Laddie Boy (July 26, 1920 – January 23, 1929) was an Airedale Terrier owned by US President Warren G. Harding and was a celebrity during the Harding administration. Laddie Boy was a faithful kind of dog. When the president played golf and hit a tree, Laddie Boy would run up to the tree and get the ball. Laddie Boy had his own hand carved chair to sit in during cabinet meetings. The White House held birthday parties for the dog, invited other neighborhood dogs to join, and served them dog biscuit cake. Newspapers published mock interviews with the dog. Laddie Boy was so famous, he even had a caretaker. Purportedly, the dog howled constantly the three days prior to the President's death at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, knowing of his master's imminent demise. In memory of President Harding and honoring his former employment as a paperboy, newsboys collected 19,134 pennies to be remelted and sculpted into a statue of Laddie Boy. Harding's widow died before the statue was completed in 1927 and the statue was presented to the Smithsonian Institution where it currently resides.
Harding's death and the dog were commemorated in song.
He was the first "first dog" to be regularly covered in the national press. He originated in Toledo, Ohio.
In the summer of 2012, Laddie Boy's collar, fashioned from Alaskan gold nuggets, was stolen from the Harding Home and Museum.
- ↑ Tedeschi, Diane (January 22, 2009). "The White House's First Celebrity Canine". Smithsonian.com. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- ↑ "National Affairs: Again, Laddie Boy". TIME Magazine. August 16, 1926. Retrieved April 18, 2013.(subscription required)
- ↑ Seward, Edna Bell (poem); Seward, George M. (music), Laddie Boy, He's Gone (sheet music), Harold Rossiter Music Co/Getty Images
- ↑ "Series IV: Popular Sheet Music, L-M". Milne Special Collections. University of New Hampshire. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Famous and Forgotten, Toledo’s Laddie Boy, The First Presidential Pet". August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
- ↑ "Top Dogs: Canines in the White House" (PDF). White House Historical Association. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
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