September 23 marks seventy-two years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a famous speech. Why do I bring up a political speech at a time when most of us want to cover our ears over anything related to politics? Simple. The speech had to do with Fala, FDR’s beloved Scotch Terrier, easily my favorite presidential pet, and almost certainly the most famous dog in American history. Fala traveled everywhere with his master, sniffed heads of state, and received so much fan mail he needed his own secretary.
After a trip to the Aleutian Islands in August, 1944, FDR came under attack by political opponents who started a rumor that Fala had been accidentally left behind after the presidential visit. They claimed FDR dispatched a Navy battleship to bring the pup home at a cost of many millions of dollars to taxpayers.
FDR addressed this fur-flying fib at a dinner hosted by Teamsters. Check out a snippet of his response below. His deadpan delivery is priceless.
Politicians take note. If your speeches were clever as this one, I’d be more inclined to listen.