The History of White House Doodles


"President Kennedy scribbled "Vietnam" over and over, drawing a box around
the word each time.

President Eisenhower sketched a picture of himself looking larger than
life, bare-chested, and with a head full of hair.
President Reagan doodled smiling cowboys alongside love notes to his
Presidents Carter and Ford left no scribblings.
It’s not the first thing a scholar might search for in the public record,
but presidential doodles hold a certain fascination for the historically
"Doodles are often the last remnants of unconscious, unscripted
presidential writing," said David Greenberg, a historian who examined two
centuries of scribblings by commanders in chief for a book appropriately called
"Presidential Doodles."
The book includes the absentminded scratchings of 24 presidents — plus a
note from President Bush — collected from public records and archives across the

The History of White House Doodles
By Jessica Yellin

Related link: "Presidential Doodles"  Book website