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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Sculptor: Neil Estern
Location: Potomac Park
( Independence Ave. & Ohio Drive )
Fala is one of the great American dogs. He was a Christmas gift to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, from his cousin, Margaret Suckley. A black Scottish terrier, his formal name was "Murray of Falahill."
Fala accompanied the President most places and would, at FDR's request, perform tricks for White House visitors.
A great favorite with many Americans and a natural for the press, Fala was the star of his own comic strip. He also became the subject of a political attack when Republicans accused FDR of sending a Naval destroyer to rescue Fala from the Aleutian Islands where he had allegedly been left behind. In his famous "Fala" speech, FDR reported that Fala was "furious" about the falsehood.
After FDR's death, Fala was temporarily adopted by Ms. Suckley but was returned to Eleanor Roosevelt and lived out the rest of his life with her at the FDR home, "Val-Kill", in upstate New York. He died in 1952 and was buried beside FDR.
He is the only dog honored with a statue at a Presidential memorial. DC legend has it that rubbing Fala's nose will bring you luck.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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