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In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the roof of the White House. Long before many Americans even knew what solar power was, Carter’s effort was an attempt to educate the nation on the benefits of alternative energy. (The panels also helped heat water for the First Family, as well as the water in the White House laundry and cafeteria).

Carter’s solar panels didn’t last long. In our video above, see what happened to the White House’s first attempt at alternative energy (and how long it would take for those panels to return).

Banner image via Getty Images.