The History of U.S. Presidents Arguing with Department Stores


The latest subject of President Trump’s ire?  Nordstrom, for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s shoe line. But this actually isn’t the first time a sitting President has gone head to head with a department store. Here’s a brief look back at some history’s more memorable President-on-deparment-store battles: 

1798: Despite there no department stores yet, George Washington makes an enemy out of many of them in the future by ending his inaugural address with, “Oh and one more thing: it’ll be stupid if they ever have giant stores at the mall with lots of clothes and other stuff. Just buy it online.”

1858: President James Buchanan refuses to attend the grand opening of Macy’s the nation’s first department store.  This leads the store to adopt a strict “No Buchanan’s allowed” policy still enforced to this day. Seriously. If Pat Buchanan so much as sets foot in one they take him out back and beat the shit out of him.

1862: Abraham Lincoln outlaws all department stores when Lord and Taylor refuses his request to let Union soldiers come in and take as much stuff as they want ala Supermarket Sweep.

1922: At a White House dinner, a woman tells President Calvin Coolidge, “I made a bet I could get 10 words out of you.” To which Coolidge replied, “Anyone who shops at Gimbels has shit for brains.”

1953: Dwight D. Eisenhower orders an air raid a Marshall’s when they refuse to honor his coupon for half-off St. John’s Bay sweaters.

1961: The Kennedy assassination is carried out, a joint effort masterminded by the CIA, the American Mafia, the KGB, and of course, Jim Miller, the manager of the Richmond, Virginia JCPenney’s women’s department.

1974: Prior to his impeachment, Richard Nixon famously claims, “I am not a crook.” Most don’t remember the quote in full, however: “I am not a crook…not like those swindlers at Belk’s. $29.99 for a cotton hoodie? Get the fuck out of town, I can get the same thing at Target for $8.”

1996: Wearing a bucket hat, sunglasses, and trenchcoat as a disguise, Bill Clinton is kicked out of a D.C. area TJ Maxx for bursting in and yelling, “Okay listen up, I need a free blue dress, stat. Preferably jizz-less.”

2007: George W. Bush is given a warning by local authorities for shooting his BB gun at an Alexandria, Virginia Target; in the police statement Bush states, “If you don’t want folks shootin’ at you, don’t put up a bullseye.”


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