All the Presidents’ Pooches

George Washington dog Drunkard

(Illustration By: Matt Wainwright)

George Washington had a dog named Drunkard, John Adams had a dog named Satan and Abraham Lincoln had a dog named Fido. (Fido never made it to DC because Lincoln didn’t think he’d survive the trip; Fido ended up outliving him.)

Harry Truman once said, “You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.” When someone did give him a dog for Christmas in 1947, a cocker spaniel named Feller, Truman regifted him to his personal physician. Feller became nationally known as the Unwanted Dog.

Warren Harding’s dog, Laddie Boy, on the other hand, was considered an essential part of the administration. Laddie Boy sat in on high-level cabinet meetings in a hand-carved chair and even had a White House birthday party in which all the neighborhood dogs were invited to dine on dog biscuit birthday cake.

Perhaps no White House pup, however, was more acclaimed than Franklin Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier Fala. His original name was Big Boy; Franklin renamed him Murray the Outlaw of Falahill after a famous Scottish ancestor, or Fala, for short. A movie star, military member, politico and would-be diplomat, Fala was featured in an MGM film about a typical day in the White House, named an honorary Army private, given his own press secretary and brought along onboard the USS Augusta for the signing of the Atlantic Charter with Churchill in 1941.

Yes, some dogs have more illustrious careers than yours. George H.W. Bush’s springer spaniel Millie released a book, ghost-written by First Lady Barbara Bush, that outsold George’s biography.

Most presidential dogs, though, are just dogs – some with genuinely good names. James Garfield had a black Newfoundland named Veto. Calvin Coolidge had a pair of white collies, Rob Roy and Prudence Prim. Herbert Hoover had a German shepherd named King Tut, an elkhound named Weejie, an Irish wolfhound named Patrick and fox terriers named Big Ben and Sonnie. Richard Nixon had three dogs with him at the White House, a poodle named Vicky, a terrier named Pasha and an Irish setter named King Timahoe. Besides Drunkard, George Washington had more than 30 hounds, including Tipler, Tipsy and Vulcan.

But no president was more humble in naming his dogs than Lyndon Johnson, with his beagles Him and Her. A good ol’ boy to the bone, Johnson got into some deep doo with dog lovers in 1964 when he picked up his beagles by the ears in front of reporters. “Why’d you do that?” one reporter asked. “To make him bark,” Johnson replied. “It’s good for him. And, if you’ve ever followed dogs, you like to hear them yelp.”


DC Police: It’s Hard to Believe DC Still Has Crime

Police forces watch over the crowd at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30, 2010. (Photo By: heydayjoe)

Police forces watch over the crowd at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30, 2010. (Photo By: heydayjoe)

UPDATED: With 32 33 police forces, Washington, DC, must be the safest city in America, right? Here’s the list of DC police, the law enforcement agencies and police departments that serve and protect the District of Columbia, in no particular order.

  1. Metro Police
  2. U.S. Marshals
  3. FBI Police
  4. Capitol Police
  5. U.S. Park Police
  6. Supreme Court Police
  7. Secret Service
  8. National Zoo Police
  9. U.S. Mint Police
  10. State Department Police
  11. Metro Transit Police
  12. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Police
  13. U.S. Treasury Police
  14. Housing Police
  15. Amtrak Police
  16. Government Printing Office Police
  17. GSA Police
  18. Veteran’s Administration Police
  19. Naval District Washington Police
  20. Military Police
  21. Postal Police
  22. Secret Service Uniformed Division
  23. Defense Protective Service
  24. National Institutes of Health Police
  25. Library of Congress Police
  26. Federal Protective Service
  27. Washington National Cathedral Police
  28. DC Housing Authority Office of Public Safety
  29. Smithsonian Police
  30. U.S. Federal Reserve Police
  31. Pentagon Police
  32. Coast Guard Federal Police
  33. DC Public Library Police

Have we missed any? Could there possibly be more? Do you feel any safer? Let us know!

Wish We Were Here! — DC Postcards #1

Here’s the first of our senseless collection of defiled postcards, depicting all of the holiday greetings from DC that we’d love to see on the gift shop racks. Each card is a store-bought gem that’s been surgically altered by hand, usually with a manual cut and paste (no Photoshop here).

(Image By: heydayjoe)

(Image By: heydayjoe)

Feel free to send us your creations. If they make us laugh, we’ll post them here with the rest of the deltiological wonders.

DC as Canvas: “The Battle: Felipe’s Story Remixed”

Here’s the first image in our collection of DC street art. “The Battle: Felipe’s Story Remixed” was created by Joel Bergner in 2012 and appears on the sidewall of BloomBars (3221 11th Street NW), facing the alley, in Columbia Heights. While working with CUFA, Bergner lived with 11-year-old Felipe and his family in the Cidade de Deus (City of God), a shantytown in Rio de Janeiro made famous by the 2002 movie of the same name.

