March 29, 1929

On This Date in 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.


About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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One Response to March 29, 1929

  1. Drunk Commenter says:

    I wander how manyu times they got calls asking it they were running their refridgerator or if Prince Albert was in the cans! Those are classics, amn. CLASSSICS!

    I can’t believe you twisted a histories about Hevert Hoover without making a joke about he invented the vacuum cleaner. See how funny that is? Hey, you should hite me to come up with jokes for you! I would be greatat that. Everybody tells me how funny, even more when I’m drunk. which is NOT all the time, I dont care what you heard.

    I’ll tell you what, you hcan have the vacuum cleaner joke for free, just so you can see what you’d be getting ifyou did hire me.

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