Founded in 1854, the Republican Party has been one of America’s two major political parties for most of the nation’s existence. The Onion presents a timeline of the party that currently controls all three branches of government.


1814:

Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell born.


1863:

President Abe Lincoln adds note at the end of the Emancipation Proclamation clarifying that his freeing the slaves means Republicans can never, ever be accused of being racist.


1874:

Cartoonist Thomas Nast popularizes the party’s mascot, an elephant that hates poor people.

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1889-1893:

President Benjamin Harrison presides over only four-year stretch in American history where literally nothing happened.

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1954:

Congress votes to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the GOP learns an important lesson about not relying on fear and demagoguery to win elections.

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1964:

Democratic and Republican parties decide to switch platforms out of boredom.


1972:

Richard Nixon becomes the only Republican president to face consequences for his actions.

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1982:

Party leaders realize they can just say “welfare queens” instead of “lazy minorities.”

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1994:

Republicans sweep midterms on the back of the “Contract With America,” which promises they’ll be beholden to interests of a completely different set of lobbyists than the Democrats.

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2000:

Purchased by NRA.


2003:

President George W. Bush begins successful campaign to ensure nation completely forgets about Iraq War.

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2016:

Another traditional Republican elected president.

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