Today is Checkers Day, also known as Dogs in Politics Day! Are you a little confused as to how the two relate? Well, a quick look into our history books will tell us…
Back in 1952, when Richard M. Nixon was a candidate for Vice-President of the United States, there was speculation about a large campaign contribution and that is was being used for personal use. Nixon addressed the issue in a speech to the American people. In his speech, he stated that he had not used any funds for personal use, although he had received on gift, a dog for his daughters, which they had kept. The dog’s name was, you guessed it, Checkers.
An Excerpt from the speech:
One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they will probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something, a gift, after the election.
A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog, and, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?
It was a little cocker spaniel dog, in a crate that he had sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted, and our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers.
And you know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it.
This speech became one of the more famous speeches in U.S. political history! And now today is a day to celebrate pets in politics. What political pets do you remember?