Did you know that FDR named his beloved Scottish terrier after a distant Scottish ancestor? Upon receiving the pet as a gift in 1940, Roosevelt changed the dog’s name from “Big Boy” to “Murray the Outlaw of Falahill” — “Fala” for short — in homage to the famous John Murray of Falahill.
Fala became Roosevelt’s constant companion and the most famous dog in America.
With both the Scottish Independence Referendum and The Roosevelts documentary in the news this week, here’s a little piece of Rooseveltian-Scottish trivia, courtesy of our colleagues at the fdrlibrary.
What are you following this week, The Roosevelts, or the referendum?
The Nixon family dogs wait aboard Air Force One on Nixon’s final day in office. 8/9/74.
Air Force One arrival at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. 8/9/74.
Day 76: FDR Visits Alaska
On August 3, 1944 FDR arrived in Alaska for a six day inspection and fishing trip. While in Alaska FDR made stops at Adak, Kodiak, and Auke Bay. This flag of the President of the United States was used during FDR's trip to the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska in July-August 1944. It was made by the Signal Force of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Baltimore.
This trip made news during the presidential campaign of 1944, when it was alleged that Fala was left behind in the Aleutian Islands and FDR sent a Navy destroyer back to retrieve him. In a speech to the Teamsters Union on September 23, 1944 FDR responded to the claims saying:
These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family doesn’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him— at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars- his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself—such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.
Socks, the Clinton family’s cat, prepares for a Museum Cats White House briefing. 12/5/93.
-from the Clinton Library
Jacqueline Kennedy was born on this day in 1929, in Southhampton, New York. She was named Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Her father, John, was a stockbroker on Wall Street whose family had come from France in the early 1800s. Her mother, Janet, had ancestors from Ireland and England.
As a child, Jackie loved to read. Before she started school, she had read all the children’s books on her bookshelves. Her heroes were Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Little Lord Fauntleroy’s grandfather, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind, and the poet Byron.
Photo: Jacqueline Bouvier, 1935. Photograph by David Berne in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Every Day is Take Your Dog to Work Day at the White House.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier Fala being photographed at the White House. Fala’s bio.
Lyndon B. Johnson with a basket of puppies sired by his Beagle named Him. 1/5/1966.
George W. Bush exits Air Force One holding Scottish Terriers Barney and Miss Beazley.
Remembering Miss Beazley
“…our beloved dog, Miss Beazley, was put to rest after a battle with lymphoma. She was a source of joy during our time in Washington and in Dallas. She was a close companion to her blood relative, Barney. And even though he received all the attention, Beazley never held a grudge against him. She was a guardian to our cats, Bob and Bernadette, who — like Laura and I — will miss her.”
-George W. Bush
-from the George W. Bush Library
Presidential Pups x 7 = Cute
In the fall of 1975, the Ford family’s Golden Retriever Liberty gave birth to puppies. Here they are, exhibiting seven sorts of cute with President Gerald Ford, Betty Ford, and daughter Susan. South Lawn of the White House, November 5, 1975.
-From the Ford Library