September 23rd is National Dogs in Politics Day, otherwise known as "Checkers Day."   Why Checker's Day? Vice Presidential candidate, Richard Nixon, received an adorable Cocker Spaniel as a gift while he sought election in 1952. On September 23, 1952, in response to allegations that he had misused election donations for his personal use, Nixon addressed the nation. It was in this speech that Nixon stated that regardless of what anyone said, he intended to keep one gift; a black-and-white dog named Checkers, thus giving the speech its popular name.   The “Checkers Speech” was seen, or heard, by about 60 million Americans, including the largest television audience to that time and it led to an outpouring of public support. With Checkers, the dog in the speech, it came to share the name Dogs in Politics Day.   Source:   President Richard Nixon: Checkers. During the speech, in which Senator Nixon laid out his family's financial information, he said, "One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don't they'll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something — a gift — after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little Cocker Spaniel Dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl — Tricia, the 6-year-old — named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it." nixon dog Source: regarding the Checker Speech,1952       President Herbert Hoover: King Tut During Hoover's election, a photograph was taken of a smiling Hoover with King Tut’s paws in his hands as if Hoover were vote-begging. Adorned with Hoover’s signature, the photo was mailed out to voters across the United States. pres2 Source:       President Bill Clinton: Buddy

The president named his dog Buddy after his great-uncle Henry “Buddy” Grisham, who had recently died and whom Clinton often described as having a major influence on his life. Although Buddy the dog became well-known for his feud with Socks— the Clinton family’s feisty cat — Buddy, true to his breed, was gregarious and playful. He accompanied the president in the Oval Office, on walks on the White House grounds, and on trips to Camp David.

pres3 Source:       President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Fala On this day in 1944, during a campaign dinner with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union, President Franklin D. Roosevelt makes a reference to his small dog, Fala, who had recently been the subject of a Republican political attack. The offense prompted Roosevelt to defend his dog’s honor and his own reputation. After addressing pertinent labor issues and America’s status in World War II, Roosevelt explained that Republican critics had circulated a story claiming that Roosevelt had accidentally left Fala behind while visiting the Aleutian Islands earlier that year. They went on to accuse the president of sending a Navy destroyer, at a taxpayer expense of up to $20 million, to go back and pick up the dog. Roosevelt said that though he and his family had “suffered malicious falsehoods” in the past, he claimed the right to “object to libelous statements about my dog.” Roosevelt went on to say that the desperate Republican opposition knew it could not win the upcoming presidential election and used Fala as an excuse to attack the president. He half-jokingly declared that his critics sullied the reputation of a defenseless dog just to distract Americans from more pressing issues facing the country. pres4 Source:       President Ronald Regean: Rex The White House was not dog-less for long.   On December 6, 1985 Ronald Reagan gave Nancy a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for Christmas.  One of Rex’s first jobs was helping to throw the switch to light the White House Christmas tree. The Lincoln bedroom has long been rumored to be haunted, and Rex agreed. According to a Washington correspondent for the Glasgow Herald (4/23/88), Rex took a strong dislike to the room and wouldn’t enter.  He stood at the doorway, looked in, and barked. pres5 Source:       President John F. Kennedy: Charlie The family dog, Charlie, a Welsh Terrier, stayed at the home of Mrs. Kennedy’s mother in Virginia until the family felt more settled, but Charlie was much loved by the family and a personal favorite of the President’s. Charlie loved paddling in the water when the President swam, and he considered himself pack leader when any other dogs were around. The President also loved to have Charlie waiting for him on the lawn whenever he arrived in the presidential helicopter, according to a book by Traphes Bryant, a longtime White House staff member who took on the responsibilities of taking care of the Kennedy pets. pres8 Source:       Presiden Gerald Ford: Liberty Liberty became a national celebrity when the Fords decided to breed her with a champion Golden Retriever from a breeder in Medford, Oregon. The press went wild when Liberty gave birth to nine puppies — four females and five males — at the White House. pres10 Source:       President George W. Bush: Barney and Miss Beazley Barney and Miss Beazley are the much beloved Scottish Terriers of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush. Barney joined the Bush family after the Presidential election in 2000, as a gift from President Bush to Mrs. Bush. Miss Beazley was a birthday gift from President Bush to Mrs. Bush in 2004, and arrived at the White House on January 6, 2005. pres7 Source:       President Theodore Roosevelt: Skip The president’s favorite dog was Skip, a small mutt (possibly a Rat Terrier) that Roosevelt found when he was on a bear hunt in the Grand Canyon. Roosevelt reported that Skip could stand his ground against anything–something Roosevelt felt he often had to do himself when facing Congress. pres9 Source:       President Barack Obama: Bo Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog, is perhaps most famous for being mentioned in President Obama's Victory Speech. “Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House.” pres1 Source:    
September 23, 2015