Backyard Farming: Homesteading: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency - Kim Pezza (2015)
HISTORIC HOMESTEADING FACTS
✵ Livestock are no strangers to the White House; on the contrary, there have been many farm animals amongst the pets that have graced the building:
✵ John Adams had horses, as did Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, James Garfield and John Kennedy (who also had three ponies). William Henry Harrison’s pet Sukey was a Durham cow. Ulysses S. Grant’s tenure at the White House saw horses, ponies and even pigs.
✵ The Lincoln household included two much-beloved goats named Nanny and Nanko, as well as ponies, pigs and Jack the turkey. Originally supposed to be Thanksgiving dinner, Jack was spared his fate and made a member of the Lincoln family after Lincoln’s son Tad grew very attached to him.
✵ Andrew Jackson built the White House’s first greenhouse in 1835. It was leveled in 1857 to construct a wing of the Treasury, after which a new greenhouse was built on the west side of the compound.
✵ When John Adams moved into the White House in 1800 (the first president to do so), his first addition to the building was a vegetable garden.
✵ The Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture was organized in 1785. Agricultural Museum, the first agriculture related periodical, was introduced in 1810.
✵ The Agriculture Committee for the United States House of Representatives was formed in 1820, followed by the Senate’s equivalent in 1825.
✵ 1874 saw the end of open-range grazing in the Great Plains.
✵ Roosevelt formed the Country Life Commission in 1908, which was intended to focus on rural problems.
✵ A national extension service came into existence through the Smith-Lever Extension Act in 1914.
✵ Rural areas began seeing electricity in 1936, thanks to the Rural Electrification Act.