Frustrated by the inability to receive real-time information during the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs Invasion, President John F. Kennedy insisted that intelligence needed to be fed directly into the White House. The Situation Room, or “Sit Room,” was established in 1961 to meet these demands and continues to serve as the communications center of the White House.

Modernized and expanded in 2007, this 5,000-square-foot complex of rooms is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor national and international intelligence information. It also allows the President to communicate securely with American military commanders and foreign heads of state around the world.