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This issue of White House History features wildlife in the President’s Park with articles on the beloved squirrels, birds, and butterflies, and the much less desirable mice and rats who make their home at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The issue opens with an article by Jonathan Gross, who studied Thomas Jefferson’s literary reflections on animals and poetry compiled in his scrapbooks. Art historian William Kloss discovered butterflies in presidential life and art. Jonathan Pliska took note of the busy and fearless squirrel population in the President's Park. The environment, as championed by Theodore Roosevelt and Rachel Carson, is seen through White House birds, in an article by Robert Musil. The late William Bushong, relayed for us the history of White House Thanksgiving turkeys and the evolution of the traditional annual presidential pardon. Lauren Zook gives the history of the odd “grizzly bear chair,” presented by a bear hunter to the beleaguered President Andrew Johnson. William Seale commemorated rats and mice at the White House, where for over a century they were uninvited but permanent residents. Newly commissioned photography by wildlife photographer Martin Radigan captures hummingbirds, butterflies, and squirrels at play throughout the President's Park.
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