SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Have you ever mulled over mules? How about their national holiday? If you have (or are just curious), Fort Concho’s upcoming National Mule Day Celebration may be for you.
The event will be held at the Living History Stable, located at 236 Henry O. Flipper St., on Thursday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There, displays of late 19th- and early 20th-century military uniforms and equipment will be on display, all from a time period in which the mule was still the preferred method of transporting wagon freight containing vital resources for the U.S. Army.
According to National Today, the holiday originates from a celebration of the donkey-horse hybrid that was held in Columbia, Tennessee, the self-proclaimed “mule capital of the world.” The observation of Mule Day has been traced as far back as the 1840s when it was originally referred to as “Breeders Day,” a simple holiday that featured a livestock show and little else.
Despite the holiday’s niche origins, it was as stubborn as the animal it adored. Breeders Day eventually skyrocketed in popularity, leaving the confines of Columbia, Tennesee, and trotting its way throughout the nation with parades and grand celebrations. The day was officially established as a national holiday through a proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan on the day of Mule Day’s 200th anniversary in 1985, according to the City of San Angelo.
As for the relevance of the date itself, Mule Day is held on Oct. 26 in recognition of Oct. 26, 1785, the day when a Spanish donkey ordered by George Washington arrived to create American mules. National Today states that Washington was often called the father of the American mule for this very reason, with over 50 mules being produced at his home.
So, are you ready to celebrate man’s favorite pack animal? Then mark your calendars for National Mule Day.