Why did President Woodrow Wilson keep sheep at the White House?

Why did President Woodrow Wilson keep sheep at the White House?


After President Woodrow Wilson declared war
on Germany in April of 1917, his own family undertook to set an example of homefront contributions
to the war effort. In 1918, Wilson purchased a flock of 18 sheep
led by an angry ram named Old Ike. The ram was famous for chewing tobacco. He would chomp
on any cigar butt that he could find. He also hated humans. He would protect his sheep from
the White House staff and police by head-butting them on the bum. The White House lawns turned out to make outstanding
pasture land for the sheep. They feasted on the sweet grasses, growing thick woolen pelts
and making lots of adorable lambs to increase their numbers. The sheep also kept the lawns
perfectly manicured and fertilized, and much like White House pets today, were widely popular
with the American public. The sheep also managed to raise over $100,000 for the red cross by
selling their wool at auction. Some of their wool auctioned off for over $1000 per pound. Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson also had a
large flock of sheep on the White House lawn in 1807. The leader of the flock was a four-horned
Shetland ram who took aim at anyone attempting to take a shortcut through the property back
when that sort of thing was possible. In 1808 The ram actually killed a child, two other
rams and one of his own offspring. Finally in 1811, Jefferson had him put down.

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