Back in 1979, President Jimmy Carter did the unthinkable: He installed solar panels on top of the White House. The green addition was used to heat water for the staff eating era — and usher in a new era in American innovation and independence from foreign fossil fuels.
Of course, that never happened — Regan had them taken down during a roof repair in the 80s. The panels were then thrown into storage until actress Glen Close (of course!) helped Unity College secure them to heat hot water for their cafeteria. Then, as we reported last year, the panels were decommissioned and one of them had a starring role in the documentary A Road Not Taken. That panel eventually found its way to the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum in Atlanta.
Now, Google is saying they’ve got one of the legendary 32 in their Washington, DC office. From their blog,
In 1979 President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar hot water panels on the roof of the White House. Recently a Googler from our Washington D.C. office asked the question, “What ever happened to the Carter panels?” After a little digging, we were able to track down the original panels to Unity College, an environmental college in Maine, and bring one of them back to Washington D.C.
So there we have it! These things are becoming as popular (and possibly magical) as the sacred crystal skulls.