Born today was Thomas Nast,
Political cartoonist in the distant past.
A donkey and elephant through his eyes we see
That symbolize the Democrats and the GOP.
" Cartoonist Thomas Nast is credited with making the donkey the recognized symbol of the Democratic Party. It first appeared in a cartoon in Harper's Weekly in 1870, and was supposed to represent an anti-Civil War faction. But the public was immediately taken by it and by 1880 it had already become the unofficial symbol of the party.
The Elephant— Political cartoonist Thomas Nast was also responsible for the Republican Party elephant. In a cartoon that appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion's skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled "The Republican Vote." That's all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party." [infoplease.com]