Woodrow Wilson served as President during World War 1 (1913-1921), and to save money for the war effort, he did away with the White House grounds keepers, replacing them with sheep that kept the lawn grazed.
The forty eight animals were (if nothing else) a reminder to all who saw that the White House stood firmly behind its troops; however, Wilson took things a step farther by having the sheep sheard at the proper times. Through the auction of this wool, the President was able to raise almost $53,000 dollars for the Red Cross.
This was not all that President Wilson and his family did to support the war effort. In addition to the sheep, the First Lady brought in the “stars” of the day as part of her war bond rallies, which were held on the steps of the Treasury Building. Names such as Mary Pickford had the ability to draw crowds and dollars.
Not to be outdone, daughter Margaret did her part by singing to raise money for those troops abroad, and I’m left wondering…well, you know what I’m left wondering, don’t you? I’ll just say that I was in DC recently, and I did not notice sheep grazing…but maybe I missed them….My thought is that it has been MANY administrations since we’ve seen anything even “sorta” like this, however.