ms. Pickens is truly an honor,” said Howard J. Kittell, president and CEO of the Andrew Jackson Foundation. “Jennifer’s expertise is sought after by national TV and radio programs, advisory boards and civic organizations. We are excited to hear from her and to welcome back our friends to this event once again.”

Spring Outing is co-chaired by Jane Corcoran and Sarah Ann Ezzell. Tickets start at $150 and are available at thehermitage.com/springouting.

For more information on Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, visit www.thehermitage.com

About Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage: Home of the People’s President is one of the largest, most well-preserved and most visited presidential homes in the United States. Opened to the public in 1889, The Hermitage is one of America’s first presidential museums. Today, The Hermitage is a 1,120-acre National Historic Landmark with more than 20 historic buildings, including Jackson’s mansion and tomb, restored slave cabins, a church and gardens. In recent years, new interpretive initiatives and educational programs such as the history of slavery have enhanced the experience of more than 230,000 annual visitors. For more information, visit www.thehermitage.com.