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With President’s Day coming up, Pets in the Classroom thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the Presidential pets that may also be in your classroom!
Grover Cleveland had an array of fish (hundreds!), and his wife had canaries and mockingbirds.
Amongst the many pets that President Theodore Roosevelt had, this conservationist and animal-lover had a rabbit named Peter, a piebald rat “of most friendly and affectionate nature,” and guinea pigs named Admiral Dewey, Dr. Johnson, Bob Evans, Bishop Doan, and Father O’Grady. His oldest daughter Alice had a pet garter snake named Emily Spinach because it was “as green as spinach and as thin as my Aunt Emily.”
Roosevelt’s son, Quentin, also had a fondness for snakes. According to PresidentialPetMuseum.com, Quentin is said to have purchased four snakes at a pet shop, which he brought to the Oval Office to show his father while his father was in a meeting. Quentin took the snakes and placed them on the desk, which sent several dignitaries scrambling for cover, and resulted in the snakes being returned to the pet shop.
John F. Kennedy and his family are also known for having numerous pets at the White House, including two hamsters named Debbie and Billie. The hamsters, a birthday gift to Caroline from a boy who lived in Manhattan, came with the Kennedys to the White House when President Kennedy was inaugurated. According to one news source, on their second night in the White House, the hamsters escaped and were found when stumbled upon by the President in his bathroom. They disappeared again the next night, and President Kennedy found them under his bed.
Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK’s successor, also had hamsters, as well as Lovebirds.
To find out more about the different types of pets that lived in the White House, visit presidentialpetmuseum.com.