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Fala’s Christmas Stocking (MO 2006.347)

 

In 1941, the staff at the Roosevelt Library celebrated the new institution’s first Christmas by decorating President Roosevelt’s private study. The adornments included this small, blue stocking for FDR’s beloved Scottish terrier, Fala. The stocking can be seen in the photo above hanging next to the President’s.

The scene in this photo was assembled by the Library staff in order to create a Christmas card to send to the President. The Fala sock was supplied by Fred Shipman, the Library’s first Director. The name card was created by James Whitehead, an Assistant Archivist who later became the Museum Curator. The basket of pine cones by the fireplace was sent by the mother of Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (FDR’s distant cousin, who gave Fala to the President in 1940). The greens were collected by Archivist Dr. John S. Curtis and Junior Laborer Steve Bielski. Custodian William J. Plain supplied the logs for the fire.

Please visit the FDR Presidential Library and Museum this holiday season to view the stocking and other holiday decorations temporarily on display in the Museum.

 

September 23, 1944: FDR gives a campaign speech to the Teamsters Union denouncing Republican attacks that he had sent a U.S. Navy destroyer to retrieve his dog Fala after leaving him behind on the Aleutian Islands.

Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to the Teamsters Union.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Quonset hut mess hall in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
August 3, 1944
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3868(497).

Franklin D. Roosevelt fishing at Kodiak Island, Alaska.
August 7, 1944
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3868(498).

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Did you know:

  • On September 27, 1938 FDR appealed to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler for a peaceful solution of the Czechoslovakian crisis.
  • On September 26, 1940 FDR dedicated the new National Airport in Washington, D.C.

Fala’s Sailor’s Cap (MO 2006.359)


FDR had a lifelong affection for pets. His best-known was Fala, a Scottish terrier given to him by his cousin, Daisy Suckley, in 1940. Fala became Roosevelt’s constant companion and the most famous dog in America. He appeared in newspapers, cartoons, books, and films. Fala often accompanied FDR on trips. One trip to Alaska sparked a famous political debate during the 1944 presidential election campaign. Republicans falsely claimed that Fala had been mistakenly left behind on an Alaskan island and that FDR had ordered a destroyer to retrieve him. Roosevelt disarmed his critics in a celebrated speech. Fala’s frugal “Scotch soul was furious,” FDR reported, at allegations that taxpayer dollars were spent to rescue him. Use this link to listen to an excerpt from the “Attack on Fala” – http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/collections/avclips.html

After FDR’s death in 1945, Fala lived with Eleanor Roosevelt. He died in 1952 and is buried near the President and First Lady in the Rose Garden of FDR’s Hyde Park estate.

This small white sailor’s cap has a light blue image of a ship’s wheel with a battleship in the center shooting three beams of light. There are two metal pins on the inside with an elastic attached for securing to Fala’s head. Fala can be seen wearing this cap in the MGM movie short “Fala” released in 1943. To see a photograph of Fala wearing the cap, please visit: http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=2e4d9a5edbf039b3

September 23, 1944: FDR gives a campaign speech to the Teamsters Union denouncing Republican attacks that he had sent a U.S. Navy destroyer to retrieve his dog Fala after leaving him behind on the Aleutian Islands.

Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech to the Teamsters Union.

Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Quonset hut mess hall in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
August 3, 1944
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3868(497).

Franklin D. Roosevelt fishing at Kodiak Island, Alaska.
August 7, 1944
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3868(498).

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