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Kansas City's Swopes Park Zoo provided inspiration for two of the oldest animal blocks, Ararat (an elephant) and Giddap (a donkey).


Ararat
Ararat

A 1931 Kansas City Star included this asymmetric block, basing it on a resident of Kansas City's Swope Park Zoo. It is 14 blocks wide and 9 blocks tall. We've used the Star's colors—gold, purple, and white—in the block at left.

Ararat quickly took on Republican colors, and a Democratic donkey followed.

Giddap


Giddap

The Star's "very democratic donkey," 13 blocks wide by 15 tall, followed Ararat by a mere 5 weeks. "The ingenious ladies' aid of the Sedalia, MO Congregational Church . . . made a G.O.P. elephant out of [Ararat]. Now they are calling for a Democratic running mate."

The ladies intended to use the blocks for cookie cutters to use for "window sales" during the upcoming presidential campaign. Compare that to today's drawn-out presidential runs: In July, the Sedalia ladies were still planning sales for a vote taking place a few months later.


The Dog Quilt

The Dog Quilt

An unnamed teenager sent this 12-square-by-10-square block to the Kansas City Star,which published it in 1936. The colors recommended were orange and brown on white.

June Butterfly
June Butterfly

This graceful little applique block captivated us when we saw it, so we've shared it with you. Now if we can only remember where we found it....stay tuned.