I was thinking today of how Shirley Temple movies helped people through the Depression, which may be why the subject of the Obama family getting a dog generates so much interest.
I came across this tidbit on Wikipedia.
In Temple's earliest films, she danced and was able to handle complex tap choreography. She was teamed with famed dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Just Around the Corner. Robinson coached and developed her choreography for many of her other films. Because Robinson was African-American, the scenes of him holding hands with Temple were cut in many cities in the South, as a consequence of the segregationism common at the time.