WTF Fun Fact 12618 – Pauline, The Presidential Cow

Until the late 19th century, presidents brought their own cows to the White House to provide milk. There was no dairy delivery in Washington DC at the time.

When President William Howard Taft’s cow Mooly Wooly died in 1909, it was replaced by Pauline Wayne, a 1500-pound Holstein-Friesian. She was a gift to the Taft family from the farm of Senator Isaac Stephenson of Wisconsin.

The 4-year-old black and white bovine was the last presidential cow, but by far the most famous. The media appears to have been obsessed with her. Her arrival was covered by The New York Times, and her exploits appeared in publications from The Evening Independent in St. Petersburg, Florida, to The Milwaukee Sentinel.

One particular bit of drama was covered far and wide. Pauline was visiting the International Dairymen’s Exposition in Milwaukee in 1911 (with her milk sold in souvenir bottles for 50 cents each). But on the trip home, she went missing.

We always figured it would be hard to lose a cow, especially the President’s cow. But it happened.

It turned out Pauline’s private car was accidentally hooked up to a train carrying cows to slaughter at the Chicago stockyards. Can you imagine the scandal?!

Luckily, after a series of frantic telegraphs from the dairy show, train attendants ended up locating Pauline’s car as newspapers reported how she “narrowly escaped death.” – WTF fun facts

Source: “Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Famous Cow” — Presidential Pet Museum

WTF Fun Fact 12405 – Creature Kindness

Scott Thompson has a seal to thank for saving his life. In early 2022, the urchin diver slipped overboard and ended up in the Santa Barbara Channel wearing only shorts and a t-shirt while his boat drifted away.

“I was taught by the best urchin divers in the business about safety, but for whatever reason, I was careless,” he wrote in a blog post for Sour Milk

Thompson is a strong swimmer but became overwhelmed in the choppy, cold water and began to panic.

“It really didn’t take too long to realize like, ‘It’s getting farther, I’m not getting closer,'” he told KABC-TV. “I thought to myself, ‘Great, this is how I’m going to die.'”

That’s when he met a friendly harbor seal just in time. The little creature gave him the encouragement he needed to keep swimming.

“The seal would go underwater, and he came up and nudged me. Like a dog comes up and nudges your leg,” Thompson told KABC. “Did it know, like, ‘Hey, this human is in trouble, hey, keep going, dude’?” 

After five hours, Thompson finally made it to an oil platform and pulled himself up onto it.

“The crew took it from there and got Scott the medical attention he desperately needed,” his family friend wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Thompson is going to be okay. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: Boater Stranded at Sea Was Convinced ‘​​I’m Going to Die’ — Then a Sweet Seal Helped Save His Life — People