NATIONAL MULE DAY
National Mule Day is recognized each year on October 26.
A mule is a hybrid cross between a male donkey and a female horse. The mule possesses the strength, intelligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, surefootedness and even temper of the donkey. From the horse, the mule inherits beauty, athletic ability, courage, vigor and speed.
Mules appear to require less food than a horse of similar size.
According to the American Mule Museum:
- George Washington played the major role in the development of the mule population in America. He recognized the value of the mule in agriculture and became the first American mule breeder.
- Donkeys were already in America, as they came over with the early explorers, but they were quite small. Washington wished to breed the very best mules, but he faced a major obstacle – – the Spanish government at that time prohibited the acquisition or exportation of the famous Andalusian donkey. Washington wrote to King Charles of Spain requesting permission to purchase good quality breeding stock. In October of 1785, a ship docked in Boston harbor carrying a gift from King Charles for George Washington – – two fine jennies and a 4-year old Spanish jack named, appropriately, “Royal Gift’. That “royal gift” from the Spanish king is today credited with the development of the American mule which began a dynasty that “reshaped the very landscape of the country”.
For more information, see the American Mule Museum website: http://mulemuseum.org/History_of_the_Mule.html
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Within our research, we were unable to find the creator or the origin of National Mule Day, an “unofficial” national holiday.