September 23, 2012: Checkers Day| Dogs in Politics Day| White Chocolate Day

★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
September 23, 2012

The Flag of Fall

★~ Today’s Quote: Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings. ~Terri Guillemets

★~ Checkers Day:

We are not celebrating a board game but a political speech.

At the 1952 Republican National Convention, presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Nixon as his running mate. Two months later, the New York Post ran the headline “Secret Rich Men’s Trust Fund Keeps Nixon in Style Far Beyond His Salary” above an article claiming that campaign donors were buying influence with Nixon by keeping a secret fund stocked with cash for his personal expenses (some $140,000 in today’s dollars). Outrage followed, and many Republicans urged Eisenhower to take Nixon off the ticket.

On September 23, Nixon appeared on national television from the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood to defend himself. He said that the fund did exist, but the money wasn’t secret, was strictly for covering campaign expenses, and that no contributor to the campaign fund ever received any special treatment.

There was one campaign donation that Nixon did admit to receiving and keeping for himself. Lou Carrol, a traveling salesman from Texas, had heard Nixon’s wife mention during a radio interview how much the Nixon children wanted a dog. So he sent them a black and white spotted American Cocker Spaniel that Nixon’s daughter Tricia named Checkers. Nixon admitted that the dog could become an issue, but said he didn’t care. His kids loved the dog and no matter what his critics said, they were keeping it.

Nixon speech quickly became known as the “Checkers” speech, and went on to be one considered one of best speeches in American political history.

Uhmm…why not just play a game of Checkers today!

★~Dogs in Politics Day:

After “Checkers” the dog was included in Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, Prominent dogs in  American politics were recognized.: Abraham Lincoln’s dog, Fido; Franklin D. Roosevelt’s much-traveled terrier, Fala; Harry S. Truman’s dogs, Mike and Feller; Dwight D. Eisenhower’s dog, Heidi; Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, Him and Her; Ronald Reagan’s dogs, Lucky and Rex; George H.W. Bush’s dog, Millie; Bill Clinton’s dog, Buddy; and George Bush’s scottie, Barney. President Obama’s Portuguese Waterdog, Bo.

★~ White Chocolate Day:

White chocolate was invented by the Nestlé company in Switzerland. The first white chocolate bar debuted in 1930. Despite its long history, for many years the confection we know as “white chocolate” was not officially chocolate at all. White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids—one of the main ingredients in traditional chocolate. In 2004, ten years after chocolate manufacturers filed the first petition, the FDA finally relaxed its definition of “chocolate” and accepted white chocolate into the family.

★~ Today in History:

♥~ 1846 – Planet Neptune was discovered by German astronomer Johann Galle.

♥~ 1848 – John Curtis produced the first commercially available chewing gum, which he called ‘State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum’.

♥~ 1967 – The Box Tops from Memphis hit #1 with The Letter. The song was #1 for four weeks and remained on the charts for 13 weeks.

♥~ 1971 – The Honey Cone scored their second gold record with Stick-Up on the Hot Wax label. It was a follow-up to their #1 smash, Want Ads(June 12, 1971).

★~Born Today:

♥~ 1800 – William Holmes McGuffy educator, author: McGuffy Readers [122 million copies sold as of 1999]; 4th president of Ohio University; died May 4, 1873

♥~ 1930 – Ray Charles (Robinson) ‘The Genius’: Grammy Award-winning singer: Georgia on My Mind [1960], Let the Good Times Roll [1960], Genius of Ray Charles [1960], Hit the Road Jack [1961], I Can’t Stop Loving You [1962], Busted [1963], Crying Time [1966], Living for the City [1975], Lifetime Achievement Award of 1986, I’ll be Good to You [w/Chaka Khan – 1990]; What’d I Say, One Mint Julep, Take These Chains from My Heart, You Don’t Know Me; actor: The Blues Brothers, Ballad in Blue, Limit Up; died June 10, 2004

♥~ 1943 – Julio Iglesias singer: To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before [w/Willie Nelson]; Guinness Book of Records: sales of more than 100 million copies of 60 LPs in five languages; soccer: professional goalie [Spain]

♥~ 1949 – Bruce Springsteen ‘The Boss’: singer: group: E-Street Band: Born in the U.S.A., Born to Run, Hungry Heart, Dancing in the Dark, Cover Me, I’m on Fire, Glory Days, My Hometown, War; songwriter: Blinded by the Light [Manfred Mann’s Earth Band], Fire [The Pointer Sisters]; inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [3-15-99]

★~ Did You Know: 

There are many perks that come with being the President of the United States, such as residing in a lovely white house and gaining a great deal of prestige. Plus, you can have a pet hippo—just like Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president. His pygmy hippopotamus, named Billy, was a gift from tire manufacturer Harvey S. Firestone in 1927. The rare baby hippo was just one of eight of his kind living in America and measured six feet long, stood thirty inches tall, and weighed about 600 pounds. He was described by The New York Times as being “as frisky as a dog.” Billy had been captured in Liberia at one of Firestone’s plants, but once under Coolidge’s care, he spent his days at the much cozier National Zoo.

