War of 1996
During the first day of the War of 1996, a City Destroyer hovered directly over the White House. President Thomas Whitmore chose to remain at the White House in an effort to calm the American public while the majority of his Joint Chiefs of Staff evacuated Washington. After Whitmore learned that the aliens came with hostile intentions, the President ordered an emergency evacuation. The White House was subsequently obliterated by the City Destroyer.
Post War of 1996
The White House would be one of the first structures rebuilt after the War of 1996, as Whitmore viewed the building as a symbol of American and global unity. Construction began in 1997, with Whitmore's family returning in November. Before the War of 2016, the White House was complete.
War of 2016
The White House suffered minor damage from the second invasion in which it was nearly crushed by one of the Harvester Mothership’s massive landing struts.
Behind the scenes
- The White House interiors were originally built for The American President (1995), and were subsequently used for Nixon (1995) and Mars Attacks! (1996).
- The White House which exploded was built at 1/12 scale (10 feet (3.0 m) by 5 feet (1.5 m)), just to be blown up (although it was also used in one other shot, when David and Julius stop the car in front of the White House). Nine cameras filmed the explosion at various speeds, one of which was 12 times faster than normal, then played back at normal speed to make the explosion seem larger and slower on film. The destruction was happen in one take.
- In The Art and Making of Independence Day: Resurgence, Roland Emmerich stated that using miniatures for the White House destruction sequence was more effective than CG, which was expensive and less sophisticated in 1996: "When you blow up a big model, there is nothing better than that on film... Fire, for instance, is very bad in CG because it is so random and unpredictable."
- The White House destruction scene was used in the "Finale Scene" of The Great Movie Ride at the Disney/MGM studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) at Walt Disney World. After the 9/11 attacks, the scene was removed and replaced with a scene from Armageddon (1998) after guest complaints.
- In the novelization, the Washington Monument was the target of the City Destroyer rather than the White House.