President Calvin Coolidge
Our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, and his wife, Grace, were so well known for their devotion to animals that people all over the world shipped animals to them. Among the many animals given to them by friends, foreign leaders, and the general public were cats, dogs, birds, a raccoon, a baby bear, a wallaby, a pair of lion cubs, an antelope, a large white goose, a donkey, a pigmy hippo, and a bobcat. President Coolidge's favorite pet was a raccoon named Rebecca; he built a special house for her, visited her every day, and walked her around the White House on a leash. When the White House was being repaired and President Coolidge and his family moved temporarily, the President worried that Rebecca might get lonely, so he sent a limousine to bring her from the White House to stay with them.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt takes time during his busy day to visit with a young friend and Fala.One of the most famous Presidential pets was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's constant companion, Fala. Fala, a Scottish terrier, was given to President Roosevelt by his cousin, Margaret Suckley, who thought that the pup would ease some of the President's stress during the difficult days of World War II. Fala's full name was Murray of Fala Hill after a famous Roosevelt ancestor. Fala almost never left the President's side. In fact, when Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter in 1941 on the U.S.S. Augusta in the mid-Atlantic, Fala was right there with the two world leaders. And at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., a statue of Fala sits next to that of his favorite companion, the President.
Margaret Suckley helped to write a biography of Fala entitled The True Story of Fala. Two First Ladies have also written books related to White House pets. First Lady Barbara Bush helped her springer spaniel, Millie, to write Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush, which is a dog's-eye view of the White House during the Bush Administration. And First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton compiled a book entitled Dear Socks, Dear Buddy that includes letters from young people from all over the world who have written to the Clinton family pets.
John and Caroline Kennedy show their new pony, Macaroni, to their father, President John F. Kennedy. No discussion of America's First Pets would be complete without mentioning those of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his family. President Kennedy brought to the White House a collection of animals that continued to expand while he was in office. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy designed a special play area for the children by the West Wing, complete with living quarters for their dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and ponies. The most famous of these was Caroline Kennedy's pony, Macaroni, given to her by then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson. Macaroni received many letters from children all over the world and proudly pulled the two Kennedy children in a sleigh around the South Lawn when the ground was covered with snow.
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