Rebecca: The Presidential Raccoon! (1/2)

Home / News / Rebecca: The Presidential Raccoon! (1/2)
The White House of Calvin Coolidge has been named, rightly, The Pennsylvania Av-enue Zoo. One of the most famous four-legged residents of the White House for years, Rebecca (a raccoon), had actually been originally intended to be eaten.


She was sent from Mississippi to be part of the White House Thanksgiving dinner in 1926, but the Coolidge family quickly found her friendly and docile. That’s why she decided to keep her as a pet.


The president (who misquoted the raccoon as “him”) had announced the arrival of the raccoon in one of his usual press conferences. “I don’t think it’s quite developed yet,”

Coolidge told reporters. He’s very playful, very interesting, and looks very well trained and well trained. ”


The president also asked the press to help him find a name for the new pet. Rebecca quickly became a favourite of President and First Lady Grace Coolidge.


“We … had a house made for her in one of the tall trees with a wire fence around her for protection,” Ms. Coolidge had written at the time.


“We kept her chained outside, but in the house she was free. It was a curious beast and we had to watch her when she was in the house. You just had to put it in a bath-tub with a little water and give it a cake of soap to play. That way, she could have fun for an hour or more. ”


President Coolidge was known for walking with the raccoon around his neck, while several photos show his wife rocking the raccoon in his arms like a cat. The raccoon was clearly very special for the Coolidges.


However, White House staff reportedly deplored the raccoon, as it often tore away tissue.


A male raccoon, Reuben, was also handed over to the Coolidges in 1928 as a compan-ion of Rebecca, but newspaper reports reveal that the two did not get on well.


Rebecca escaped a few times from the White House grounds and the president and his wife had finally decided to bring him to the Rock Creek Zoo (now the Washington Zoo).


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Amelie Delobel

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