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KIDS AND PETS DID THEIR THING AT THE WHITE HOUSE

By Staff / December 7, 1992



* Abraham Lincoln's son Tad, when he was 7, used to aggravate visitors to the White House by pulling their beards and setting his pet goat loose. He once stood in a window above his father during a military review, waving a Confederate flag, according to historian William Seale.

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* Teddy Roosevelt's six children - Alice, Quentin, Kermit, Archie, Ted, and Ethel - roller-skated on the wooden floors of the White House, slid down banisters, and walked up carpeted stairs on stilts, wrote chief usher Ike Hoover. (Susan Ford confessed to roller-skating on the marble floors in the walkway between the East and West wings.)

* Charlie Taft and Quentin Roosevelt stuck spitballs that looked like warts on the portrait of Andrew Jackson.

* Margaret Truman and her college friends had slumber parties on the second floor of the Executive Mansion.

* In addition to the routine dogs and cats, the White House has also been home to some unusual pets: The alligator of the Marquis de Lafayette stayed in the East Room when he visited John Quincy Adams; Jefferson's mockingbird would sing along when the president played his violin. Calvin Coolidge's mynah bird flew around loose on the second floor, perching on people's shoulders and pinching their ears. Pauline, a Holstein cow, was tethered on the front lawn to supply fresh milk for the Tafts, while Woodro w Wilson kept a ram on the lawn to keep it mowed.