On This Date in TWISTED-HISTORY.com in 1929 the Oval Office had its first telephone installed. The White House, though, had telephones installed since 1878. On March 29, 1929, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon received a call at his work desk and he was told by the woman on the other end to come and get his goat out of her garden. Mr. Mellon, politely informed her that she must have the wrong number, as he did not own a goat. The lady caller in a very country accent told him that he surely did and he needed to come and get his goat out of her garden. Mr. Mellon tried to be polite, as he was obviously talking to a less educated woman than his college educated self, and he once again told her that she must have the wrong number, as he did not own a goat. The lady caller got irate and told him if he didn’t come at once and get his goat out of her garden, she was going to call the police and have him arrested and if that didn’t work, she’d send her Johnny right over to sort out his goat owing ways. Mr. Mellon lost his composure with that and he yelled into the phone and said, “Madam, I am Andrew Mellon, currently Secretary of the Treasury of these United States, millionaire, American banker, businessman, philanthropist, art collector, and at one time the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom and proud graduate of Western University. At no time during my life have I ever owned a damned goat! So call the damned police and send your Johnny right over!”
And with that the little old lady giggled and said, “That’s alright, you old fart, I don’t own a garden,” and then hung up.
Soon afterwards, Herbert Hoover reminded everyone that the telephone in the Oval Office was to be used for business only.