Do You Know What National Checkers Day?

Guess what? National Checkers Day has nothing to do with the game of checkers at all! Checkers is the name of President Richard Nixon’s dog that got to live in the White House. On September 23, 1952, many, many years ago, President Nixon gave a speech about giving back some gifts that were given to him while in office. But he strongly stated that he would never give back his favorite dog Checkers, who was a gift while he was running for election. So the history books all call that speech “The Checkers Speech”.

President Nixon and his dog, Checkers

You might be surprised how many lucky doggies have lived in the White House over the years. I wonder what it is like to be a White House dog? They get to meet so many important people from all over the world. But at the end of each busy day, they still love to cuddle up with the presidential family who loves them, just like your dog.

Would you like to hear about some of the Presidential puppies over the years? Right now our President Barack Obama and his family have two famous doggies called Bo and Sunny. They are super fluffy Portuguese Water Dogs. Aren’t they cute?

The Obama's and their dogs, Bo and Sunnt


• President George W. Bush had a Scottish terrier named Miss Beazley. What a funny name! The Bush family also had two Springer Spaniels called Spot and Millie, and another Scottish terrier named Barney>

• President Bill Clinton had a Chocolate Labrador called Buddy.

• President H. W. Bush had the same Millie mentioned before, and one of her puppies, Ranger.

• President Ronald Reagan had a beautiful Bouvier des Flanders named Lucky. He was wasn’t he? The Reagans also had Rex, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Golden Retriever called Victory.

• President Jimmy Carter had a busy Border Collie named Grits.

• President Gerald Ford loved his Golden Retriever, Liberty who actually had puppies while she lived in the White House!

• That brings us back to President Richard Nixon who had the famous Checkers, a poodle named Vicky, a Terrier called Pasha and a gorgeous Irish Setter with the regal name of King Timahoe!

If you looked back even farther you would find that there were many other dogs that got to spend time in the White House, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were also dog lovers who invited their pets to live in the presidential home.

I’m not sure what you should to celebrate this unusual holiday that is not really a day off for anyone. But it’s fun to look back and see that dogs are an important part of our United States history.Abe Lincoln had a dog named Fido






Contributing Authors

Susie Klein

Susie is a freelance writer who has always had a dog as part of her family since childhood. Her current writing partner is Layla, a mixed breed Labrador and Cocker Spaniel.

Susie Klein

Kelly Preston

Based in Phoenix AZ., animal lover Kelly Preston is an award winning author of Real Dogs Don’t Whisper, a book in which she talks about her experiences and adventures with her special needs dogs and the life lessons they have taught – how she has learned and grown from them and they have learned and grown from her. Preston also produces Mr.MaGoo’s Corner, a free monthly dog-focused newsletter that features a reader of the month, birthday announcements, green pet tips, organic dog recipes and more.

Kelly Preston and Mr MaGoo authors of Real Dogs Don't Whisper
Kelly and Mr MaGoo


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