Nash Castro and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, 1968. Lyndon B. Johnson Library.
Nash Castro’s Oral History Interview with William Seale
A Founding Member Recalls the White House Historical Association's Early Years
Watch Four Video Clips from the Interview
In four excerpts from the filmed interview, Nash Castro recalls the original White House storage facility, how the White House came to be a designated National Park Service entity, the creation of the first White House Guidebook, and his interactions with President John F. Kennedy.
Nash Castro was instrumental to the founding of the White House Historical Association in 1961. In this interview with William Seale, Mr. Castro recalls the creation of the association and its early years of operation, including:
- how the White House officially became part of the National Park System
- the founding of the association and formation of its first board of directors
- the publication of the first White House guidebook
- First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s televised tour of the White House
- how he assisted Lady Bird Johnson, who used her position as First Lady to advance beautification projects throughout the nation
- the early curators of the White House, and
- the creation of the Committee for the Preservation of the White House by Executive Order.
Nash Castro worked for the National Park Service (1939–1969) and was assistant director of the National Capital Region in Washington D.C. from 1961 to 1969. Mr. Castro accepted a position with the Palisades Interstate Parks Commission in 1969. After his retirement from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in 1990, Castro joined Laurance S. Rockefeller's staff as an environmental consultant.
Nash Castro was executive officer of the White House Historical Association three separate times: 1962–1965, again late in 1965 to early 1966, and a portion of 1979. He served on the board from 1967 until 1997 and has been an emeritus member since 1998.