News

FDR Defended His Dog During a Campaign Speech in DC

You can insult a president, but you don't mess with man's best friend
FDR Defended His Dog During a Campaign Speech in DC
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC, features a bronze statue of FDR and his dog Fala by Neil Estern. Photograph taken by Carol M. Highsmith. All photos taken via wikimedia commons.

Running for his fourth term in office, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, defended his black Scottish Terrier, Fala, during a campaign dinner with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America on September 23, 1944.

Having been accused by Republicans of having left Fala in the Aleutian Islands and using taxpayer dollars to send a Navy Destroyer to receive him, FDR defended Fala’s honor by claiming he resented the “libelous statements about my dog.”

Fala and Roosevelt were inseparable during his Presidency, making Fala one of the most well-known Presidential pooches and the only to have a statue erected at a presidential memorial in DC.

Check out these photos of FDR and his best bud Fala: 

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and four month old Fala in August 1940 at a picnic near Pine Plains, NY. Taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and four month old Fala in August 1940 at a picnic near Pine Plains, NY. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
 President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Fala. Taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Fala in Warm Springs, Georgia. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Fala riding in the car with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Fala riding in the car with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Fala's engraved silver and leather collar. Photograph taken by an employee of the National Park Service.
Fala’s engraved silver and leather collar. Photograph taken by an employee of the National Park Service.
FDR and Fala in the White House Study December of 1941. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
FDR and Fala in the White House Study December of 1941. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Fala, FDR's Scottish Terrier poses for photographers outside the Quebec Conference in August 1943. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Fala, FDR’s Scottish Terrier poses for photographers outside the Quebec Conference in August 1943. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Eleanor Roosevelt walks Fala in 1947 after President Roosevelt's death. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Eleanor Roosevelt walks Fala in 1947 after President Roosevelt’s death. Photograph taken by an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
Editorial Fellow

Sydney is an editorial fellow at Washingtonian Magazine, where she writes about history, news, food, and events. A recent graduate of the College of William & Mary, she is interested in writing and videography. You can follow her on Twitter @sydneykmahan