Melania Trump in October 2020; Jill Biden in December 2020.
  • First lady Melania Trump has apparently not yet contacted future first lady Jill Biden, according to CNN.
  • Trump could break tradition if she doesn't invite Biden to the White House for a "tea and tour" visit.
  • The gesture has been customary since at least 1952 when former first lady Bess Truman invited Mamie Eisenhower on a tour of the White House.
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Less than a week before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office, first lady Melania Trump has apparently not yet made contact with future first lady Jill Biden, according to CNN.

President Trump and Melania are reportedly planning to leave Washington, DC, for Florida before Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, CNN reported.

If Melania Trump doesn't invite Jill Biden to the White House prior to the inauguration, she could break a tradition that US first ladies have been upholding since at least the early 1950s. 

Kate Andersen Brower, author of "First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies," told USA Today that it's typical for the outgoing first lady to extend an invite to the future first lady for a "tea and tour" at the White House.

Bess Truman and Mamie Eisenhower in 1952; Lady Bird Johnson and Pat Nixon with a White House curator in 1968; Jacqueline Kennedy and Mamie Eisenhower in 1960.

Brower said the tradition dates back to former first lady Bess Truman, the wife of former President Harry Truman, who was in office from 1945 until 1953. Bess Truman welcomed Mamie Eisenhower - the next first lady to then-future President Dwight D. Eisenhower - to the White House on a tour in 1952.

The transfer-of-power ritual has transcended time and political party lines for decades.

Below, Barbara Bush greeted then-future first lady Hillary Clinton on the White House grounds in November 1992. About eight years later, Clinton then gave a tour of the residence to Laura Bush, wife of then-president-elect George W. Bush.

Barbara Bush welcomes Hillary Clinton to the White House in 1992; Clinton before taking Laura Bush on a tour of the White House, circa 2000.

Laura Bush followed tradition by welcoming Michelle Obama to the White House in 2008.

Laura Bush and Michelle Obama at the White House in 2008.

Michelle Obama also carried on the custom by hosting incoming first lady Trump for tea in November 2016, as documented by White House photographer Chuck Kennedy.

According to a report from CNN, during their visit, one of the topics that Obama and Trump discussed was raising kids in the White House. 

Representatives for the Biden-Harris transition team did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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