Miller Center

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

Friday Feature: Pete the Squirrel, Riding the Tiger

Edwin Denby feeds Pete the squirrel.

Edwin Denby and Pete, c. 1921-1923

Pets edition!

This is Navy Secretary Denby with Pete, Warren Harding's pet squirrel, on the White House Lawn. American Presidents have had a wide range of "First Pets"--including Calvin Coolidge and his Raccoon, Rebecca. Coolidge also had a bobcat, two lion cubs, a wallaby, and a miniature hippopotamus.

Here's a collection of "Wonderful and Wacky First Pets" from Reader's Digest. Thanks to @BuzzFeedAndrew for circulating the photo of Pete the Squirrel this week and drawing our attention to an important and oft-overlooked facet of Presidential life through history.



Stay tuned! Every Friday we'll highlight an interesting item from presidential history.