First known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was originally built as a camp for federal government agents and their families by the WPA. Construction started in 1935, and was completed in 1938. In 1942, it was converted to a presidential retreat by Franklin D. Roosevelt and renamed "Shangri-La" (for the fictional Himalayan paradise). Camp David received its present name from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father and grandson, both named David. Camp David is not open to the general public. Catoctin Mountain Park does not indicate the location of Camp David on its official park maps due to privacy and security concerns.
John F. Kennedy and his family often enjoyed horseback riding and other recreational activities. Kennedy often allowed White House staff and cabinet members to use the retreat when he or his family were not there.
On July 2, 2011, an F-15 intercepted a small two-seat passenger plane flying near Camp David, when President Obama was in residence. The civilian aircraft, which was out of radio communication, was intercepted approximately 6 miles (10 km) from the presidential retreat. The F-15 escorted the aircraft out of the area and it landed in nearby Hagerstown, Maryland, without incident. The civilian plane's occupants were flying between two Maryland towns and were released without charge.
On July 10, 2011, an F-15 intercepted another small two-seat passenger plane flying near Camp David when President Barack Obama was again in residence; the total number of interceptions over this July 9 weekend was three planes.
George H. W. Bush meets with his National Security advisors in the Laurel Lodge conference room on August 4, 1990.
^ ab"Frequently Asked Questions." Catoctin Mountain Park, Retrieved on February 4, 2011. "10. Where is Camp David? The Presidential Retreat is within the park however, it is not open to the public and its location is not shown on our park maps for both security and privacy. If you're interested in historical information, visit our Presidential Retreat webpage."