The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
May 9, 2002

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Washington, D.C. "Party Animals" Arts Unveiling
As Delivered
Washington, D.C.

Thank you, Mayor Williams. Thanks also to the D.C. Council; the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the sponsors and artists for giving Americans one more reason - or should I say 200 more reasons! - to visit our Nation's Capital this spring and summer.

"Party Animals" is a terrific arts project that celebrates the talent and creativity of Washington-area artists and two symbols of our nation's democracy.

The donkey and the elephant first appeared in public in the 1870s -- in Harper's Weekly magazine1. That's when political cartoonist Thomas Nast used them to make satirical jabs at the politicians of the day.

You might say that his efforts backfired: the animals have instead become much-loved symbols of American politics. Today we present two of the symbols in a new and rare formand you'll find even more of them around town.

President Bush and I invite Americans to visit Washington, D.C. this summer and take a Party-Animal safariYou'll find 200 creatively designed creatures throughout the District with the help of a Party Animals Tour Guide Mapand a little imagination.

And now Mayor Williams and I will reveal two of DC's newest residents, a real pair of party animals.

1 The donkey 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. 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.


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