Tuesday’s Historical Ballot
It’s a trick. This is a sample ballot from Hancock County Indiana for the 2012 election. Close observers will notice that the party symbols for Democrats and Republicans are different than we’re accustomed to. The Republican party symbol is an eagle and the Democratic symbol is a rooster. No donkeys in Indiana.
Indiana lays claim to being the birthplace of the Democratic rooster—from the 1840 election pitting Martin Van Buren against William Henry Harrison (Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!). Van Buren, who presided over the Panic of 1837 and consequent economic depression, lost the 1840 election.
You can find a highway marker commemorating the rooster in Greenfield, Indiana off East Main Street, near Apple Street.
The rooster is still in use in several other states, such as West Virginia, as the Democratic party symbol. A white rooster was used in the South as a symbol of the white supremacist branch of the Democratic Party for many years. Indeed, Alabama’s Democratic Party did not switch over to the donkey until 1996, when it decided to reject the rooster due to the symbol’s association with segregationist policies in that state.
That last image is from Pennsylvania in 1852 celebrating the election of Franklin Pierce as President. I just liked it.