National Park celebrates Fala Day Sunday

In remembrance of FDR’s much loved and world famous Scottish Terrier, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in Pennsylvania will host a Fala Gala this Sunday April 7, the 68th anniversary of Fala’s birth.

The free celebration – in which park officials will dedicate a new doggie fountain, offer free “pooper” bags, raffle off canine prizes and hold dog contests – will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of Roosevelt’s founding the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program responsible for creating Hopewell Furnace and French Creek State Park, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The newspaper goes on to say:

Park Ranger Christine Rogers had the idea for a day dedicated to dogs 10 years ago when she first started working at the park.

This year, the park completed research that allows it to celebrate the history of not just Hopewell Furnace’s iron industry in the 19th century, but also of the CCC, clearing the way for the Fala celebration.

“Fala provided a stress release for FDR at a time when the political pressures . . . during World War II must have been enormous,” said Rogers, whose own dog, Siska, died last year.

Fala also got caught in the political cross fire during the 1944 election. Republicans accused Roosevelt of leaving Fala on the Aleutian Islands, and then at great cost to the taxpayer sending a ship back to rescue him. On Sunday, Rogers will read Roosevelt’s famous speech in which the president mocked the allegation.

“FDR was used to having himself attacked and his family attacked. But never his Scottish dog,” joked Rogers, taking a tone of false outrage. “No!”

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