NATIONAL MULE DAY
National Mule Day, on October 26th, recognizes an intelligent pack animal many mistaken to be stubborn.
A mule is a hybrid cross between a male donkey and a female horse. As a hybrid, the animal inherits characteristics from both parents. The mule possesses the strength, intelligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, sure-footedness, 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 a significant role in the development of the mule population in America. He recognized the value of the sturdy animal in agriculture and became the first American 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 significant 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 credited with the development of the American mule. Today it’s considered the beginning of a dynasty that “reshaped the very landscape of the country.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMuleDay
Visit a zoo or farm to learn more about the mighty mule. Read about the history of the mule. Share your favorite stories involving a mule. Use #NationalMuleDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL MULE DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues to research the origins of the hybrid holiday.
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