The former president was not the only U.S. leader to enjoy some respite in Key West. The house originally served as the base commandant’s house for the naval submarine station at Key West. President Taft was the first to visit in 1912, and Thomas Edison resided in the house during World War I. Over the years, six American presidents have used the residence, but the most important usage was by Truman from 1946 to 1952. Due to advances in technology, he realized that he could continue to act on matters of importance outside of Washington, D.C. and thus, the Little White House became his home from November to December and February to March, allowing the president a time of rest and recuperation.