Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Donkey And An Elephant Go To This Birthday Party

Belated birthday to Thomas Nast September 26, 1840 - 1902

Following his death in 1902, Thomas Nast's obituary in Harper's Weekly stated, "He has been called, perhaps not with accuracy, but with substantial justice, the Father of American Caricature." Nast's campaign against New York City's political boss William Magear Tweed is legendary. He devised the Tammany tiger; popularized the donkey as the symbol for the Democratic Party and elephant, for the Republican Party; and created the "modern" image of Santa Claus. One of Nast's cartoons was said to have re-elected Lincoln in 1864, and Lincoln himself commented that Nast was his best recruiting sergeant. Grant attributed his election as President in 1868 "to the sword of [General Phil] Sheridan and the pencil of Nast."

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