Herbert Hoover photo

Letter on the Loan of "Billy Opossum"as a High School Mascot.

July 13, 1929

My dear Robert:

I am glad to have your formal report on the efficiency of Billy Opossum--it will be incorporated into his service record. Precautions [p.220] will be taken to maintain his health and spirits for the further needs of the Prince Georges County High School teams.

Yours faithfully,


[Mr. Robert M. Venemann, Hyattsville High School, Hyattsville, Md.]

Note: An opossum found on the White House grounds was captured, kept with other White House animals, and named Billy Opossum. After he was lent to Hyattsville High School to serve as a mascot, the managers of the school's athletic association expressed their appreciation in the following letter:

Dear President Hoover:

Please accept the hearty thanks of our association for your kindness in acceding to our request for the use of the White House opossum as a mascot during the closing weeks of school. Having won successively the Prince Georges County high school championships in soccer, basketball, track and baseball this year, we cannot fail to appreciate the value of this little animal as a purveyor of good fortune.

Accordingly, we have restored Billy Possum to the keeping of the White House in the hope that he will bring you full measure of good luck. Trusting, however, that with your kind permission we again may be honored with his effective leadership in our athletic program next Fall.

Respectfully and sincerely,



Herbert Hoover, Letter on the Loan of "Billy Opossum"as a High School Mascot. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211789

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives