How the parties got their animal symbols

"The Third-term Panic" by Thomas Nast, published in 1874 by Harper's Weekly, on a possible third term by President Ulysses S. Grant. Harper's Weekly

(CBS News) Did you ever wonder about just what was behind two famous party animals?

The donkey was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson's 1828 presidential campaign.

His opponents called Jackson, well, a "jackass" for his populist views.

Jackson was actually ENTERTAINED by the insult, and used the image of the strong-willed donkey on his campaign posters.

Later, famed cartoonist Thomas Nast used the donkey in his newspaper cartoons, helping to establish it as the symbol of the Democratic Party.

And it was Nast who provided the Republicans with their elephant.

"The Third-term Panic" by Thomas Nast, published in 1874 by Harper's Weekly, on a possible third term by President Ulysses S. Grant.
Harper's Weekly
In an 1874 cartoon, Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion's skin - scaring off the other animals at the zoo.

. . . All the animals, except for the fearless elephant, which was labeled "the Republican vote."

The symbol endures to this day.

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