By Alex Warner published
For decades, foreign leaders have showered presidents with some of the most lavish and downright crazy gifts—some being products from their own countries, others to show a sign of peace. In honor of President's Day, click through to see 30 gifts presidents have received while in office.
A giant cake
On his 59th birthday, Franklin D. Roosevelt received a 5-foot-tall cake that weighed 300 pounds. It was a gift from the Bakery and Confectionary Workers International Union of America.
The prime minister of Algeria gave President Obama a ceremonial dagger with coral stones.
A tea infuser in the shape of a penguin
Barack Obama received 12 scented votive candles and a tea infuser in the shape of a penguin from Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
A portrait rug
The president of Azerbaijan presented Bill Clinton with a rug that had his and Hillary's portraits on it. Rug creator Kamil Aliyev said, "I wanted to convey their lives as one beating heart."
A carved lemon
Rutherford B. Hayes was once presented with a lemon that was carved to look like a pig.
A supply of elephants
In 1862, King Mongkut of Siam attempted to gift President Abraham Lincoln with a "supply of elephants" to populate America's forests. Lincoln wrote a letter back, rejecting the gift. "Our political jurisdiction, however, does not reach a latitude so low as to favor the multiplication of the elephant, and steam on land, as well as on water, has been our best and most efficient agent of transportation," he wrote.
While in office, George W. Bush received a small puppy from the president of Bulgaria, during his visit to the United States. The dog was sent to the National Archives, like most gifts presidents receive, Since it was not an exotic animal, it couldn't be sent to a zoo and ended up with a family.
A bowling alley
As a birthday present to President Harry Truman, a two-lane bowling alley was installed in the White House. Truman didn't use the gift much, but it was reported that his staff did, and that they even created a bowling league.
A carved peach pit
John F. Kennedy was gifted this carved peach pit, complete with the inscription "President John F. Kennedy of the United States" on it. The present was given to him by a man named R.J. McErlean.
A picture book
Canada Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau presented Gerald Ford with a book filled with pictures of boundaries as a symbol of peace. "People usually think of boundaries as dividing people," Trudeau said in the exchange. "...We will see in pictures what everyone knows on your side and on our side of the boundary—that these boundaries don't divide us. They bring us together." It was presented as a Bicentennial gift.
His portrait on a grain of rice
A Pakistani man gifted President Nixon two bite-sized portraits of himself—one of him in office and the other as a young boy. The edible presents were so small they required a magnifying glass to see the artwork.
An embroidered saddle
Ronald Reagan received several saddles while in office, but the most ornate one was gifted to him by the president of Algeria in 1985.
A solid gold sash
President George W. Bush received this solid gold sash from Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Khalifa.
Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives presented President Kennedy with a pair of cuff links after he signed his first bill in office.
A white horse
Ronald Reagan received a white horse from the president of Mexico, José López Portillo. The horse's name was Alamain, and was reportedly from Portillo's private stable.
An ornate desk
Queen Victoria gifted Rutherford B. Hayes an ornate desk, carved from the timbers of the British ship H.M.S. in 1880. Now, it's know as the Resolute Desk, and has become a staple piece in the Oval Office. The desk has been used by all but three presidents since it was given.
A religious document on climate change
During a visit to the Vatican, the Pope gifted Donald Trump with his own encyclical, "a papal document sent within the Catholic church—urging governments to address climate change."
A bowl of shamrocks
During the reception of a St. Patrick's Day party, Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland gave POTUS a bowl of shamrocks—for good luck, of course.
A personalized Super Bowl jersey and ring
When the New England Patriots made a trip to the White House, they gifted Trump with a personalized jersey and ring. The president has since boycotted the Super Bowl.
A sword, a dagger, and a wool robe lined with cheetah fur
The current POTUS was given over 80 gifts during his trip to Saudi Arabia, including a sword, a dagger, and cheetah-lined fur robe.
Barack Obama was given crocodile insurance by the chief minister of Australia's Northern Territory when he, Michelle, and the girls went to visit. The insurance policy would cover all members of the Obama family for up to $51,000, should they ever get attacked by a crocodile in the region.
A 20-inch sword
Former president Barack Obama received a 20-inch steel sword in a gemstone-encrusted sheath from the Sultan of Malaysia.
A wooden chest and folio
Donald Trump was gifted a wooden chest and a folio adorned with a 1965 Indian postage stamp that marked the death of Abraham Lincoln. The present was given during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A Komodo dragon
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush was gifted a Komodo dragon from the president of Indonesia. It was taken to the Cincinnati Zoo.
300 pounds of raw lamb
It was reported the President George W. Bush received over 300 pounds of raw lamb from Argentina while in office.
Two giant pandas
Richard Nixon's wife, Patricia, mentioned her love of giant pandas, so Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai gifted her and Nixon with two them—one for each of them. The panda's names were Ling-Ling (female) and Hsing-Hsing (male). It's been reported that the pandas were a symbol of "cross-cultural collaboration between the United States and China."
A zebra and a lion
Theodore Roosevelt and his family were animal lovers, so they were often gifted with exotic animals, like a zebra and a lion from Ethiopia. Any animals they received were sent immediately to the National Zoo without the president ever getting to see them.
A Burberry coat
Lyndon B. Jonson received a Burberry coat from the U.K. Prime Minister, and apparently, the sleeves were too short. His chief of protocol, Lloyd N. Hand remembered Johnson asking him "if he could catch the prime minister before he left and get the coat exchanged for the right size." He got it.
A national holiday
In 1880, President George Washington was gifted a federal holiday by Congress. The holiday was originally celebrated on Washington's birthday (February 22) until it was moved to the third Monday in every February thanks to the Uniform Monday Holidays Act.
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