Friday, September 23, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 5, No. 2078


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) All is fair in love and war....and perhaps in politics.  Seventy-two years ago today, September 23, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, speaking to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters here in the nation's capital, defended his dog "Fala" against recent Republican attacks.

FDR said... 

"These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or 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 don't resent attacks, but Fala does resent attacks. 

Republicans had circulated a story that FDR had unintentionally left Fala in the Aleutian Islands while on a visit there and sent a Navy destroyer, at taxpayer's expense, to retrieve him.

FDR went on to say that his Republican opponents were just trying to distract voters from the real issues facing the country in 1944.  FDR added...

"You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that Republican fiction writers in Congress...had concocted (this) story...his Scottish soul was furious."

*Fala (1940-1952), the only presidential pet to be honored by statues, one in Washington, D.C. and the other in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a gift to FDR from his cousin, Daisy Suckley, who taught the Scottish Terrier how to sit, roll over and jump.   Originally named Big Boy, FDR renamed him after "Murray the Outlaw of Falahill," a famous Scottish ancestor.

First Dogs Exhibition
The Newseum
Washington, D.C.
Photos by John White (2016)

"Fala's Leather Collar
National Park Service Photo

FDR Memorial
Washington, D.C.
 Photo by John White
July 14, 2003

FDR Memorial
Washington, D.C.
Photo by John White