Felipe's Story Columbia Heights Mural DC

“The Battle: Felipe’s Story Remixed” by Joel Bergner (Photo By: heydayjoe)

Caught between feuding gods and demons, Felipe appears oblivious to the violence raging about him. “The Battle” is a reworking of a more traditional mural Bergner created in 2009, “Felipe’s Story.” He kept the main character while remaking the city scene into an epic battle for Felipe’s soul. Here’s a time-lapse video of Bergner’s remix.

We love urban exploration and discovering new gems hidden in the cityscape, whether they’re city approved or awesomely unauthorized. If you’d like to share your finds, send us your photos of DC’s street art. We’re interested in murals, wheatpastes, altered street signs, chalk sidewalk portraits, homegrown sculptures, spectacular graffiti and any other bits of beauty you may find.

Truth Truck Makes Snow Patrick’s Day Appearance

(Photo By: heydayjoe)

(Photo By: heydayjoe)

Truth Truck USA, driven by Coloradoan Ron Brock (and ostensibly co-piloted by Jesus), has expanded from its original anti-abortion message into an array of colorful messages warning those in rebellion against God to repent. Brock, a Christian activist associated with pro-life group Operation Rescue and an alleged associate of terrorist group Army of God, built the Truth Truck in 1997 and has been arrested more than 200 times for breaking the law in connection with anti-abortion activism. Brock’s truck has spread its gospel to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Here’s the Toyota of truth taking a break from its mobile ministry at 19th & L NW.

Overheard: Conservative Compassion Is the New Compassionate Conservatism



Welcome to the first of our series of eavesdropped conversations.

[We couldn’t help but overhear your private conversation in a public place.]



A 20-something white couple passes a middle-aged black man wearing a jacket with armed forces veteran insignia and asking for change.


Ooooh. That one makes me feel bad.


What?!? Have compassion for the guy claiming to be an army veteran and asking for money?!? No compassion! Compassion is weak.


The Street of the Righteous Gentile

(Image By: heydayjoe)

(Image By: heydayjoe)

Renamed by an Act of Congress in 1985, Raoul Wallenberg Place SW is the stretch of 15th Street SW on which the Holocaust Museum is located.

While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest from July to December 1944, Raoul Wallenberg successfully rescued tens of thousands of people from certain death by issuing protective passports and sheltering Hungarian Jews in buildings that he rented and designated as official Swedish territory. He was later arrested by Soviet authorities on suspicion of espionage and died at the hands of the KGB in 1947.

One of the thousands saved by Wallenberg was U.S. House Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif., in office 1981-2008), the only Holocaust survivor to have served in the U.S. Congress.

Other streets named after Wallenberg include Raoul Wallenberg Street in Jerusalem, Place Raoul Wallenberg in Montreal, Raoul Wallenberg Boulevard in Charleston, S.C., and Raoul Wallenberg Avenue in Trenton, N.J.

It’s not surprising that many countries want to claim this heroic guy as their own: Wallenberg is an honorary citizen of the United States (the second, after Winston Churchill), Israel, Hungary, Australia and Canada (the first honorary citizen of Canada).

DC Does Not Rain Supreme


Washington Monument reflected on a walkway of the National Mall (Photo By: Matt Wainwright)

For those who think Seattle is full of drips, you might be surprised to know that Washington, DC, Chicago, Dallas and Miami all get more rain per year than Seattle’s 37 inches, which is the U.S. average.

DC, supposedly a city of rainmakers, gets 39.7 inches per year of rain, less rain per year than New York (49.9 inches/yr.) and far less than slippery New Orleans (62.7 inches/yr.), the wettest city in America.

Whatever Happened to the Original 930 Club?

J Crew 930 Club DC

The J. Crew awning hangs over the door that was once the main entrance to the 930 Club. (Photo By: heydayjoe)

Atlantic Building

Atlantic Bldg (Photo By: heydayjoe)

Here lie the ghosts of the original 930 Club, once located at 930 F Street NW and now rehabilitated as a J. Crew. The only remaining interior remnant – the Club’s elevator grating, is now featured as an ornamental wall along the stairs leading down to menswear. (The J. Crew staff would not allow photos of this precious artifact, or any of the sweaters.) To keep away the nostalgic riffraff, the number on the building was changed to 950 F Street, the same address as the building next door.

Below is the current 930 Club (since 1996) at 915 V Street NW. For more about the history of the 930 Club, click here.

930 Club

Formerly the WUST Radio Music Hall, this venue has been home to the 930 Club since 1996. (Photo By: heydayjoe)