History Quiz: All the Presidents’ Pets
Americans are crazy about animals, and so were most of the folks who called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home over the years. How much do you know about their companion animals and other critters? Find out with this short, easy, and fun quiz.
J. Mark Powell
1. Which president found it almost impossible to say “No thanks” to any animal that was given to him?
A. George Washington
B. Chester Arthur
C. Calvin Coolidge
D. Dwight Eisenhower
Answer: C. Silent Cal assembled such an extensive menagerie that the Washington press corps jokingly nicknamed it the “White House Zoo.” Its star attraction was a pet raccoon named Rebecca.
2. Lyndon Johnson was fond of showing off his beagles. What were their names?
A. He and She
B. Him and Her
C. They and Them
D. Me and Mine
Answer: B. Though LBJ loved the pooches and frequently played with them on the White House lawn, he infuriated many dog lovers in 1964 by lifting Him by the ears.
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3. Who was the last president to keep a cow on the White House grounds to supply milk?
A. Thomas Jefferson
B. William Howard Taft
C. Woodrow Wilson
D. Jimmy Carter
Answer: B. Taft’s beloved bovine “Pauline Wayne” became a celebrity in her own right with newspapers even printing “interviews” with her.
4. Abraham Lincoln began the practice of unofficially “pardoning” a turkey in 1863. But it wasn’t for Thanksgiving. The bird was given to the Lincoln family for what occasion?
A. To celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation
B. To mark the end of the Civil War
C. For Lincoln’s birthday
D. For Christmas dinner
Answer: D. On Christmas Eve, Lincoln’s 10-year-old son Tad tearfully begged his father to spare the turkey he had named Jack. Lincoln wrote a presidential pardon to appease the boy.
5. George Washington may have been the Father of Our County, but he also had a soft spot for animals, including the unusual combination of which dog breeds?
A. A Greyhound and Golden Retriever
B. A Dalmatian and a Poodle
C. A Rottweiler and a Collie
D. A Chihuahua and a Spaniel
Answer: B. Among his many dogs, Washington was especially fond of a Dalmatian named Madame Moose and a Poodle called Pilot. He even took Pilot when he went duck hunting.
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6. Which of the following was not the name of a famous presidential pet?
Answer: D. Fala was FDR’s dog, Socks was Clinton’s cat, and Millie was George H.W. Bush’s dog.
About the Author
J. Mark Powell is a novelist, former TV journalist, and diehard history buff. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.