Tags: Presidential History | warren harding | pets | president

First Pets: Four-Legged or Feathered Friends of President Warren Harding

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 10:59 AM

Warren Harding was the 29th president of the United States. According to the White House, his administration was "fraught with scandal." However, Harding was “sensitive to the plights of minorities and women" and he may have also had a soft spot for pets. The president had two dogs and a squirrel named Pete.

According to the Presidential Pet Museum, Harding's most famous pet was Laddie Boy. The Airedale Terrier was a big part of the first family's life during Harding's very short presidency. His pictures were often printed in the newspaper.

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America Comes Alive reports that Laddie Boy arrived at the White House when he was six months old. Warren Harding had just been inaugurated and interrupted a cabinet meeting to meet the new dog.

He got a birthday cake made out of dog biscuits on his first birthday. Laddie Boy "wrote" to the press about life in the White House.

Laddie Boy was so popular that a life-sized sculpture of the dog is a part of the Smithsonian Collection of American Art. The 1923 Bashksa Paeff work, which was commissioned after President Harding's untimely death, was notable because it was made from pennies donated by newsboys.

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Laddie boy had a companion bull dog named "Oh Boy" who actually belonged to First Lady Florence Harding. The bull dog was not a sturdy lot, got sick and died.

Harding's pets also included a squirrel named Pete. That must have been a popular name for a squirrel, or an extremely long lived squirrel. Twenty years later, Harry Truman also had a squirrel named Pete.

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Warren Harding was the 29th president of the United States. According to the White House, his administration was "fraught with scandal." However, Harding was "sensitive to the plights of minorities and women" and he may have also had a soft spot for pets.
warren harding, pets, president
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2015-59-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 10:59 AM
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