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CHELSEA COMES HOME FROM COLLEGE AS A SURPRISE AS MOTHER TURNS 50

Chelsea Clinton crept into the White House early Saturday -- a surprise treat for her mother's 50th birthday.

It was her first trip home since leaving for college last month.

Secret Service agents said Chelsea -- a Stanford University freshman -- arrived from the airport at about 2 a.m., with more than enough time for private celebrations of Hillary Rodham Clinton's birthday today.

"It was a huge surprise for the first lady," spokeswoman Marsha Berry said. While President Clinton normally spends a few hours in the Oval Office on weekends, it was shuttered Saturday as the reunited family spent a quiet day in the White House residence.

Two days of elaborate, public festivities surrounding Mrs. Clinton's birthday will begin Monday in her hometown of Chicago.

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