Friday, December 08, 2006

First Pets

We were really pleased that our congresswoman’s office was able to arrange for us to visit the Whitehouse when we were in D.C. last October. Well, it turns out that the tour was a bit dry and we weren’t allowed to bring the camera in, but we made the most of it. So where does the journaling come from? Well, Elizabeth brought home a book from the library about first pets, and some of it was too funny not to include in a layout about the Whitehouse.

“What we didn’t learn on our Whitehouse tour.

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809): In 1807 the President received as a gift, two grizzly bears which lived in cages on the lawn, which became known as “Jefferson’s bear garden”.

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829): This president received an alligator as a gift, so he took it back with him to Washington. The alligator lived in a bathtub in the East Room for months.

Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865): President Lincoln’s son Tad had two goats which were given the freedom of the White House, including occasionally sleeping in Tad’s bed. One year for Christmas Tad grew attached to the turkey there were to eat for dinner. So the President pardoned the turkey, and Jack (the turkey) became part of the family.

Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893): This President gave his grandchildren a pet goat. They attached a cart to the goat to give the children a ride, but the goat made a run for it and the President chased the goat down Pennsylvania Avenue for several blocks before he caught them.

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): President Wilson purchased 13 sheep to replace the gardeners during World War I due to manpower shortage. The sheep not only kept the lawn trimmed, they ate all the bushes and flowers too!

Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929): Rebecca the raccoon started off as a menu item for Thanksgiving, but was rescued by President Coolidge. During his presidency, Coolidge received as gifts two lion cubs, a bobcat and a pygmy hippo named Billy.”

Michelle Coleman: background. Tracey Gilbert Monette: pony. Nancie Rowe Janitz: schmootzy alpha. Anna Aspnes: plume.

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