Photo -- See Caption Below

c 1950
Made in Italy
Ceramic. H 25.4, L 38.1, W 13.5 cm
Eisenhower National Historic Site, EISE 132

Republican Elephants
Like any good, upstanding Republican household, the Eisenhowers’ included an array of elephant figurines - porcelain, plastic, and ivory. The elephant as symbol of the Republican Party first appeared in a Thomas Nast editorial cartoon in Harper’s Weekly on November 7, 1874. Eisenhower was apolitical throughout his military years, but said he chose to run on the Republican ticket in 1952 in order to restore the two party system to America. Democrats had been in office for the previous twenty years.

As President, his fiscal policy was considered very Republican at the time. Eisenhower struggled to balance the budget and did so three different times. On the other hand, he favored federal support of education and an increase in social security benefits and the minimum wage, all sentiments viewed as suspiciously “Democratic.”