Rabbit Attacks the President
April 20, 1979 - It was supposed to be a relaxing time out on the water. President Jimmy Carter was home in Georgia for a few days off when he set out for a solo fishing expedition in a small johnboat. Suddenly a feral rabbit started swimming at him ferociously. It seemed the angry bunny was hellbent on getting inside the president's boat.
A press account described the "killer rabbit" as follows:
It was hissing menacingly, its teeth flashing and nostrils flared and making straight for the president.
With his Secret Service detail asleep at the switch, it was up to the president himself to take action. The man from Plains took this wooden paddle and slapped at the water, sending a large splash toward the rabbit. It worked. The bunny changed course and headed for the shore.
Oh but the damage was done. President Carter was already getting hammered in the polls. The Iranian hostage crisis and gas shortages had pretty much doomed his re-election hopes. But when the press got wind of the infamous rabbit attack, it became a lingering punchline for the late-night comics and talk shows. President Carter found himself having to provide "killer rabbit" details in between questions about the Cold War and his energy policy.
A photograph of the attack was kept under wraps until after President Carter left office, but now it's one of the most requested items from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.