Forget ponies!

We could’ve had elephants!?

It’s true. (But that photo up there is not).

Assuming that we’d have kept people from shooting them (kind of a big assumption, but lets just go with it for now), by now they’d have had over 150 years to spread throughout, I’m guessing, Oklahoma and West Texas.

But I guess the “better angels” whispered a fat “No” on that one.

Thanks a lot, Lincoln!!!

Crazy story, right?!

It actually starts with James Buchanan, Lincoln’s predecessor:

And the King of Siam, also known as: Mongkut, Phrachomklao, and Rama IV.

Yeah, that dude had some names:

He is perhaps most well known for putting the “King” in The King and I.

He did not put Yul Brynner in yellow-face:

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Movies

Somebody else did that. And a bunch of somebody elses awarded Brynner with two Tonys and an Oscar for doing it:

Photo Credit: did you know?

That last one is not Yul Brynner. It’s Mongkut.

Just thought we needed a reminder…

Anyhow, if you’re familiar with the arc of The King and I, then you’re also aware of how Mongkut’s reign coincided with the peak of Western expansionism.

East was meeting West in a big way, and that culture clash was a catalyst for change on both sides.

For instance, both countries still held slaves, and both abolished slavery by the end of the 19th century. And there are pretty good odds that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin played a role in both as well.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

That’s just a small taste of the massive, worldwide cultural upheaval induced by the east/west exchange.