Peter Baker of the New York Times: "For much of the history of the United States, the White House grounds have been reasonably open to the public, resulting in breaches far more astonishing than the one on Sept. 19, when an Iraq war veteran, Omar J. Gonzalez, rushed past a Secret Service agent at the North Portico and ran through much of the State Floor before being tackled."
In the 1920s, my grandparents had a touring car with running boards. When they traveled with the family, they fitted wooden pens to the running boards, & the family dogs rode in the pens.
I've seen photos of my grandparents' car, with the caged dogs. As I recall, the car & pens looked a lot like this:
(I have no idea how one exits a car with animal crates so attached.)
My grandparents' practice would be regarded as animal cruelty today, but as Gail Collins has happily reminded us, Mitt Romney was pretty certain dogs enjoyed such fresh-air adventures.
I don't know if my grandmother thought driving great distances with dogs on the running board was cruel to the family pets, but she did think the appearance of dogs on the running board was evah-so tacky. My grandmother was always one for keeping up appearances.
There was no going around Washington, D.C., in those days, so on trips south, my grandfather drove through the city. I suppose the signage wasn't all that good back then. In any event, on one such trip, my grandfather got lost driving through Washington.
Eventually he spied a couple of policemen standing around in front of a porticoed mansion. My grandfather pulled alongside the front steps, stuck his head out the window & asked the officers just where they were.
"You're at the White House, sir," said one of the officers.
"Oh, dear," my grandmother gasped. "Drive on quickly, Asbury. I shouldn't want Mrs. Coolidge to see us like this."
If you or someone you know has breached the White House gates, do tell.