In celebration of National Dog Day, today’s post comes from Meagan Frenzer, graduate research intern for the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum maintains documents of critical participants within the FDR administration.
This list includes prominent figures such as Frances Perkins, Harry L. Hopkins, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and, surprisingly, President Roosevelt’s dog, Fala.
The Scottish terrier became a national figure as President Roosevelt’s loyal, four-legged companion.
When his distant cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley gave the terrier as a Christmas gift in 1940, President Roosevelt renamed the terrier Murray the Outlaw of Falahill after his famous Scottish ancestor.
Shortened to “Fala,” the terrier accompanied the President on trips and attended key meetings, including the 1941 Atlantic Charter Conference.
Fala enjoyed entertaining international dignitaries and famous visitors with his tricks.
In his travels, Fala met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Queen of the Netherlands, and Mexican President Manuel Camacho.
During World War II, Fala served as an honorary Army private and became the national president of Barkers … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on August 26, 2015, under - World War II, Letters in the National Archives, National Archives History, National Archives Near You, Prologue Magazine.
Tags: Fala, FDR, FDR Presidential Library
Today’s post commemorates National Dog Day, which celebrates dogs everywhere on August 26. Bow-wow!
Calling all dog lovers—arguably history’s best known Presidential pet was Franklin Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier, Murray the Outlaw of Falahill (Fala for short), who was named after FDR’s famous Scottish ancestor, John Murray. He was given to Roosevelt in 1940 as a Christmas gift by his cousin Margaret Suckley. Not long after entering the White House, fame encompassed Fala’s life as he began to appear in political cartoons, news articles, movie shorts, and even FDR’s campaign speeches.
He was beloved by all White House staff, so much so that he was hospitalized after his first few weeks at the White House from being overfed by the kitchen staff. Due to this incident, FDR issued an order to his staff stating that Fala was to be fed by the President alone—talk about royal treatment. Furthermore, Fala was so well known that Secret Service agents called him “The Informer” because, during secret wartime Presidential trips, the dog was instantly recognized while out on his walks.
Aside from being President Roosevelt’s right hand man, Fala’s political side was put to good use in … [ Read all ]
Nothing is sweeter than a girl and her dog . . . competing for treats? We enjoyed your captions suggesting the competition between a girl and her same-size canine companion, but like this little girl, the winner seemed just out of our grasp.
So we turned to guest judge Sarah Malcolm, who writes for the blog “In Roosevelt History” for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Sarah has had experience with historic dogs: the blog has featured Fala’s Christmas stocking and little sailor hat!
Congratulations to Amanda! Sarah chose your caption as the winner! Check your e-mail for a treat—er, code for 15% in the eStore.
Although Fala might be the most famous of the Roosevelts’ dogs, this is a different Scottish terrier from decades before Fala joined the family. This photograph was taken in 1907. The dog, Duffy, is competing with Anna Roosevelt for a treat from the hand of FDR (who is standing over them, not yet stricken by polio).
It’s very, very hot in Washington, DC, today and so we couldn’t resist a picture that made us feel cool. Give us your wittiest caption in the comment below!