President Dwight D. Eisenhower kept a parakeet named Gabby at the White House for his handful of grandchildren.
Not much is known about this pet bird, which joined the Eisenhower family in early 1954. We do know that Gabby, despite his name, wasn’t known to speak. Apparently the parakeet wanted to let the president do all the talking.
Gabby died in 1957 and was buried by the gardener at the southwest corner of the executive mansion.
Back then, the grave was “marked with an asbestos shingle on which [was] stenciled the name Gabby,” according to news reports. Yes, the presidential bird’s burial made the news, albeit several months after the fact.
One newspaper reported that 9- or 10-year-old David Eisenhower, the president’s grandson, “made two or three trips to see the grave” and “even thanked the gardener who buried the bird.”
Five years later, another pet bird would be buried at the White House — the yellow canary belonging to President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline. (A pair of parakeets also lived in the Kennedy White House.)