THE CHICAGO ARSONIST
The first famous, or more infamous, story is of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. If you are not familiar with that name, maybe you have heard of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that destroyed practically the entire city, killed hundreds of people, and left another 100,000 homeless. The story goes that Mrs. Catherine O’Leary owned a barn in Chicago, and while she was milking her cow one windy night, the cow reportedly kicked over a kerosene lantern and the great fire began. Mrs. O’Leary and her cow were the city culprits for years when this story was published in the Chicago Republic. Even though the reporter later admitted he lied about the whole story, it wasn’t until 1997 did the Chicago City Council officially clear Catherine O’Leary and her cow of all responsibility for the fire. Listen to her great-great-grandaughter tell the story!
Dubbed the “Sky Queen,” Elm Farm Ollie became the first flying dairy cow when she boarded an airplane on February 18, 1930. What made this event amazing was while the 1,000 pound cow was in the air, a man named Elsworth W. Bunch milked 6 gallons from Ollie! Even crazier, the milk was then put in separate paper cartons and parachuted over St. Louis!!! Even though this whole stunt was an elaborate attention grabber for an air show, it did begin the new method of successfully transporting livestock - via airplane.
As it turns out, the White House was just as interesting more than 100 years ago as it is now and it’s all because of a cow! Miss Pauline Wayne was a 1,500 pound Holstein and was the pet of President Taft from 1910-1913. Miss Wayne was brought in to satisfy the dairy loving appetite of Taft and his family, and boy was she able to get the job done! What brought so much fame to Miss Wayne was her coverage by the Washington Post. Within two years the Post mentioned her more than 20 times and even gave her a voice. Miss Pauline Wayne certainly had the media mesmerized in her day! If only she could have had her own Twitter account.