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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Little White Schoolhouse

This Day in History: March 20, 1854

The Little White Schoolhouse of Ripon,
listed on the List of Registered Historic Places
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
On March 20, 1854, the Republican Party held its first meeting in a little white schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin. A small group of dedicated abolitionists, former members of the Whig Party, met to establish the Republican Party. They gathered to fight the expansion of slavery, and they gave birth to a Party dedicated to freedom and equal opportunity.

This first meeting was prompted by the introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Act designed by Senator Stephen Douglas in January 1854.The act permitted the extension of slavery beyond the limits established in the Missouri Compromise. When the act passed in the Senate, Alvin Earle Bovay of Ripon, Wisconsin called a meeting of 53 voters in the little white schoolhouse to organize a new party. 
Years later Bovay recalled: “We went into the little meeting, Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. We came out Republicans, and we were the first Republicans in the Union.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
The first national meeting of Republicans took place February 22, 1856 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the name “Republican” was adopted. The traditional mascot, the elephant, was published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874 as a political cartoon by Thomas Nast. This is considered the first important use of the symbol.