Rabbits, sheep, cows, guinea pigs and more! Learn all about the pets that presidents owned during an exhibit at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Here’s more:
Presidential Pets Exhibit at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site: Celebrates some of America’s favorite VIPs – as in Very Important Pets. The exhibit takes you through 200 years of amazing executive companions. Open through the end of the year. Tour hours: Monday-Saturday 10a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sundays (June and July only) 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Cost $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children, members free.
Alligators and Zebras and everything in between have called the White House home. Most presidents have found a friend in the animal kingdom. Visual: Fala the Scottish Terrier (FDRs famous dog during WWII) plush
President Lincoln was first president known to bring a cat to the White House. Two kittens were gift from his Secretary of State and he named them Dixie and Tabby. He said about his cat “Dixie is smarter than my whole cabinet! And furthermore, she doesn’t talk back!”
The Kennedys had more than 15 pets. President Hoover had nine dogs in total and his son kept a pair of alligators, sometimes seen crawling around the White House grounds.
President Calvin Coolidge was given by dignitaries from other countries, lion cubs (named Tax Reduction and Budget Bureau), a wallaby, a pygmy hippo named Billy and a black bear. They donated animals to the National Zoo, yet they literally had a zoo at the White House. Besides dogs and cats, they had a goose, mockingbird, raccoons, a donkey and a bobcat. Visual: Photos from the Library of Congress
President Benjamin Harrison, John Quincy Adams and Herbert Hoover had alligators in the White House. President Adam’s alligator lived in the bathtub in the East Room. President Benjamin Harrison also had opossums. Visual: Alligator plush and Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection” opossum stuffed animals (given to the Harrisons as a campaign gift).
President Andrew Johnson had a family of white mice and President Theodore Roosevelt’s children had more than one snake.
President Benjamin Harrison allowed his grandson to have a pet goat named Whiskers in the White House. Visual: Life-size cut-out of Mr. Whiskers and the kids from the White House
Many others had rabbits, sheep, cows on the front lawn, horses, guinea pigs, badgers and more.
To learn more, visit www.presidentbenjaminharrison.org.