This Is Why M&Ms Are The Official Candy Of The White House

Photo: Courtesy of Dennis Crowley.
When I was six-years-old, we took a family vacation to Washington, D.C. and went on a tour of the White House. I remember very little about the tour, but the one thing that has always stuck with me is that at the end, right before we left, our tour guide gave each person a saxophone lapel pin — these were the Clinton years, and he's a mean sax player — and a box of presidential M&Ms. The box was stamped with the presidential seal and Bill Clinton's signature and inside, there were red, white, and blue M&Ms. Almost two decades later, that tradition is apparently still very much alive, and according to a recent article from Thrillist, M&M were actually the official White House candy long before Clinton's administration. You may have heard that Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, loved his candy. While his all-time favorite was Jelly Belly jelly beans — Thrillist reports that he asked for 3.5 tons of the candy to be stocked in the White House — Reagan started to favor M&Ms as the official White House candy during his eighth and final year in office. Before Reagan's presidency, Air Force One and the White House were not stocked with candy. Instead, you'd find packs of presidential cigarettes and matchbooks in every corner. Thank goodness they switched over because I would have been a very disappointed six-year-old if I had been given a pack of cigarettes upon finishing my White House tour — though, at least I would have still had that rad sax pin. President Reagan reached out to Mars in 1988 to ask for custom presidential boxes of M&Ms in anticipation of four-day Moscow Summit, and Mars happily obliged. Thrillist wrote that this candy choice was appropriate for many reasons; "During Reagan's era, M&M's were also the No. 1 leading candy brand in the country (and still are today). The candy choice is also a very patriotic one: M&M's were invented during World War II for soldiers." From then on, every other POTUS has followed Reagan's lead. Seeing as we swore in a new president today, you may be wondering what will happen to this M&M obsession now that Trump is in office. Matt Costello, senior historian for the White House Historical Association, told Thrillist it's not likely the new administration would give up the M&Ms. Of course, on the list of things we're currently concerned about, no longer having M&Ms as the official candy of the White House is pretty low on the list.

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