The hippo was only one of Coolidge’s unusual pets. The Commander in Chief’s menagerie also included numerous dogs and cats, along with two lion cubs, a bear, Smoky Bob the bobcat, an antelope, a raccoon called Rebecca, and a wallaby. Like many of the animals, the wallaby was gift, in this case from an American man living in Tasmania. When the president was offered the wallaby in a letter, he hadn’t a clue as to what sort of animal it was. A quick flip-through in the dictionary told him it was a small species of kangaroo and led Coolidge to accept the gift.

Although no other president kept the menagerie of pets that Coolidge did, there have been many others who have acquired odd pets along the political path. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, acquired a badger named Josiah in 1903 after a young girl threw the little beast at the president as his train pulled out of a small Kansas town. Roosevelt kept Josiah and the First Family bottle-fed him until he cut his teeth. Once armed with his own chompers, Josiah nipped at the legs of passersby throughout the White House.

William Taft, our nation’s 27th and heaviest president (tipping the scales at more than 300 pounds) kept a Holstein cow as a pet. The first, named Mooley Wooly provided milk for the First Family. However, Mooley Wooly couldn’t produce enough milk for the large Taft clan. So Wisconsin senator Isaac Stephenson bought the president a new cow, named Pauline Wayne. From 1910-1913, the Taft’s pet cow freely grazed the White House lawn.

Benjamin Harrison, President Number 23, enjoyed the company of  a goat named Old Whiskers. Harrison’s grandchildren were big fans of Old Whiskers, as he was often hitched to a cart in order to pull them around the White House lawn. However, the goat may not have had as much fun as the kids. One day, he managed to escape the White House grounds through an open gate and ran toward freedom down Pennsylvania Avenue. The president chased after him, waving his cane and holding onto his top hat. Old Whiskers finally came to a stop. No one was injured, but many were entertained.

Herbert Hoover kept two alligators in the White House and allowed them to occasionally wander about freely. Perhaps he was inspired by John Quincy Adams, who kept only one alligator. Adams’ gator was given to him in 1826 by the Marquis de Lafayette.

While dogs have held the title of First Pet in the modern era, it would take a cuddly, loyal elephant, giraffe, or rhino to truly be a first.


I’m off to Sunday morning breakfast with Cole. Yesterday I saw the movie Curve Ball with Clint Eastwood. For many it will probably be a renter but I just loved watching Clint Eastwood and predictable plot. Nothing awful happens and  you live the theater feeling good.

If you were president and could have any animal you wanted roaming the White House grounds what would you chose?

Wishing you a marvelous fall Sunday!

9 thoughts on “September 23, 2012: Checkers Day| Dogs in Politics Day| White Chocolate Day

  1. Morno,

    An elephant or two might be nice. I’m not sure what the point of white chocolate is, it’s not even close to being as good as dark or milk chocolate.
    Kicking back and watching football today. Taking my sister’s family out to dinner. It’s my turn to cook.
    Have a good one.

    • Glad to see you are continuing to appreciate elephants. As long as they had a pooper scooper companion I think elephants are a wonderful addition to the White House Lawn. Your right about White Chocolate. What is the point.
      So you are making reservations for dinner? Good for you! I make that dish frequently myself!

  2. Enjoying my very quiet house and a cup of coffee. Kids slept over with grandparents last night and husband is still snoozing. We don’t have to pick the kids up until after lunch so when he rises and shines we will meet our San Diego friends for a late breakfast. It’s been a wonderful weekend.
    I agree with Mike about white chocolate. What is the point?
    Loved the info about the political pets. A Kangaroo hopping around on the white house lawn might be fun.
    Cheers to a great Sunday.

  3. can never have enough stories on dogs! i like the animal spunk of some of our presidents, too. love chocolate, but not white chocolate. the vehicle would not start this morning which meant no gym, no farm for the dogs to romp. there’s always chores to look forward to instead. bummer. looking forward to football though. good day all!

    • My mom was feeling sad today because the dreaded gout hit her toe full force and she missed out on the dog show. Trinket had a great run on Friday and Sat, tho. I think she is catching up on paperwork chores.(my mom not Trinket)
      I would love to own a pigmy hippo and would even give him the upstairs bathtub to lounge in…
      Hope you had a good football day. Not sure if the Bears won.

      • i heard the good & bad news from your mom today. she’ll be back at it again soon. trinket is coming into her own, isn’t she?
        i’ll stick with canines.
        da bears won!

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