It’s a very odd anniversary in the history of the US presidency. Today in 1979, President Jimmy Carter got into a fight (of sorts) with a swamp rabbit. Plus: today would normally be a big day in Zurich, when participants in the annual Sechselauten bring on spring by blowing up a snowman!
The History of Sechseläuten (Zuerich.com)
Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit! That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
It’s Monday, April 20th, a very odd anniversary in the history of the U.S. presidency.
Today in 1979, President Jimmy Carter got into a fight with a rabbit.
It’s kind of hard to imagine something like this happening in our time, given the enormous amount of security that surrounds modern presidents, but 41 years ago things were a little different.
Carter was out fishing on a lake in southwestern Georgia, when something called a swamp rabbit started swimming toward the boat.
He said he thought the rabbit was in some sort of distress, possibly having been chased by dogs.
Or it could have been upset about energy prices, it’s hard to say.
Nonetheless, the president of the United States was by himself in the lake with a good-sized rabbit coming at him, possibly trying to get into his boat.
And as his press secretary said later – and this is an actual quote – “The President confessed to having had limited experience with enraged rabbits.”
So Carter shooed it away, putting his paddle in the water and splashing at it until the rabbit changed course.
End of story, right? Not with a president involved.
When the story finally came out later that year, the press mocked Carter endlessly for somehow getting into a fight with a bunny.
The Washington Post even parodied the poster for the movie “JAWS,” pitting Carter against his rabbit nemesis and renaming the picture “PAWS.”
Carter, of course, has gone on to win the Nobel Peace Prize and to become our longest-lived president of all time.
Swamp rabbits, on the other hand, live on average for 1.8 years.
So you tell me who won that particular encounter.
The other big struggle of our time: winter vs. fire.
In Zurich, Switzerland, the annual Sechseläuten formally marks the end of winter.
There’s no festival this year, but you can find videos online of their amazing ceremony to bring on spring: they blow up a snowman called the Böögg!