You may not know this, but every year on September 23rd we celebrate National Dogs in Politics Day and honor all The First Dogs of the United States (FDOTUS). Dogs and other pets have a long history of living in the White House with the President and the first family, so much so that we now have a day just for them!
What is National Dogs in Politics Day?
Did you know that In 1952, a dog changed the course of a presidential election? On September 23, 1952, Richard Nixon gave a speech to 60 million viewers that was eventually named the “Checkers Speech”.
Nixon refuted charges that he had abused campaign contributions, by alluding to his children and the family dog, a black and white cocker spaniel named Checkers. Because of the nature of this speech, Nixon was able to gain the public’s trust, downplay the charges, and made himself seem more personable, ultimately staying on the Eisenhower ticket as vice president.
Since then pups have often impacted and played a role in history and speeches. Turns out, people love to see that presidents are just like us, and love their pups too!
Actually, the majority of our Presidents had a dog as part of the First Family. Here is a list of the presidents and the number of dogs they owned:
- George Washington, 1st President, 7 dogs
- John Adams, 2nd President, 3 dogs
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President, at least 2 dogs
- James Monroe, 5th President, 2 dogs
- John Tyler, 10th President, 1 dog
- Franklin Pierce, 14th President, 7 dogs
- James Buchanan, 15th President, 2 dogs
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President, 2 dogs
- Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President, 2 dogs
- Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President, 8 dogs
- James Garfield, 20th President, 1 dog
- Grover Cleveland, 22nd & 24th President, 4 dogs
- Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President, 1 dog
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President, 10 dogs
- William Howard Taft, 27th President, 1 dog
- Woodrow Wilson, 28th President, 2 dogs
- Warren G. Harding, 29th President, 2 dogs
- Calvin Coolidge, 30th President, 12 dogs
- Herbert Hoover, 31st President, 9 dogs
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President, 7 dogs
- Harry Truman, 33rd President, 2 dogs
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President, 1 dog
- John F. Kennedy, 35th President, 11 dogs
- Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President, 6 dogs
- Gerald Ford, 38th President, 3 dogs
- Jimmy Carter, 39th President, 2 dogs
- Ronald Reagan, 40th President, 6 dogs
- George H.W. Bush, 41st President, 2 dogs
- Bill Clinton, 42nd President, 1 dog
- George W. Bush, 43rd President, 3 dogs
- Barack Obama, 44th President, 2 dogs
- Joe Biden, 46th President, 2 dogs
The Most Important Job
President or not, dogs play a huge role in our lives and have to ability to comfort us and calm pretty much any situation – so you can say that FDOTUS is kind of the most important position in the world!