December 14, 2013

Another History Buff's Christmas Tidbit: Santa Claus & The Civil War

Did you Know?
The bearded, plump image of Santa Claus we recognize today was created during the American Civil War by Thomas Nast. At the time, most depictions of Santa Claus showed jolly St. Nick as a tall, thin man. Nast, who was known at the time for his political cartoons immortalized Santa Claus with an illustration for the January 3, 1863 issue of Harper's Weekly. This first Santa Claus appeared as a small part of a large illustration titled "A Christmas Furlough". This Santa was a man dressed up handing out gifts to Union soldiers. Nast, known as the father of the American Cartoon also first showed the GOP as an elephant, and the Democratic Party as a donkey, symbols that both parties (and cartoonists) use to this day.

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