Putting out brush fires, at least figuratively, is among the duties of the White House press secretary. But in the case of Minneapolis native George Akerson - the nation's first presidential press secretary - fire suppression became a real part of his job on Christmas Eve, 1929.
His boss, President Herbert Hoover, was throwing a holiday party for children of staffers and friends - complete with the U.S. Marine Band playing carols. About 8 p.m., smoke started pouring out of the West Wing ex
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