The Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey

Ever wondered why an elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party? A newspaper artist came up with that.

Thomas Nast, considered the father of political cartooning, first depicted the GOP as an elephant in this full-page cartoon published by Harper’s Weekly on November 7, 1874.

Thomas Nast also popularized the donkey as a symbol of the Democratic Party. This is the first cartoon where the donkey appeared. It was published in Harper’s Weekly on January 15, 1870, as commentary on the relations between the Northern Democrats, also known as “copperheads,” and Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton.

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