Jack of All Trades

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, April 3, 1998

Go with me? We're not about to miss Mule Days in Columbia, Tennessee, the Mule Capital of the World. Mule tradin' started here in the 1840's, when mules were shipped in from Missouri and sold to the sugar and cotton plantations. Eventually Columbia became nationally known and in 1934 "Market Day" turned into a real celebration of this valuable but sometimes misunderstood animal.

Mules aren't really stubborn, you know, they're just extra-smart. If you don't believe me, catch the Mule Driving show today and watch them follow the voice commands. There is a slate-full of things to do between now and Sunday afternoon - the parade is Saturday at 11 and the pulling competition starts at noon.

Other events include a pancake breakfast, some picking and grinning, a crafts festival, a knife and coin show, a flea market, a square dance, a gospel sing, and for ear-stretching so we'll match the longears, a liar's contest.

Who owned the first mule in the United States? George Washington! He heard that Spain had a great farm animal and contacted their US Ambassador. When Spain's King Charles III learned of the inquiry, he sent General Washington a jack as a gift. That was 1785. One of Washington's finest mares and the jack produced a mule which was named "Compromise."

If you're in the market for a mule, there's a sale today at 4 pm, conducted by Reese Horse & Mule Company. You may want a Mule Day 1998 collectors knife - the bidding starts at $50. Or maybe you'll just buy a simple souvenir. All proceeds from souvenir sales go to Tennessee Tech Alumni Association for scholarships. See you there.

Columbia, Tennessee
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