Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Monday, February 16, 2009

The American Mule



Cartoon from Lucky Three Ranch.

Today is President's Day. The post office, banks, government offices, and schools are closed in a combined birthday celebration to honor Presidents Washington and Lincoln (though there is some disagreement on this assumption...check out snopes.com). I recently discovered an interesting fact on our first president, George Washington.

When King Charles of Spain gave President Washinton donkeys, an idea was born. Mules are created by breeding a donkey and a horse. Being a man of vision and action, Washington immediately recognized the value of the mule, viewed as superior in hardiness and strength to the horse. He decided to send one of the donkeys he received (aptly named "Royal Gift"...for more reasons than one) throughout the south, where a legacy of new mules were sired along the way in our country's first mule breeding program.

The resulting American mule became an important part of American history used for farming and utilized during early American wars, particularly the Civil War. Today Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee are still considered top mule producing areas. Read more fascinating facts on the mule at Lucky Three Ranch.

So be sure to raise a glass to George Washington...father of our country and the American Mule.

2 comments:

Judy said...

Fascinating--and the historical information was new to me!! I sent the house elf a link to the website for The Lucky Three Ranch.

nlindabrit said...

Thank you for an interesting post. I had not heard of President's Day before.